By Jon Coupal, President of Howard Jarvis Taxpayer’s Association – June 27, 2019
If there was any question whatsoever as to whether California has gone completely off the rails, proposals in the new state budget should remove all doubt. Perhaps the most egregious of these involve changes in state law as they relate to health care.
As of this writing, those proposals have yet to be adopted by both houses of the legislature – which is constitutionally required to pass the budget bill by June 15th every year – but statements by legislative leaders have caused a great deal of angst among the taxpayer public.
First among the inexplicable ideas is the proposal to force citizen and legal immigrant taxpayers to pay a new healthcare tax in order to subsidize healthcare for California residents who are living in the country illegally. Yes, you read that right. The tax that Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to impose is a penalty on all those who don’t comply with the “individual mandate.” If this sounds familiar, it should. The individual mandate was a key component of Obamacare at the federal level until the penalty was repealed by the Republican-led Congress in 2017.
If it passes, California would be one of only four states imposing a tax on those who won’t or can’t obtain the kind of health insurance coverage the government requires. The state-imposed mandate would parallel the federal mandate which, in 2016, amounted to $695 per adult or 2.5 percent of yearly household income, whichever was higher. The tax is projected by Newsom to generate about $1 billion over three years.