Single Payer Government Takeover of Health Care Would Devastate Small Business

By Tom Scott

***Editor’s Note: The following article is one viewpoint on SB 562, the topic of our Head to Head feature in June. On June 13, an opposing viewpoint was published in the article “The Real Sticker Shock — Not Passing the Healthy California Act.”

Each year, our NFIB small business owners rank their top 75 concerns in our “Problems and Priorities” survey, which provides critical insight as to which policy issues are having the greatest impact on our job creators.

The rising cost of health care has consistently ranked as the No.1 issue to our members for the last several years, and a government takeover of our health care industry would only exacerbate this growing concern.

Senate Bill 562 (Senators Lara and Atkins) creates an enormous bureaucracy which would add unbearable costs on struggling small business owners, at a time when the state is already burdening them with higher minimum wage costs and drastic gas tax increases.

In California, 99.8% of businesses are small business, and half of all workers in the state are employed by a small business. The cost and bureaucracy created by single payer health care in California would be a direct assault on our vulnerable small businesses. And we must remember who owns and operates small businesses: working families.

Do we really have faith in government to manage and deliver a complex health care system to our nearly 40 million residents? This state has mismanaged public employee pension funds, resulting in a half-trillion-dollar unfunded taxpayer liability. This state has mismanaged billions in gas tax dollars, resulting in crumbling roads and even higher taxes. This state can’t even build a bridge under budget, or maintain a critical dam. Now some in the Legislature want to hand over our entire health care system to the state?

The annual $400 to $500 billion price tag on SB 562 is more than three times our state General Fund, and can only be funded through steep tax increases on struggling small businesses and working families.

As the highest taxed state in the nation, single payer can only be funded through drastic tax increases on struggling small businesses and middle-class families. This bill will kill jobs, hurt working families, and make health care more expensive for all.

Tom Scott is the State Executive Director for NFIB California, which represents 22,000 dues-paying small business members across the state. The opinions in this article are presented in the spirit of spurring discussion and reflect those of the author and not necessarily the Treasurer, his office or the State of California.