A letter to State Sen. Bill Dodd: I attended the Town Hall meeting held Feb. 21 at Napa Valley College. Overall, I thought it a very good event. However, your responses on the issue of the "single payer" option were woefully inadequate, You dismissed this option as "unaffordable" yet failed utterly to address one question (not mine) that spoke directly to that matter.
California has a population of 38.8 million according to 2014 census figures. This makes it about the size of Poland and larger than Canada, Australia, Taiwan, New Zealand, (the list goes on and on.) All of these countries have "single payer" systems yet you purport that California is not large enough to support such a system on its own. Why?
The GDP of California is roughly equal to that of France (6th largest in the world), again a country with a single payer system. This is well ahead of Australia, Canada, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, New Zealand, (and on and on) These countries all have "single payer systems" yet California cannot afford it? Why? You never answered this at all - you just deflected.
The issue is not one of affordability but of having the political will to tax sufficiently to pay for it (yes, the taxable revenue intake in California is lower than those countries I have mentioned and yes I am aware of the problem of "tax room" given that the federal government also imposes taxes on California citizens and businesses).
Given that a large percentage of the population is already receiving funding from public sources (per the panelists that evening, for example) the marginal cost of extending this to the population as a whole would be sizable but not insurmountable.
Again, I suggest that the problem is less one of money than it is of having the political will to do what is right: treat healthcare as a basic human right that is available to all.