I can hardly believe that I feel the need to tackle this hot potato again, but with the ever-increasing push for “Medicare For All” by the Democrats and the acquiescence of some Republicans, I must. I pray that everyone who needs medical care or health care of any kind will be able to secure it and receive the best possible treatment. However, I do not believe that health care is a right but a privilege. Driving is not a right, it is a privilege, but many seem to believe it is their right to drive. Owning a home is not a right, but a privilege providing one can afford the down payment and monthly mortgage payments as well as the upkeep of that property. Having a job is not a right, it is a privilege and should hinge upon the productivity of the individual whether they keep that job. Having a Big Screen television is not a right, it is a privilege, providing you can afford it.
It sounds compassionate and humane to insist that everyone has the basic right to health care. I want everyone to have access to medical doctors, hospitals, clinics, and health care. I want no one to suffer and die because of a lack of insurance or money to pay for their care. There are avenues through which people without insurance can get care. There are benevolence organizations, churches, foundations, and funds that provide that opportunity to many. Hospitals are not legally allowed to turn away the uninsured.
If a person goes to the Emergency Room the ERs are mandated, by law, to examine the patient and determine if they have a serious condition. If the ER doctor determines a person has an emergent condition, that person will be given the necessary treatment or stabilized. If no emergency exists, the person will be referred to a physician or community resource for further evaluation. If you don’t have insurance, understand that emergency rooms (ERs) have a federal directive under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) to screen and stabilize patients to determine if the problem is a medical emergency, regardless of their ability to pay. That’s the Law!
Bernie Sanders and the Democrats are insisting that we recognize health care as a right, not a privilege. They are wrong! He and they insist that every man, woman, and child in our country should be able to access the health care they need regardless of their income. I don’t disagree that everyone should have access but to insist as they that the only long-term solution to America’s health care crisis is a single-payer national care program is wrong! That would both bankrupt the country and would essentially destroy our health care system. It sounds compassionate and humane but where does it end? Are we to also guarantee that everyone lives in a nice house, drive a nice car, and receive a college education?
Economics cannot be eliminated from this equation and unfortunately the attitude of many like Senator Sanders and as was stated by Robert Francis O’Rourke, in Texas, “consider the benefit, not the costs.” WHAT? Are we to abandon reason if it appears to provide benefit? Are we to forget the reality that if the nation cannot sustain this program it will damage the benefit for EVERYONE? Are we to forget the reality that any national health care program would result in longer lines for care, waiting periods for treatment, and denied care in many cases. Is that what we want?
My wife and I are fighting a battle for her health. She is battling Stage Four Metastatic Breast Cancer and we have encountered denials in treatments and medications because of insurance coverages. What insurance do we have? We have Medicare or Government Insurance. When she had private insurance, we did not experience the same denials or delays as we now face. Had her insurance been truly portable we could have maintained it. Had there been, as Republicans have suggested, marketplace competition we could have purchased that insurance as a continuation at a cost slightly higher than our Medicare and Supplemental insurance, but we could not. When I examine the States and Countries that have moved to this type of plan I see its dangers and detriments.
Vermont passed a single-payer plan only to have the governor decline to implement it because it would cost more than the entire state budget and drive businesses to neighboring states. That would have crippled the State and benefited no one. Colorado also tried a version of single-payer health insurance and voters rejected it because of the astronomical costs it brought to the table. The Bernie plan according to Mercatus Center, a George Mason University research institute reported that the Bernie Plan would cost $32.6 TRILLION in the first ten years or about $3.3 TRILLION per year and the entire federal budget is $4.1 TRILLION. We would virtually double the yearly budget of the nation. THAT IS NOT SUSTAINABLE!
If you remember when Medicare was instituted in 1965 the projected cost in 1990 was to be $12 BILLION but the actual price tag was $90 BILLION. I’m quite sure that the Democrat Plan of Medicare for All would follow the same escalation of actual cost and if it was proportional to that failed estimate we would quadruple the national budget each year. How long could we last? The Democrat plan includes illegals as well as citizens and how many would we find sneaking across the border for health care? How many physicians would be willing to work for half their previous rates? How many new doctors would enter the field of medicine? I can promise you there would become a severe shortage. Rationing would become a reality and then everyone would cry foul and both sides would blame the other.
In Canada, the average wait time for a referral from a general practitioner to a specialist is 21 weeks or over 5 months. How would you like to be the person with failing kidneys and realize that by the time you are evaluated by a specialist you may be dead? What would be the incentive for those evil Big Drug Companies to research new drugs if they know they will not recoup their investments and cannot expect to make that evil profit. Yes, I hate what they do in price gouging, but I love the fact that they are finding new and better drugs.
Imagine the damage to Medicare patients. I argue that Medicare is not an entitlement like Medicaid or Food Stamps. Seniors have paid into the program for decades in the form of the Medicare Tax. With the Democrat Plan, they would be lumped into a system with those who have paid nothing. We paid for the system and in their plan, everyone would use it at our expense. Republicans are not trying to deny care to anyone but to protect everyone from the destruction of the Venezuelan America Plan of Bernie Sanders and the Leftists.
Just because something looks good on paper and in theory does not mean it is workable. Socialism has failed every time it has been tried. What would make us think this new approach will work any better?
God bless you and God bless America!