So I'm walking around the MU and one of those guys with a clipboard approaches me and he's like, "Hey, do you want to sign this petition to make health care more affordable in California?" So I'm like "No thanks" and I keep walking. (This is the correct response in 95% of such situations.) But every time I do that, this thing happens where immediately after I walk away I think up debate points to argue against the guy.
How exactly do you want to make health care more affordable? The most direct route would be to impose a price ceiling, but that would obviously do more harm than good. We could use government subsidies to make it cheaper for the consumer, but that subsidy money has to come from somewhere, and the state is still broke, so the tax dollars are still going to be coming out of our pockets.
Now if you could come up with an initiative that could improve the efficiency of the health care system somehow to lower costs for everyone involved, I'd be right there behind you, sir. Or if you had a plan to make the market more competitive and drive down prices and improve service through the invisible hand, that would also be lovely. Or if you could change the incentives in the pharmaceutical industry to make the most profitable business decisions line up better with the best course of action from a public health standpoint, that would be wonderful as well.
But there's no chance we're seeing anything that creative on a ballot initiative. It's just going to be more spending funded by a tax increase. Now, I'm not against more spending funded by tax increases, don't get me wrong. That's the best way to add more spending. But that power really doesn't belong in the hands of the voters. There are some issues that it makes sense to use ballot initiatives for, probably, but carving out a budget plan is not one of them.
Anyway, this always happens. Solicitation, politely decline, walk away, immediately think of interesting conversation I could have had.