California's government has been generous to the poor. So generous, in fact, that being poor isn't stigmatized as much anymore unless one is also homeless, because being poor doesn't limit one's ability to still be able to live a full life. The enabling of the poor to continue to be so stifles their initiative because there is no need to be productive when the government will provide for you. That's another story, though.
California's government has also allowed for those who are poor to be able to be provided for as if they were not so. Providing preventative health care for those who can't otherwise afford it through their means alone is all well and good, if they are poor but working. Subsidizing health insurance for those who CHOOSE to obtain preventative medicine is noble, but mandating that every citizen obtain preventative medical insurance, fining those who CHOOSE not to, taxing federally those who CHOOSE to provide more for themselves and their families because they have the means to do so, and increasing the fiscal burden for the states that have chosen to do the "right thing" all along is not only wrong, it will have a very hard time standing up to Constitutional scrutiny.
This brings me to the core of this post. Today's SJ Mercury News contains an article detailing some very good points concerning the costs to the State should the rumored contents of the current bills in Congress pass. California can barely afford to maintain its current fiscal load for health care under Medi-Cal. If the State's projected budget deficit grows past the $20B the budget offices have published for 2011-2012 California won't be able to afford the increased burden the Federal government is looking to impose on ALL of the states. One thing that isn't being very well covered by the mass majority of the media outlets is that the Federal solution (read: swatting a fly with a shotgun) is to build up funding for the intended reform by taxing first, spending later. This translates into increased taxes for individuals, businesses who provided their employees' health insurance, and the states NOW, without benefits enacted by the reform coming into effect until 2013. If California is forced to pay now for services that aren't to be rendered until after California's coffers run out there won't be services to render!
Sounds like fun, huh?