Senate Bill 562, the single-payer health care bill, and its steep price tag, is not the solution to our broken health care system.
The Senate Appropriations Committee estimates SB562 would cost $400 billion annually to cover all health care costs for every Californian. That’s more than double California’s proposed budget of $180 billion. Supporters hope the federal government will cover half the cost but federal approval for a California waiver that allows federal dollars to be used to pay for the single-payer system is questionable. So, the math would work like this: The federal government would theoretically pay $200 billion, leaving Californians to foot the bill for the remaining $200 billion annually; a proposition that would disrupt the lives of all Californians.
To pay for the program, SB562 would shift the burden onto the backs of hardworking Californians who may have to pay at least a 15 percent automatic health care tax increase deducted directly from their paychecks. A 15 percent decrease in take-home pay could be detrimental to hardworking families who may now have to choose between basic necessities such as rent or food versus paying for afterschool programs, such as SAT tutoring or sports programs for their children.