During an interview on a local progressive podcast, Councilman Jose F. Moreno expressed his desire to eliminate Anaheim city employees’ current healthcare benefits, and force them into a federal single-payer system under socialist Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare-for-All” proposal.
“The big thing for me – people say you’re a city councilman why do you keep bringing it up – if we have Medicare for All, then cities no longer have to provide health care benefits to employees because they’re covered under this larger system,” Moreno said Monday night on ITZ Happenin, a progressive-Left political podcast hosted by two local left-wing activists.”
Moreno, an ardent Bernie supporter, would rather spend those resources on other budget priorities, rather than employee healthcare.
Moreno expressed his belief that all city council and school board members in the 46th Congressional District should urge Rep. Lou Correa to support Medicare-for-All so they too can force their employees onto a federally-controlled healthcare monopoly.
Currently, the level of health care benefits provided to Anaheim city employees is determined through collective bargaining between the city and its various bargaining units, such as the Anaheim Municipal Employees Association (AMEA).
Medicare-for-All specifically prohibits employer-provided health care plans – and any private health insurance, for that matter – that “duplicates” services provided under Medicare-for-All. Our choice will be whatever the federal government offers or…nothing, because health insurance alternatives will be outlawed.
If you’re an Anaheim city employee, would you rather keep your current plan , chosen from a menu of options? Or be forced into whatever federally-run program bureaucrats and politicians in Washington, DC come up with? Whom would they rather petition and negotiate with when it comes to health care coverage: the city management or federal bureaucrats 3,000 miles away dealing with similar complaints and requests from all over the country?
Moreno openly disdains lobbyists and lobbying (by the private sector, that is) – but what does he think will determine the breadth and type of health care coverage under Sanders’ scheme?
AMEA members might be forgiven for wondering why their union leadership endorsed Moreno for re-election last year.
Imagine the reaction of Moreno and other local progressives if the Disneyland Resort or Wincome or the GardenWalk hotel investors told their employees: “We don’t want to keep paying for your healthcare. We’re going to dump you into the lap of federal taxpayers so we can spend our money on something else.” They’d denounce “corporate greed” and organize a sit-in at a busy intersection.
Let’s remember how the federal government contains rising health care costs: by paying providers less. The costs of medical procedures don’t go down just because the federal government responds by paying doctors and other health care practitioners less to perform them.
Moreno’s idea that palming city employee health care onto the federal government will free up revenues is chimerical. Medicare-for-All is projected to cost $33 trillion during the first ten years – and that’s a conservative estimate. The costs of these big government entitlements always outstrip projections. Medicare-for-All will be a giant vacuum sucking up tax dollars across the nation, crowding out revenues available to state and local governments.
By the way: the Medicare-for-All proposal doesn’t actually provide Medicare for all. It eliminates Medicare. It also eliminates Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Affordable Care Act, the Federal Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) and the Defense Department’s Tricare program for military families – all of which is replaced by whatever creature Beltway politicians, bureaucrats and lobbyists devise and foist on the rest of us.
Is this what city and school district employees want? Does that matter? Progressives aren’t afraid to break some while making their “transformational” omelettes.
During the same program, Councilman Moreno repeatedly called on Rep. Lou Correa to hold town hall meetings. If Moreno does wind up challenging Correa next year, perhaps he’ll organize town halls meetings with employees of the cities and school districts within CD46 and explain to them that he wants to take away their current health care plans and force them onto a single federal health care program designed by politicians and bureaucrats. It would be interesting to see their reaction to his progressive utopia-building at their expense.