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September 06, 2006

How is this different from essentially government-owned and operated health care?

California Governor Schwarzenegger has announced he will veto a comprehensive health care bill that passed the California legislature.

The bill establishes a state-run insurer who will pay all the bills. All private insurance would be abolished...

The plan, written by Sen. Sheila Kuehl (D-Santa Monica), would create one public insurer, to replace the existing network of private companies. Private doctors and hospitals would remain, but would have their rates set by the new state agency.

Okay - how is this different from the state essentially appropriating the doctors and hospitals?

Certainly, they could try to achieve efficiencies to squeeze more out of the dollar - which would result in... the state accusing them of overcharging, and promptly lowering the rates, creating a marked disincentive.

I just can't help but think that there is a better way than mandating increasingly poor health care for everybody, however "fair" that may seem.

The uninsured are an issue, certainly. And the current employer-based system has inequities and cost-containment problems of it's own - but de facto rationing of health care doesn't seem a truly useful answer.

Besides, once the state takes over paying the bills... it won't be long before the Nannystate rears it's head, with mandatory PT programs, weigh-ins, control of foodstuff content, penalties for eating beyond your allocated caloric intake, etc - all because the state will then have a legitimate interest in all your previously private behaviors... because they foot the bill.

Just as you see these things floated in Britain now and again...

There has to be a better way that doesn't just give the state such an awesome power grab. I admit I don't know what it is - but I know what it's like to live under that type of regime... just join the military.

There's an LA Times article here.