Californians and New Yorkers could soon discover just how expensive "free" healthcare really is.
On June 1, California's Senate passed the Healthy California Act by a vote of 23-14. If it passes the State Assembly, the bill will create a single-payer healthcare system that charges no premiums, co-pays, or deductibles. In mid-May, New York's State Assembly approved its own single-payer overhaul (the New York Health Act) and sent it to the State Senate.
Each bill would replace employer-based and individual insurance, as well as state and federal coverage, with a single public program covering all residents, including undocumented immigrants.
One might think a government healthcare takeover would be an easy sell for liberal voters in California and New York. But even blue-state residents aren't willing to accept the stratospheric costs of socialized medicine.
About 65 percent of California adults support the Senate bill — until they realize it would require up to $200 billion in new taxes. The architects of the law suggest a new 15 percent payroll tax to pay for the program.
Once they learn the facts, support plummets to 42 percent, according to a recent poll from the Public Policy Institute of California.
Don't expect New Yorkers to rally behind single-payer after getting a look at their price tag, either. The New York Health Act could raise taxes by $226 billion in 2019 alone — more than quadrupling the state's current tax burden.
As lawmakers in California and New York will soon learn, even progressives balk at handing nearly one-sixth of their earnings in exchange for "free" healthcare.
Sally Pipes (@sallypipes) is a contributor to the Washington Examiner's Beltway Confidential blog. She is president, CEO and Thomas W. Smith fellow in health care policy at the Pacific Research Institute.
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