Back in April, Bob alerted us to California's bill SB 840, which would establish a single-payor, "universal" style health care system in the state. Then, earlier this month, he had an update on the bill, and emphasized that "(t)he bill provides nothing. The taxpayers provide the coverage."
Well, the bill has now been passed by the California assembly (it was previously approved by the state senate), and awaits only a few modifications before it heads to The Governator for signature. Or not.
As it stands, the bill would eliminate "regular" insurance plans (group and individual), replacing them with a state-run plan (i.e. expensive, inefficient, tax-gobbling bureaucracy). This will not, of course, affect ERISA plans (which are federally regulated), or (as Bob points out in the comments) public entities. In fact, it may be a boon to the self-funded industry, as employers look for ways to avoid this train wreck.
On the other hand, I'm actually glad to see this effort unfolding in this way. As a 10th amendment supporter, this seems to me the appropriate venue. That is, there is nothing in the Constitution giving the Federal Government the power to commandeer 1/7th of our economy. But "the 10th" reserves such endeavors to the individual states. If it's true that folks vote with their feet (and, of course, their wallets), this new program will be a terrific test of whether or not we're ready for government run health care for all.
How's that ancient Chinese curse go? "May you live in interesting times."