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EDITORIAL: California progressives throw tantrum over health care

While the far left loves to accuse President Trump of using hateful rhetoric, it might be useful to consider recent developments in California’s move toward universal health care.

In theory, California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon favors a government-run single-payer health care system. But when he decided to shelve a severely flawed bill proposing such a system last month, he and other Democratic lawmakers in the state received immediate and nasty backlash from union activists and other “tolerant” progressives.

The Healthy California Act (SB 562) would provide medical care to every resident of California, including those living in the state illegally. What could possibly go wrong? But then reality set in. The first cost estimates came in at $400 billion a year, more than twice the state’s entire budget.

Mr. Rendon sensibly put the brakes on the proposal in the lower house. He called it “woefully incomplete” and tabled the measure because of the enormous costs. “It certainly wasn’t a bill,” Rendon told The Hill. “There was absolutely no funding attached to a $400 billion proposal, no service delivery mechanism.”

In return for his common sense, Mr. Rendon was greeted with protests and death threats.

One meme circulated by union agitators on social media depicted the image of a bear with a knife bearing Mr. Rendon’s name stuck in its back. According to Hot Air, someone else tweeted, “I pray someone checks his schedule for baseball practice” — a not-so-thinly-veiled reference to Rep. Steve Scalise, who was shot outside Washington last month.

In response, the entire Democratic Assembly caucus signed a letter asking proponents to tone things down.

“In recent days, we have become alarmed and disheartened by bullying tactics, threats of violence, and death threats by a few who disagree with the decision of Speaker Anthony Rendon to postpone the advancement of SB 562,” they wrote. “While it is appropriate for persons of varying views to express concern, disapproval or disfavor about the delay, it is never acceptable to engage in those tactics.”

Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders says he is “extremely disappointed” that the bill was shelved. As Hot Air surmises, single-payer advocates across the nation are irate because the failure to pass such a bill in ultra-liberal California likely means that there is little to no chance a similar bill will survive anywhere else.

Indeed, liberal Vermont already ditched a single-payer plan thanks to the massive price tag. Colorado voters overwhelmingly rejected a ballot proposal on the issue last year.

The same outcome would almost certainly await a similar plebiscite in California. Thus the childish tantrums and intimidation tactics from Golden State collectivists. Clearly, the Fantasyland inhabited by many of the state’s leftist activists remains unpenetrated by economic reality.

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