California lawmakers aren’t always the most sensible or restrained bunch. But that doesn’t mean they are completely oblivious to the dangers of some policy ideas.

Like a single payer health insurance scheme. Progressives love it because they have a penchant for socialized medicine. But legislators weren’t having it. And that has the proggies hurt, angry, and searching for answers:

Instead of serving as a liberal model for national Democrats, Sacramento ended up…in the same place as Washington: with a single-payer bill that galvanized the party’s left flank but gained little traction as moderates balked and powerful opponents closed ranks.

The result has demoralized progressives and demonstrated the boundaries of their influence, even in a state like California, where Democrats control more than two-thirds of the Legislature.

The bill’s failure “illustrates what an uphill battle we have ahead of us,” said David Campos, a California Democratic Party official and single-payer advocate who is running for state Assembly. “I think we need to figure out where we go from here as a progressive movement,” he added.

It’s not an “uphill battle.” Single payer and other massive state interventions in the private sector just aren’t popular with the broad electorate…for a host of reasons – not the least of which is how to pay for all that “free” health care.

Just a reminder: there’s not such thing as a free lunch. The left still hasn’t gotten that very simple message.