Nearly every human culture has a folk tale — or more than one — about an unending source of wealth. Sometimes it’s spinning straw into gold; sometimes it’s a goose that lays golden eggs or that gives golden feathers; sometimes it’s a magic hand-mill that will grind out your heart’s desire; sometimes it’s a magic purse that’s always full no matter how much you spend.
I starting thinking about these stories the other day when I read about the single-payer plan being proposed by state Senators Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) and Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) for California. It sounds wonderful:
Under the proposal, which was announced in February, the state would cover all medical expenses for every resident regardless of their income or immigration status, including inpatient, outpatient, emergency services, dental, vision, mental health and nursing home care.
Insurers would be prohibited from offering benefits that cover the same services as the state.
The program would eliminate co-pays and deductibles, and patients would not need to get referrals to see eligible providers. The system would be administered by an unpaid nine-person board appointed by the governor and the Legislature.
Free stuff. All the free doctoring you can use, no co-pays, no deductibles, everyone covered with no competition from private insurance, run by an unpaid (!!) board of nine people who would take on administering this out of the goodness of their hearts.
There’s only one little problem: where’s the money to come from?