Economic Downturn Threatens California’s Health Care System
California has often been in the vanguard of trends that come to affect the whole country. It is looking now at bankruptcy. But who will bail it out? California politicians, including Governor Schwartzenegger, have shown neglect in managing the money given to them in good faith by the taxpayers. They are now dilly-dallying in a show of “chicken” as the state goes ever nearer to complete meltdown…
A solution, in part, has been staring them in the face for years. Illegal immigration has swelled the deficit by affording them the same benefits, or better than, that of citizens. The schools are flooded with illegals who usually cannot even read in their own native languages, but are provided English as second language courses. These courses are not successful, for the most part, but they are costly. Who suffers are the citizen children who must yield up a teacher’s time to try to teach someone who cannot understand the minimum of language.
The health care system is another costly drain by illegal aliens. No numbers are given as to how many are in the system known as Medi-Cal. However, it has long been evident that illegals use the hospitals as primary care, a very costly proposition. They know that they can go to hospitals and not be turned away. When asked about this, many hospital administrators and doctors professed a hands-off stance, saying that their only responsibility was to the patients. Some of these same doctors and administrators are probably those out of job when their hospitals went broke and had to shut down. Just more of those whose altruism got in the way of economic common sense. Meanwhile, the man who had a heart attack had to wait too many minutes as he was being transported to a hospital further away that was still in operation.
Many writers have written about the perils of allowing people to breech our borders and be folded into our social systems, even Social Security. They have been made pariahs by the “mainstream media” and called “nativists”, bigoted, mean-spirited, hateful, and more. We now hear reports of drug cartels challenging our Border Patrol agents, even to the point of directing gunfire at them. We have been alerted to watch out for terrorists. Meanwhile, our borders remain, realistically, wide open. Our agents our overwhelmed, as good and as diligent as they are.
Adding to the dark picture in California is high unemployment, which hit 8.4 percent recently. Those unemployed will not be paying taxes. They will also be trying to get medical insurance, which is liable to be cut, not broadened.
Denying benefits to illegals would not solve the whole problem, but it would be a big step in the right direction. Little is heard of any economies being recommended. This shows a denial of the facts. The fat days are over.
The economic malfeasance has come home to roost in California. Lawmakers are looking at a $40 Billion dollar deficit over the next year and half. The deficit is growing by $40 million a day. Even now, they are predicting that the state will not be able to pay its bills come February or March of next year. To raise taxes requires a two-thirds majority vote. But, California Democrats, who always fall back on raising taxes, have found an arcane loophole in the law that allowed them to pass a budget with a simple majority. It had no cuts on Medi-Cal, but of course, a $9.3 Billion increase in taxes.
Governor Schwartzenegger has said he would veto it. We’ll see. It shows the lack of a grasp of the situation by those lawmakers who think they can continue to spend and tax their way out of the deficit. There is also no movement to rein in benefits to illegal aliens, who are diluting the benefits that citizens deserve, and for which taxpayers have given their money.
It has been reported that nineteen states have proposed or enacted Medicaid cuts because resources are challenged. California seems to be the worst hit. Will these states and others succumb to the malady of overspending? They have a good model to follow; that is, they can see the mistakes made by the legislators in California.
Will any lessons be learned by the plight of California? Not many of our legislators think in terms of cuts. They need a good dose of reality. Will California be a wake-up call? Watch and see how your members of Congress vote.
Barbara Anderson is a Capitol Hill Coffee House staff writer.