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    California Lawmakers Introduce Massive Tax Hike To Fund Single-Payer Healthcare For All Residents

    California lawmakers introduced a bill that would fund single-payer healthcare through new income, payroll and business taxes, part of a push by California politicians to roll out the country’s first single-payer system. 

    ACA 11, which includes a gross receipts tax on businesses, a payroll tax on employers and employees, and a personal income tax increase on middle-class Californians and high earners, would be the largest tax increase in state history. It would be imposed at a time when the state already has record-high reserves and a surplus of approximately $31 billion.

    “This measure would add to the cost of living in California and lead to job losses, without any guarantee that the billions in new taxes would benefit anyone,” CalTax President Robert Gutierrez said. “Taxpayers want and deserve quality healthcare services, but there is no guarantee that a government-run healthcare system will deliver better care for Californians at an affordable price.”

    The gargantuan tax increase provides the funding mechanism for AB 1400, which would create a new government health care bureaucracy and a right to health coverage for all California residents. 

    The single-payer system would replace Medicare, Medicaid and private health insurance with a state-run system and eliminate co-pays, deductibles, and premiums. Californians would also be entitled to an expansive list of benefits including vision, dental, hearing, and long-term care. 

    The plan already faces fierce opposition from some of the biggest lobbying groups in the state. The California Chamber of Commerce, the California Hospital Association, the California Medical Association, the California Taxpayers Association, and the Ventura County Taxpayers Association all condemned the plan and urged lawmakers to reject it.

    “This measure would add to the cost of living in California and lead to job losses, without any guarantee that the $163 billion in new taxes would benefit anyone,” said Robert Gutierrez, president of the California Taxpayers Association.

    Protect California Health Care, a coalition that includes the California Medical Association, which represents doctors, and the California Hospital Association, warned the plan would remove “any choice for anyone who might want to select private coverage or opt out.”

    As for the tax increases, read on and marvel:

    Start with the 2.3% excise tax on business with more than $2 million in annual gross receipts.  This tax would apply to revenues rather than profits, which would punish low-margin businesses large and small.  Many will take their businesses elsewhere.

    Employers with 50 or more workers would also pay a 1.25% payroll tax, which would be passed onto workers. Workers earning more than $49,900 would pay an additional 1% payroll tax. 

    The plan also includes a series of surtax hikes, starting at 0.5% on income over $149,509 and rise to 2.5% at $2.48 million income.

    And the kicker, the marginal tax rate hikes shall be adjusted for inflation based on the California CPI annually.

    While the California constitution requires two-thirds of the Legislature to raise taxes, ACA 11 says a simple majority may raise tax rates, if necessary, to fund single-payer trust fund.

    The tax increases would still have to be approved by voters since they would override the state constitutional’s spending limit. Lawmakers seem to think voters are in the mood to pay higher taxes while putting government in charge of your medical choices.

    Ventura County Taxpayers Association urges voters to contact your lawmakers and urge them to reject this massive tax increase.

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