More Bad News for California’s Finances That NBC Hailed as Being Saved by Jerry Brown

On Monday’s NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams heaped praise on liberal Democratic Governor Jerry Brown of California, who was sworn in for a record fourth term. Williams hailed Brown as someone who was had “finally been able to turn around California's troubled finances.”

As highlighted on this site Monday night, the State of California’s finances are far from stellar when examined more closely. An article in the Los Angeles Times late Thursday on the Golden State’s soaring health care costs only further expanded on that. 

In the article entitled “California’s Soaring Healthcare Costs Bode Ill for the Budget,” Chris Megerian stated that the costs the state expects to incur under its healthcare program (which is related to ObamaCare) has been “growing, and faster than expected.”

Megerian added how the healthcare costs for current and retired state employees continues to balloon and the state remains without a definitive source of money to pay for it: 

Meanwhile, the annual bill for healthcare for public retirees – a benefit promised decades ago – has more than doubled in the last decade. Current and retired workers have accumulated $71.8 billion in healthcare benefits as of June last year, and the state has set aside almost nothing to cover the costs.


In the 2005-06 fiscal year, retiree healthcare cost $887 million. In the current fiscal year, it's $1.8 billion.

So far, the state public employee unions have only agreed to put forth $41.33 million themselves to contribute to the cost burden.

Additionally, doctors are reported to be less and less thrilled about participating in the state’s healthcare program, which is known as Medi-Cal, due to the fact that payments to them from the program have been reduced in each of the last few years.

As opposed to being devoted to finding a way to solve this fiscal mess, other stakeholders in California are demanding increased funding for their programs as Brown was expected “to release his new budget proposal Friday.” 

While California has taken in “$1.2 billion more revenue than in the first five months of the current fiscal year,” much of that is expected to go away as “higher healthcare costs could chew up much of the extra money.”

Mererigan also stated that more funding has been requested for the University of California system and healthcare for illegal immigrants to go along with “state roads need[ing] tens of billions of dollars in overdue maintenance.”

— Curtis Houck is News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Curtis Houck on Twitter.