Experts Expound

Experts Expound

This time it’s not “Who killed J.R?” but “What killed health care?” What happens now?

If you have to run for re-election every two years, it makes it difficult to make the big decisions and take the risk.
Politics killed health care. Nothing happens now.

Liz Hill killed health care. Her analysis showed that government-run health care won’t solve our budget problems, despite what the governor says.

Nothing happens ’cause there’s no money to pay for anything to happen. …

I think it died under its own weight. Budget issues, worries about continued economic slowdown, and possible cost increases in the program just made it too risky for this year.

Let us count the ways: Overly optimistic projections about premium costs. Reliance on a ballot measure that counts on smoking rates to hold steady in order to finance it. A my-way-or-the-highway approach that prevented Senate amendments from being considered. A $14 billion budget hole. Fear of an energy crisis repeat. As for what’s next, we’ll have to see if Proposition 93’s failure will give the cowardly lions some courage.

Ego. The flaming of Prop. 93. Liz Hill. Genuine concerns that the program would hammer the middle class and cost the state a bloody fortune. The ghost of energy deregulation. Now? Dithering.

The economy killed health care. The prospects of additional costs in a bad budget year were too much — even for the Dems.
Tobacco money and Perata’s ego killed health care.

Don Perata becomes the first “leader” in either house in recent memory who couldn’t deliver a bill he co-authored. It was as if 93 had already failed: Perata has zero clout in his own caucus.

Fabian Núñez deserves much of the blame for rushing an Assembly vote on an incomplete, unvetted plan the LAO herself called a disaster in waiting. Once voters reject his Prop. 93 scheme, it’ll be sooner rather than later when his caucus dumps him.

Sometimes legislators actually care about bill content. This plan was a “house of cards,” and senators, led by Don Perata, who remembered the voter backlash generated by the great energy deregulation reform legislation (which the general membership neither read nor was capable of understanding), actually learned from that mess. The Assembly Democrats just followed their speaker off the cliff. … Washington, D.C., will tackle this issue under President Obama.

The governor is becoming a caucus of one. He killed health care.

The question is, was it really designed to pass in the first place? It couldn’t have worked, was not well thought out, and the governor ought to replace his whole health care staff. What happens now, indeed: We’re in a different campaign, and the debate becomes national. California has lost, at least for now, its opportunity to lead. … Since one can’t rationally give tax breaks to people who don’t have money, one needs to find ways to use the private market to provide health care for the poor. …

Perata killed it, and they wait until the outcome of the election to see who will be Senate pro tem.

Too complicated to do top-to-bottom health care reform in one fell swoop. Too many oxes gored, too little assurance that people who have health insurance now won’t be adversely affected. Like medicine, health care reform goes down better one small teaspoon at a time.

The people from whom we sought opinions: Andrew Acosta, A.G. Block, Mark Bogetich, Barry Brokaw, Morgan Crinklaw, J. Dale Debber, Peter DeMarco, Jim Evans, Kathy Fairbanks, Jeff Fuller, Rex Frazier, Ken Gibson, Evan Goldberg, Deborah Gonzalez, Sandy Harrison, Bob Hertzberg, Jason Kinney, Mike Madrid, Nicole Mahrt, Steve Maviglio, Adam Mendelsohn, Barbara O’Connor, Bill Packer, Kassy Perry, Jack Pitney, Adam Probolsky, Tony Quinn, Matt Rexroad, Matt Ross, Roger Salazar, Dan Schnur, Will Shuck, Ralph Simoni, Sam Sorich, Ray Sotero, Gary South, Kevin Spillane, Rich Zeiger

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