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The Bill Is in for CA’s Single-Payer Proposal, and It’s Astronomical

The state of California estimated a single-payer health care proposal will cost the state $400 billion per year, a figure twice the entire current state budget.

Bernie Sanders Protesters

It turns out that even in far-left California can government cost be prohibitive. That’s the reaction, at least, to a new state analysis putting the price tag for single-payer health care in California at $400 billion per year.

For perspective’s sake, that is more than twice the entire state’s current budget. The Sacramento Bee has more:

California would have to find an additional $200 billion per year, including in new tax revenues, to create a so-called “single-payer” system, the analysis by the Senate Appropriations Committee found. The estimate assumes the state would retain the existing $200 billion in local, state and federal funding it currently receives to offset the total $400 billion price tag.

…The cost is higher than the $180 billion in proposed general fund and special fund spending for the budget year beginning July 1.

Of course, this is not the first time a non-partisan analysis has found the costs of single-payer health care to be quite prohibitive. Separate analyses of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) single-payer proposal in 2016 found it would cost anywhere from $1.38 trillion to $2.47 trillion per year.

For perspective, President Trump proposed on Tuesday that the entire federal government spend $4.1 trillion in the next fiscal year.

It’s worth seeing if single-payer health care becomes a litmus-test issue for Democrats running for president in 2020. Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) already support it.