Healthcare

Is single-payer Health Care what you want?

Senators Sanders, Warren, Booker, Harris and others are convinced Medicare-for-all is what we need and what you want and are doing their best to convince you to buy in. All these folks are life-long public employees, academics and politicians and far removed from average Americans and what they want and what they know about what they say they want.

Medicare For All would make quality, affordable healthcare available to everyone.

Everyone is covered. Nobody goes broke paying a medical bill. Families don’t have to bear the costs of heartbreaking medical disasters on their own.

We should not be at the mercy of private insurance companies that profit by denying care.

Source: boldprogressives.org 🤣

You may be one of many Americans who like the idea with its promise of lower costs, higher quality and coverage for all … and with the unsaid but implied notion that the way you receive healthcare will be unchanged.

That promise is 25% correct, such a plan will assure coverage available to all, the rest is highly questionable, especially business as usual when it comes to receiving health care. You need to understand the likely changes that are not being talked about or are simply ignored or which you are being misled about.

Think about these facts:

  • All single-payer systems are not alike. The Canadian system is quite different from the U.K. system or the Swiss system, etc.
  • You cannot apply systems like the Canadian, UK or other systems to the US population and culture and expect the same results or costs. Many factors including culture and life-style affect what is spent of healthcare
  • Medicare is not designed for the younger population, its administration is underfunded, its very design requires the purchase of supplemental coverage, it’s plagued by massive fraud, it’s hospital trust is going broke and it’s not cheap. Medicare would need to be completely redesigned
  • By its nature a single-payer government system requires budgets, controls, and central planning. All this affects what health care is provided and how it is provided
  • Single-payer systems are not immune to fiscal problems. Both the Canadian system and the U.K. systems currently struggle with costs and respond to those costs in various ways
  • To manage costs single-payer systems employ what most Americans would consider rationing. This includes but not limited to, closing facilities, cutting staffs, extending waiting times, and applying cost/benefit criteria to certain procedures for certain people.
  • To meet real patient demands many single-payer systems require people to purchase private coverage or pay out-of-pocket for those who can afford to
  • Some single-payer systems like the U.K. struggle from time to time with their relationship with health care providers; i.e. salaries and staffing levels
  • Long waiting times for healthcare services are real by American standards in most areas of the US. See the charts below. I have a friend in the U.K. whose mother had to wait a year for cataract surgery.
  • Like your semi-private hospital room? Your more likely to be in a multi-bed ward in the U.K.
  • Health care, no matter the system, is not free, office visits are not free and an extended hospital stay is not free and for politicians to throw the “free” word around is reprehensible. All healthcare systems require taxes, premiums, out-of-pocket costs or some combination of all and many permit the purchase of additional private insurance to circumvent system shortcomings.
  • Would applying a government-run, single-payer system stifle medical innovation in the US; still the world leader? Proponents of single-payer have long argued it would not. But since the US is unique in the world in many ways and converting to such a system would be so dramatic and the exact design unknown, it seems reasonable to say nobody knows for sure.
  • FINALLY, Medicare-for-all requires a massive new bureaucracy and along with it trillions of dollars in new liabilities. Will future congresses fail to adequately fund this commitment as past congresses have failed to fund Social Security and Medicare because they won’t tell the American the truth about the cost of these programs?

Canadian waiting times 2017

Chart source: https://www.fraserinstitute.org/sites/default/files/waiting-your-turn-2017.pdf

So here is the bottom line. Before you jump on the Medicare-for-all bandwagon, before you drink the far left’s Kool-aid of a free healthcare utopia, think about the big picture. Investigate and ask questions. There is far more to consider than universal coverage.

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5 replies »

  1. Any time you allow your government to dictate what you can and can not choose, you take away your freedom to choose including to freely choose not to participate. You then become dependent upon that government. That is socialism.

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