California is the latest state of the union flirting with the idea of inflicting a single-payer, government-run healthcare system on its residents. Obamacare is collapsing under its own weight. Democrats enjoy super-majorities in the state legislature. So, the theory goes, no time will ever be better for a government takeover of healthcare in California. However, a state financial analysis has thrown a monkey into the wrench, as it were. The costs of going single-payer would be enormous, even by the blue state's tax and spending- happy standards.

How costly would single-payer be in California?

The Price Tag would be $400 billion a year. The analysis assumes that the current local, state and federal funding that totals $200 billion a year would be available to pour into a state-run healthcare system. If California chooses to abolish employer-provided, private health insurance in the state, it would, in theory, be able to siphon another $100 billion to $150 billion a year. Thus, the state would “only” have to find another $50 billion to $150 billion a year if all of the assumptions are correct, which they may not be.

Squeezing more water from a stone

The problem is that Californians are among the highest taxed people in the United States.

A growing revolt over increased taxes on gasoline and diesel and a hike in auto licensing fees suggests that the breaking point has arrived. The flight of the middle class from California suggests that any estimates of what sort of revenue added taxes would garner would be written on sand. A death spiral in which the state government desperately raises taxes, driving out more of the tax base, and causing more increases would accelerate to warp speed.

Then there is the fact that the quality of single-payer tends to be substandard

Of course, when people start getting on waiting lists for medical procedures, as is the case in Canada, or when they find out that if they are too old to be kept alive a hospital might euthanize them, as in Great Britain, they might decide that it’s time to decamp to a more civilized state, such as Texas.

Doctors, who are not willing to work for the slave wages that a state healthcare system is likely to pay, will also flee to greener pastures. A shortage of doctors will set up another death spiral, resulting in a collapse of the “compassionate” single-payer system with the accompanying avoidable death and suffering. In short, even the liberal politicians who are misruling California may want to let the opportunity to destroy healthcare in the state pass them by.