Why California's Gavin Newsom campaigns for free health care for illegals

Gavin Newsom, leading candidate for governor of California, and a Democrat, has a new goodie on offer: free health care for the state's three million illegals.

The former mayor of San Francisco said so in this podcast, explaining that there is no reason not to "wait around" to extend Medi-Cal coverage to anyone who asks, regardless of immigration status.

San Francisco is the only universal health care system for all undocumented residents [sic] in America, very proud of that.  We proved it could be done without bankrupting the city.  I'd like to see that we can extend that to the rest of the state.

Free health care for illegal immigrants!  Just like what Hugo Chávez promised in Venezuela!

The results speak for themselves.

It sends a message out for everyone from Tijuana to Tierra del Fuego that a health care free ride awaits all comers in California, so long as you can keep your income down and work for low, illegal alien-style wages.  Do that, and any health care you may need, whatever your pre-existing conditions, is free, in your choice of California's world-class facilities.  No taxes paid in necessary.  The rest of us will pay for it via higher taxes, as well as foot our own vast Obamacare bills on top. For the old, sick, disabled and others in dire need, they'd be fools not to take it.

It's hard to say how that will go over among voters, given that so many are so resolutely blue in orientation (Newsom won 64% of the California vote in July's primary, compared to GOP winner John Cox's 36%), and at last count, Newsom was well ahead in the polls (although those polls are a couple months old).  One thing we do know is that Democratic candidates in at least southern California, up until now, have been keeping illegal immigration off the table as an issue in their campaign ads, knowing just how bad it could be for winning even Democratic votes.  I noticed that on the day before California's June 6 primary:

The airwaves in Southern California are flooded with Democratic candidate ads, with most openly touting extremely loony far-left positions – promises of free health care for all, free college for all, beefed up public funding for Planned Parenthood, full gun control, pretty much the full Bernie Sanders plate of pie-in-the-sky goodies.  Democrats, whether in the House, Senate, governor, or assembly races, are all openly offering all the free stuff on the far left's wish list, not holding back at all.  Fiscal discipline isn't in fashion with this bunch.  ...

There's one topic among these offerings that isn't being touched – not even in one campaign ad:

Illegal immigration.

I'm guessing that Newsom must think he has voters to burn and will win the governorship anyway, even if a large chunk of voters peel off toward Republican John Cox over this offer.

But it's significant that he's billing himself as a fiscal conservative, who's somehow able to pull a rabbit out of the hat and finance the Medi-Cal full ride on health care for the state's illegal immigrants, who amount to one in four of that population. He claims he did that in San Francisco as a proud accomplishment.  The facts don't stand up to that – he left the city deeply in debt, and SFWeekly wrote that on his watch, San Francisco was one of the worst-run cities in America.  Meanwhile, San Francisco's residents now have a per-person $16,400 debt burden, fifth worst in the country, undoubtedly due to all of Newsom's unfunded mandates.  This watchdog report, here, notes that the city is still hiding a lot of its spending costs.  Conclusion: Newsom's probably trying to spin himself a fiscal conservative because he wants to keep some Democratic votes.

What this lunatic vote-losing, bank-breaking proposal is really about is likely something else, something well beyond the Latino vote (he already has the Latino vote).

It may be a bid to draw attention away from the bigger monster on the left's agenda, which is installing single-payer health insurance for all Californians, a leftist plan that will recrudesce as another statehouse bill this coming year, following its failure earlier.

One medical association says Newsom's squarely on board for it, yet he hasn't declared for it as brazenly as he did his support for free health care for illegals.

The Sacramento Bee has some reporting on that here:

Opposing sides have heard what they've wanted to hear from Newsom in the gubernatorial race.  The nurses see an ally in their fight, while Newsom's comments lately indicate deep skepticism about the ability to implement single-payer, industry representatives said.

"We have spoken to Mr. Newsom and if he's elected, we will continue to talk to Mr. Newsom," said Janus Norman, chief lobbyist for the California Medical Association.  "We expressed our concern and he expressed his commitment to getting to a place where everyone is covered[.] ... He did it in San Francisco and he is dead-set on doing it as governor."

That plan is an authentic monster whose starting cost will be $400 billion (and if Obamacare is any indication, it won't be a mere $400 billion) a year and will raise taxes sky-high.  Doctors and health care officials, or people billed as that, are starting to get roused against it, arguing that choice for consumers will end and health care will go downhill as taxes soar.  For these providers, and probably many are, it's pretty obvious that if health care moves to a state model, incentives toward excellence and competition among providers will end, and doctors will lose all control over the kind of health care decisions they can make, becoming worker ants under the command of state bureaucrats and central planners.  They are protesting that with arguments like this:

Special interests in Sacramento are continuing to push a proposal to force all Californians into a costly new, state-run government health care system.  The proposal would require millions of Californians to give up their Medicare and employer-sponsored coverage, with no guarantee they could keep their doctor, specialists or pharmaceutical benefits.

California leads the nation in expanding health care coverage and now has the lowest rate of uninsured in its history at 6.8%.  Single payer puts at risk the progress we've made increasing access to health care through the Affordable Care Act and other recent reforms.


Now, if you read closely the Sacramento Bee report on "Californians Against The Costly Disruption Of Our Health Care," the group opposing single-payer cited above, you will learn that even though it includes doctors, it's actually a big business outfit that includes the California Chamber of Commerce, rather than a grassroots conservative group. That detail is significant because you can see that the group suggests that giving free health care to illegals as its recommended alternative to the single-payer plan it wants to avoid, a sort of sop to preventing the big monster of single-payer from being enacted at all.

Coalition members said they'll be focusing their early efforts on the Legislature and the next governor, but did not rule out spending on advertising and other public messaging.  Key discussions will be focused on alternative potential proposals to contain escalating costs and expand coverage to everyone regardless of immigration status or ability to pay.

Avoiding single-payer will serve big insurance's interests, sure but if it comes because free health care for illegal immigrants plan is enacted, it might not be such a great deal for taxpayers.  After all, it's a given that Californians will foot the bill for Venezuela's health care exodus as first ports of refuge such as Peru and Ecuador shut their doors.  Throw in all of Central America's population, much of Mexico's, and the populations expected to roll in from Africa and India, and the California bill is going to get big soon.

What it shows is that Newsom is a wimpy coward, right there along with his image, unable to stand up to the far-left forces with a hammerlock on the California statehouse. If this gets out, that Newsom is such a weakling in the face of the hard (and often hated) Sacramento left that he's willing to throw the sop of free health care for illegals as a means of heading off the single-payer leftist juggernaut in the statehouse, it's not going to be good for him.

We return to the reality on the ground in the precincts: that voters don't want more free stuff for illegal immigrants, more magnets drawing them, or more people in general...and that might just be a good day for Republican John Cox.

Cox has got to run with it, because the signs are there on the ground that even very blue voters have had it with more free goodies for all the world's illegal immigrants - and even Newsom seems to know this.  Never mind single-payer, a pie-in-the-sky idea if there ever was one.  The illegals will be coming, and only Cox will be have the strength and will to stop them.

Image credit: Freedom to Marry via FlickrCC BY-SA 2.0.

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