There is a saying that goes, “If at first, you don’t succeed try, try again.” But it shouldn’t necessarily apply to our healthcare system, especially after Obamacare’s massive shortcomings.
And yet, a top Democrat wants to double- and triple-down on that epic fail by proposing aÂ complete government takeover ofÂ all healthcare via a “Medicare-for-all” scheme that will not only be unaffordably expensive, it will spell the end of the American healthcare system as a high-end commodity.
AsÂ The Washington ExaminerÂ reports:
House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth, D-Ky.,Â has askedÂ the Congressional Budget Office to analyze the effects of shifting all healthcare costs onto the federal government, a first step toward the “Medicare for all” legislation sought by progressives.
“Members of Congress developing proposals seeking to establish a single-payer system will face many important decisions that could have major implications for federal spending, national healthcare spending, and access to care,” Yarmuth said in a letter to Keith Hall, the director of the CBO.
While Yarmuth did not ask the CBO to analyze a specific bill, we all know where this is headed: 100 percent government-run healthcare.
As Democrats continue refusing to give POTUS Donald Trump a paltry amount of funding for a physical border barrier, thus keeping a sizeable portion of the government closed, let this sink in: What happens if Medicare-for-all becomes a reality someday and Democrats get into a pissing match with a future GOP president, causing a government shutdown that affects, say, the Department of Health and Human Services? Can you imagine what would happen ifÂ all healthcare services ground to a halt because there was no funding?
Sounds fantastical, but is it?
And there are other things to consider as well beyond just the trillions of dollars it would take to fund this monstrosity.
First of all, regardless of how much revenue Medicare-for-all would require, it will never be enough. There will only be so many services, so many employees, so many procedures, and so many operations funded in any given year. That will mean government bureaucrats and lawmakers will set rules for care; if you don’t ‘qualify,’ you won’t get the care you want. Once ‘government’ pays for everything, looking for rationing next.
Secondly, if you think it’s tough getting in to see your doctor or dentist now, it’s only going to get worse. Wait times at VA clinics, which are completely government-run and funded, are horrendous in many parts of the country as it is. When Uncle Sam takes it all over, the wait times will only get longer.
Canada provides us with an example. Writing inÂ McClean’sÂ in December 2017,Â Bacchus Barua, associate director of the Fraser Instituteâ€™s Centre for Health Policy Studies, noted:
We finally did it last year. In 2016, we hit the 20-week mark for the average wait time for treatment by a specialist (across 12 medical specialties) after referral from a general practitioner. Canadaâ€™s national shame had reached a record high of 20 weeks, a far cry from the 9.3-week wait measured by the Fraser Instituteâ€™s annual survey in 1993.
One would have thought, nay, hoped, that this milestone would have served as a wake-up call to rally politicians and policymakers to improve the dismal situation faced by patients in our country. And yet, this yearâ€™s survey finds that wait times have gotten even worse. At 21.2 weeks, between referral from a GP to receipt of treatment, patients waited longer than ever for treatment in 2017.
Did you catch that this problem has only been growingÂ worse over the years, not better? And it’s not as though Canadian politicians don’t know what’s going on; they simply don’t care enough to fix it. Our politicians would adopt that attitude as well, or at least, enough of them prevent any real reform. Remember when, in POTUS Trump’s first year in office, he couldn’t get enough Republicans to sign onto repealing Obamacare? Members of his own party?
As for funding, there will never be enough to satisfy the needs or wants of our people.Â The Wall Street Journal reported last year:
Seventy years after its foundation, Britainâ€™s beloved National Health Service, which delivers free care for all,Â is in trouble. Hospitals were so overcrowded last month that a record 24% of patients waited for more than four hours in emergency rooms to receive medical attention, the worst monthly showing since the service began tracking that metric in 2010. Thousands of operations have been delayed or suspended, patients are being left to recover from major operations in hospital corridors, and the system is struggling with a severe shortage of doctors and nurses.
Opposition politicians are calling for the Conservative government of Theresa May to pour in more money, with many saying the system is a victim of unnecessary austerity. But policy makers say the solution requires more than just additional funds: Public-health spending in the U.K. is already at its highest level in history, at 7.4% of gross domestic product last year compared with 4.7% two decades ago. Focusing on the systemâ€™s short-term financial survival, a parliamentary committee determined last month, raises the risk that the government will ignore deep-seated structural issues that pose a graver threat.
â€œThe National Health Service continues to scrape by on emergency handouts and funds that were intended for essential investment,â€ said Meg Hillier, a Labour lawmaker on the committee.
None of the problems — in Canada or in the UK — are new. They are inherent in a government-run system that stifles ingenuity, creativity, and, more importantly, the motivation to deliver a better product. You read that in Britain the NHS can’t even retain enough doctors and nurses; do you wonder why? People who are chronically overworked, underpaid, and short-staffed get burned out and leave.
Worse, in the UK, the healthcare system is so ingrained into the national psyche by now that it’s literally impossible to get rid of or change.
Is this the kind of healthcare system we should want in the U.S.? Of course not. But that’s the system Democrats want to give us.
And of course, that’s been the plan all along. In 2013 when he was still Senate majority leader, Democrat Harry Reid of Nevada was asked if Obamacare was simply a mechanism to get to full-on government-run healthcare. He said,Â â€œYes, yes. Absolutely, yes.â€
â€œWhat weâ€™ve done with Obamacare is have a step in the right direction, but weâ€™re far from having something thatâ€™s going to work forever,â€ Reid said.
Obamacare was designed to fail and it is failing. Rep. Yarmuth is merely following a pre-determined script. Democrats want to turn the healthcare system for 320 million people into one that doesn’t work for 37.2 million people (Canada) or 66 million (the UK).
That’s insane. But when your political party is all about controlling people instead of guaranteeing them the freedom to choose what’s best for them, it’s precisely the kind of policy you come up with.
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