While campaigning in Las Vegas, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders experienced chest pains, his presidential campaign staff reports. What happened next is really quite remarkable.
He was transported to a nearby hospital within an hour of presenting with symptoms, placed on a priority list due to his condition and then treated by the best physicians, nurses, technicians in the world using the most advanced equipment available. During the procedure, two stents were inserted into his cardiac arteries to relieve blockage. Best of all, his prognosis for recovery is excellent.
Thank goodness his health scare did not happen in Cuba. Cuba does not have the equipment or skilled physicians to perform the procedure he had undergone at the hospital in Nevada. In Venezuela’s socialist hospitals, he’d be confronted with shortages of safe blood and often electricity. If he’d availed himself of Canada’s socialized health care, he, he’d find himself waiting for cardiac surgery. Even as an ordinary fellow in Western Europe, he would have been transported to a state-run facility without specialists available to treat his emergency condition. The outcome for him there probably would have been as grim as he would have experienced in Cuba.
The rest of the world just can’t compare to the United States for medical care, particularly when it comes to treatment for heart attacks and other cardiac procedures. Ironically, Sanders was saved by the very health care system he despises. In fact, he wishes to dismantle it and replace it through his socialist “Medicare for All” scheme.
It’s also well worth noting that Sanders is very wealthy and has the means to pay cash for just about any medical procedure that he desires anywhere in the world.
The difference for Corey Spangler, like so many Americans, is that she has limited financial resources. She cannot afford to pay for the private, fee-for-service health care that’s available to Bernie Sanders and his affluent socialist devotees of Medicare for All.
When she was just five years old, Spangler emigrated with her family from Mexico to the United States to escape political corruption and, notably, socialized medicine. A member of the Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC), Spangler was recently invited to share the stage with President Trump during his signing of an executive order designed to strengthen Medicare at The Villages, Florida.
Spangler related how she recently experienced heart issues and after failing a stress test and having an unsuccessful heart catherization, it was revealed that she needed heart bypass surgery. Just days after her diagnosis, she underwent a successful quintuple bypass procedure. Spangler said that she had opted to receive her care through the public-private partnership known as Medicare Advantage, (sometimes referred to as “Part C” or “MA Plans”), which, she said, allowed her to choose her doctor to get the care that she needed when she needed it.
Ms. Spangler’s experience with her Medicare Advantage plan is one that is shared among millions of beneficiaries who chose to have their benefits delivered through this program that has elements of free market competition. Indeed, 24 million Americans are forecast to choose Medicare Advantage plans during this year’s annual enrollment period. However, this MA Plan option would be blown up if Sanders and other Democrat presidential hopefuls are successful in implementing Medicare for All.
Corey Spangler’s outcome under a Medicare for All scenario, on the other hand, would likely not have been so rosy. She would have had no choice, no competition and no timely medical procedures. And probably no success story for her to share. If implemented, Medicare for All could very well end up being Medicare for None.
Andrew J. Mangione Jr is Vice President of the 2 million-member Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC).