“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts”- Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY).
President Trump has weighed in on the matter of the socialized healthcare plan proposed by Sen. Bernie Sanders in an opinion piece, which ran in USA Today on October 10. This not only produced outrage from the Democrats, but provoked the Washington Post to examine the president’s text and analyze every paragraph. They concluded that nearly every line contained false or misleading statements.
However, just because WaPo says the opinion piece is a lie, doesn’t make it so. They claim that they are doing a public service by revealing the “facts”, but it is necessary to expose how wrong and misleading the “fact” checkers are.
The president correctly states that Sanders’ Medicare for All (M4A) is a government run single payer system. It is socialized healthcare. This plan is becoming part of the mainstream Democratic message, with 16 co-sponsors including leading 2020 presidential candidates. The House version of this bill has 136 sponsors, including lead sponsor Keith Ellison, who is the Vice Chair of the DNC, making it an almost certainty that it will become part of the Democratic National Platform.
He goes on to explain that the senior healthcare program- Medicare- would be terminated and rolled into a single system. All other private medical insurance would be outlawed, making the government the sole entity controlling healthcare.
The “fact checkers” blast the president as being an alarmist for explaining that seniors would lose access to their doctors and that care would be rationed if not denied altogether under this plan. They maintain that the M4A plan would improve benefits for seniors. We know from Obamacare how well these promises from the government are kept: “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.”
These “fact checkers” erroneously criticize the president for claiming that care will be denied to seniors pointing out that other countries appear to manage single payer systems quite well and at a lower cost than in the United States. If these checkers did their homework, they would know that the only way to keep costs down in these systems is to ration care. There are now over 5 million people in Great Britain who are stuck on waiting lists in their National Health Service (NHS) awaiting surgery. The “checkers” would also discover that an integral part of the NHS is the National Institute for Health & Care Excellence (NICE).
NICE is a rationing board that uses a tool called Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALYs) to determine if they will approve certain treatments. This board determines if a treatment will extend life or the quality of life and if the cost is below a certain threshold per year of life (£25,000 on average), the treatment will be approved. So for example, if a cancer treatment costs $100,000 but will extend a patient’s life by just 2 years, this rationing board will deny treatment. It gets even worse when it comes to procedures common to seniors such as joint replacement surgery. A cane or pain medication is a more cost effective solution in this socialized healthcare system.
When the fact checkers become incredulous that other countries can run a socialized health care system, but not the US, they lose sight of the fact that our country is over 5 times the size of Great Britain and almost 10 times that of Canada (where they too have socialized healthcare). In addition, our population is far more heterogeneous than Great Britain, making the types of problems seen by American doctors more numerous and more diverse. A “one size fits all” solution is far more difficult in the United States.
Almost all of the countries in the world that have socialized health care systems are finding that they cannot meet the needs of their citizens and are exploring other solutions. The Democrats, who have been overrun by progressives, are paradoxically embracing this flawed system. President Trump is right to oppose socialized healthcare.