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Gershon's 'Medicare for All' Plan Steals More Than Just Your Pocketbook

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

At least a mugger only demands your money or your life. Perry Gershon wants to take both.

In his bid to win New York's 1st Congressional District this November, Gershon has made a big deal out of healthcare reform, calling for Uncle Sam to take control of all medical care in our country. 

“We need Medicare for All,” the big-government Democrat Gershon tweeted in June. “Healthcare is a right, not a privilege. Single payer healthcare is the only true and cost-effective universal coverage. Let’s fix the ACA and then implement Medicare for All.”

But how would Gershon’s fanciful plan work out in reality? 

Healthcare, after all, is a scarce resource that depends on an enormous number of workers -- from doctors and nurses to the truck drivers who deliver medical supplies — all of whom need to be paid. Unable to cope with this basic limitation, a “Medicare for All” scheme in our country will only mirror the horrific conditions of similar healthcare systems all around the globe. 

The more those resources are strained, the more quality of care will suffer, causing longer wait lines for every American patient who needs even the most basic form of treatment. 

That’s not an exaggeration — it’s a daily reality for people who live in countries like the United Kingdom.

“At some emergency wards, patients wait more than 12 hours before they are tended to,” the New York Times reported earlier this year in an article about the UK’s “overwhelmed” National Health System.

“Corridors are jammed with beds carrying frail and elderly patients waiting to be admitted to hospital wards,” the report continued. “Outpatient appointments were canceled to free up staff members, and by Wednesday morning hospitals had been ordered to postpone nonurgent surgeries until the end of the month.”

Is this what you call a right to healthcare, Mr. Gershon? It sounds more like the right to give up a workday and hang around in an overcrowded waiting room until a nurse has time to come out and inform you that you’re not sick enough to get treatment today.

Let’s hear more about that “cost-effective” part of the deal, though. With all that rationing, it would have to be cheap, right? Indeed, our Democrat friends assure us that “Medicare for All” would be free for average Americans.

That’s a 32.6 trillion dollar lie.

“Medicare for All” won’t just decrease the quality of our healthcare system -- it will bankrupt our society.

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University in Virginia recently estimated that the plan would cost American taxpayers $32.6 trillion over 10 years. Even doubling income and corporate tax receipts wouldn’t be enough to cover the massive new spending the plan would entail.

"Even though people don't pay premiums, the tax increases are going to be enormous,” explained Kenneth Thorpe, a health policy professor at Emory University and a former health policy adviser in the Clinton administration. “There are going to be a lot of people who'll pay more in taxes than they save on premiums."

Is that what Gershon considers a “cost-effective” approach?

A single-payer healthcare system, it turns out, isn’t really free and it isn’t really healthcare. If Democrats like Gershon get their way, we’ll all pay.

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