We knew this was coming -- both generally, and specifically. And now here it is. A substantial group of Democrats, led by Socialist Bernie Sanders, have introduced a single-payer healthcare bill that would eliminate American private healthcare over the next four years. Some private plans would remain as supplemental options, but all current arrangements would be canceled and replaced with a one-size-fits-all, government-run regime. Pay-fors are undetermined and unaddressed in the legislation, but the price tag is expected to be north of $30 trillion over the first decade.
The proposal would necessitate enormous tax hikes on middle class and working class families, a truth that even DNC Chairman Tom Perez admitted as recently as last year. Even if we ignore the "astonishing" fiscal flaws with the plan (Cc: hard-left Democrats in California and Vermont), government-run healthcare often results in bureaucratic rationing, long wait lists for care, worse health outcomes, diminished accountability, and far less medical innovation. It's a terrible, unworkable idea. The government does not need more control over our lives. Anticipating today's Sanders announcement, the RNC is out with a web ad highlighting some failures of socialized healthcare systems across the globe -- taking particular aim at Britain's scandal-plagued NHS (where government pencil-pushers operate as care-thwarting, micro-managing demigods):
They promise a system that covers everyone and is cheaper, simpler and less profit-oriented. But the details matter. While it is true, as advocates often mention, that much of the world has some form of universal health care, there is wide variation in how those systems work. Nearly any single-payer plan would require substantial disruptions in the current health care system, upending the insurance arrangements of the 156 million Americans who get their coverage from work, changing the way doctors, hospitals and drug companies are paid, and shifting more health care spending onto the government ledger. Such a proposal would reshuffle the winners and losers in our current system.
Keep in mind that the folks making bold assertions about a totally overhauled system are the very same people who lied repeatedly and brazenly about Obamacare. They had a giant bite at the healthcare reform apple in 2010 and produced a lie-filled legislative Frankenstein. Now they're coming back just a few years later, reaching for your wallets and healthcare plans, demanding the entire apple. AHIP, which represents the health insurance industry (and created headaches for the GOP during its recent Obamacare repeal push) has come out hard against single-payer:
Health care costs have been a financial anchor for too many families for too long. Everyone – including doctors, health plans, patients, and government – must come together to find solutions that deliver real results...Let’s build on proven solutions that work – not theoretical, one-sized-fits-all approaches that don’t. Proven solutions like value-based care; new tools, technology, and treatments driven by data; social services that coordinate around patients; market competition that drives down costs; community partnerships between the private sector and public programs; and more effective approaches to treat chronic illnesses. Today we’re seeing more support for private market solutions, not less...The most effective way to ensure affordable care and coverage is to strengthen the private market’s ability to serve the American people, whether it’s building upon private plans serving nearly 180 million people who get their coverage through their employer or the tens of millions who depend on private plans that partner with public programs. Whether it’s called single-payer or Medicare For All, government-controlled health care cannot work. It will eliminate choice, undermine quality, put a chill on medical innovation, and place an even heavier burden on hardworking taxpayers.
I'll leave you with this -- although public opinion has taken a pro-single-payer turn in recent years, once counter-arguments enter the fray, support drops considerably:
When you start to point out elementary criticisms of single-payer healthcare, public support drops dramatically: pic.twitter.com/nZdG02x7rp— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) September 13, 2017
I wonder how "156 million Americans will lose their existing plans and be forced into a government system" would play.
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