Did You Know? Bonnie Donovan
“I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.”
— Will Rogers
Did You Know? is keenly aware of the parallel between what goes on at the local level of government, both city and county, and how it mirrors the national governing trends.
To keep the citizens of Santa Barbara informed, the writers of this column pay keen attention to the process of how decisions are made and by whom. We strive to protect the beauty and traditions of this city, and we especially keep watch over the design and size of building projects, law and order issues, and any changes to the infrastructure such as the current move away from the use of natural gas.
The issue of health care reflects national-to-local trends.
Saul Alinsky, an American radical socialist and associate of the American Communist Party, was a leading political theorist and community organizer, who wrote the rule book on “How To Create A Socialist State.” He prescribed eight levels of government control that must be established before a socialist state can be created.
Alarmingly, America may now be on that track.
The first level is health care, according to Mr. Alinsky. “Control health care and you control the people.”
The increasing authoritarian nature of the Santa Barbara City Council was on display when members unanimously approved a resolution to fully support Medicare For All, House Resolution 1384 and California Assembly Bill 1400 to mandate a single-payer health care monopoly controlled by the state. It seems that council members assume their jurisdiction reaches far beyond managing the small municipality of Santa Barbara. Who among the city constituents gave them that authority?
First, the city council set out to control the use of private property by overriding legal, private leasing contracts within the city limits. These restrictions on the ownership of private property will not entirely go away until the council members go away. Once power is taken, it is rarely given up.
They then created an electric supply monopoly within the city, while at the same time, banning the use of gas as a fuel in all new construction. You can bet that later, we will see special city tax surcharges on gas usage to force the replacement of gas appliances by electric ones in existing buildings and homes.
Hey, presto! Now the city council controls a monopoly over the supply and pricing of all energy within the city. These people just love government power and control.
And what actually is “Medicare For All?”
California AB 1400 introduces CalCare, which is a euphemism for a massive redistribution of income scheme that could not be fully accomplished through taxation. Here is just one quotation from the summary introduction of AB 1400. “This bill will require waivers, approvals and agreements to allow various existing federal health care payments to be paid to CalCare.”
It is unclear whether this will include money you have paid in salary deductions and your premium payments to Medicare for your health care coverage; or, whether it means that Medicare will pay approved reimbursements for medical services into the CalCare pool for forward payment to the providers.
In the first case, everyone will lose their existing, or future, federal Medicare coverage to this new, untested, state monopoly.
In both cases, Medicare funds will be paid into the CalCare pool to help subsidize health care to 40 million people.
The same two questions apply to the many millions of Californians who receive health care premium coverage as part of their compensation package from their employers and for self-employed people who pay directly for their health care insurance. Their premiums, or medical reimbursements for medical services, will also be paid into the CalCare state pool. We need to understand more clearly the actual financing mechanisms for the whole of CalCare.
Think on this. Many, if not most, have a free choice of doctors, specialists, hospitals and timing of treatments and procedures. Experiences from other government-controlled health care monopolies is that there are cost control restrictions on these freedoms.
Health care is often rationed by delaying or denying appointments with specialists, and delaying treatments and surgeries for many months, if they are approved at all. Cost containment is a large part of the CalCare formula.
The pool of funding is always insufficient to cover the demands of 100% of the population. The evidence is clear when thousands of Canadians come to the U.S. for treatments and surgeries they can’t get in Canada under their single-payer health care system. Even the appropriation of all our personal health care funding, or reimbursements, will not be enough to fund the Californian health care monopoly.
Experiences in the United Kingdom and Canada show that huge tax increases will have to be found to maintain the ever-rising costs of health care. These taxes will come at a time when government debt is already at a massive, all-time high.
We already see many doctors leaving California because of the high costs of living. Santa Barbara is a prominent example.
When the U.K. government imposed nationalized health care in 1948, medical services in Britain were very primitive by today’s standards. By the 1950s and 1960s, British doctors and medical specialists were a very large part of the brain drain from Britain to the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa. There was an equally large brain drain of doctors into the U.K.., which recruited from countries of the former British empire and Commonwealth to replace those who had left.
We can expect the same brain drain of doctors and medical specialists from California to other states among independent practitioners who do not want to become regimented government employees if CalCare becomes a reality.
Take the trouble to Google AB1400 and study, at least, the introductory texts. Our future is at stake.
CalCare would be a huge change in every way, so we had better understand what Sacramento is planning for us. Do we get a say? Do we get a vote on AB 1400? Can we protect our right of choice on medical coverage?
Can we prevent Sacramento from appropriating our personal health care coverage? Can we persuade the federal government to prevent California from appropriating our federal benefits?
We need to get ahead of the AB 1400 momentum, before it rolls over us. Contact your representatives and let your voice be heard.
Next week we will include more about how Santa Barbara is affected by national-to-local trends, which are directing decisions made that threaten the fiber of this rare and beautiful city of Santa Barbara.