California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's ill-advised attempt to Californize (as compared to nationalize) health care has failed. As I explained a year ago, Governator's plan would basically make more Californians wards of the state as he dramatically expanded the number of residents who would be covered by Medical, the state's version of Medicare.
On Monday, the California State Senate's Health Committee voted down the governor's proposal because it would have made the state's $14.9 billion budget shortfall much worse. In one of the more ironic twists, the Los Angeles Times reports:
"It doesn't matter if there are these good things in the bill if there isn't the money to pay for them," said Sen. Sheila Kuehl (D-Santa Monica), who chairs the health panel and has proposed that the state take over the role of providing medical insurance. "We can't simply say to the people of California, 'Go buy insurance.' "
This is the same Sheila Kuehl who wants to impose a state-run single payer health insurance scheme on Californians. Instead of telling Californians to "go buy insurance" Kuehl would simply impose a new health insurance tax, ah, "premium" on all Californians and then bureaucratically ration the medical care they would receive.
Individual health insurance mandates have some merit, but not the Rube Goldberg schemes masquerading as individual mandates proposed by Gov. Schwarzenegger, and former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-Mass.), nor those of Democratic presidential hopefuls, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) and former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.)
My proposal for private mandatory health insurance here.