The online post offered a prayer that “someone checks his schedule for a baseball practice.” That could have been taken as a threat to Republicans now trying to replace Obamacare, but it wasn’t. The target was Democrat Anthony Rendon, speaker of the California Assembly.
As the Sacramento Bee reported, on June 28 outside Rendon’s office a protester carried a fake knife emblazoned with “Rendon” and pretended to stab in the back another protester dressed up as a bear. The demonstrators chanted, “Rendon, Rendon, shame on you. Action now on 562” and hoisted signs reading “Inaction Equals Death.”
Rendon’s crime was to pull Senate Bill 562, a measure to establish “universal health care” in California. The speaker, who earned a PhD in political science from UC Riverside, had good reason to halt the bill, authored by Democrats Ricardo Lara and Toni Adkins.
The price tag was an estimated $400 billion, more than twice the current state budget. “Where do you get the extra money?” wondered governor Jerry Brown. “This is called ‘the unknown by means of the more unknown,’” he told reporters. “In other words, you take a problem, and say ‘I am going to solve it by something that’s a bigger problem,’ which makes no sense.”
Rendon is also on record that the legislation “didn’t make any sense” and “didn’t seem like public policy as much as it seemed a statement of principles.” Indeed, authors Lara and Atkins say the legislation advanced their belief that health care is a human right that should be guaranteed to everyone.
SB 562, which duly passed the California Senate, included seniors on Medicare, those who get coverage through their employment, and “undocumented residents,” also known as illegals, of which there are more than two million in California. The biggest boosters were government employee unions.
RoseAnn DeMoro of the national nurses’ union appeared with Bernie Sanders, when he made his pitch for California to enact “single payer” health care. That would empower the union to negotiate with the state in the style of the California Teachers Association with the K-12 education monopoly. True to form, the California Nurses Association threatened Democrats who refused to play along.
After Rendon shelved the bill, DeMoro posted a photo of a knife with “Rendon” emblazoned on the blade stabbing a bear on the California flag, emblazoned with “Healthy California,” as supporters call the legislation. The protest at Rendon’s office played out that scenario, as the Democrat and his family received “distressing” death threats.
The legislation, like so much else in California, was a reaction to the election of Donald Trump and a show of support for Bernie Sanders. Contrary to the claims of the Vermont socialist, health care cannot be a “right” like those guaranteed by the Constitution. Those rights require no demands on others, but health care does.
The USSR, where Sanders spent his honeymoon, considered health care a right and held that this arrangement was superior to the formal and “bourgeois” rights in the West. Where health care is held to be a right, the people get only the health care the state wants to give them.
“Single payer” is a euphemism for government monopoly health care. In Canada’s government monopoly system, contrary to what many assume, there is no absolute “right” to health care.
Single payer is really multiple payer, with taxpayers on the hook. The “Healthy California” measure would have required an additional $200 billion in taxes, in a state that already imposes the nation’s highest income and sales taxes.
Covered California, California’s wholly-owned subsidiary of Obamacare, excelled at spending money, including $454 million for a dysfunctional computer system. Yet even its supporters conceded that Covered California was responsible for “widespread consumer misery.”
Premiums skyrocketed and between October 2015 and May of 2016, Covered California dropped 2,000 pregnant women from their plans. The women also lost their established doctors and missed prenatal appointments. Instead of protesting this expensive failure, California’s left prefers to blast Donald Trump and congressional efforts to replace Obamacare. Los Angeles County supervisor Sheila Keuhl, a former state legislator and television actress (Zelda Gilroy in “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis”), calls the effort “Make America Sick Again.”
Golden State reactionaries also target Democrat legislators who dare to yank a bill that “makes no sense,” costs twice the state budget, and would provide no services to anyone. Anthony Rendon told reporters the threats he has received “seem to be sort of a standard part of American politics these days.” So he is right to be concerned about someone wanting to check his baseball practice schedule.
Rep. Steve Scalise, meanwhile, remains in hospital from the June 14 attack. He has been upgraded to fair condition but faces an extended period of healing and rehabilitation.