Article by Jacob Burke.
HEALTHCARE — “We spend one and a half times more per person on health care than any other country, but we aren’t any healthier for it.”
That’s what former U.S. President Barrack Obama said in a healthcare speech on Capitol Hill in 2009. Obama’s healthcare bill was a pinnacle of his platform to many of his voters; those with strong feelings and good intentions; those who cared about the uninsured, and wanted to guarantee services of healthcare to all… especially the sick!
Obamacare’s premise, however, was not particularly new. When President Obama rolled out his healthcare bill in 2009, America had already seen similar subsidization plans for the healthcare industry in previous presidencies. Most notoriously in the four terms of FDR’s Administration, pending a recovery from the Great Depression in the thirties. The Wagner National Health Act of 1939 made FDR a cornerstone for the Democrats’ efforts to designate healthcare services as a governmental function in American society. “[The Wagner Act], which gave general support for a national health program to be funded by federal grants to states and administered by states and localities,” says an article by the Physicians for a National Health Program (P.N.H.P) website.
FDR’s sentiment became more familiar with the streamlining of his New Deal policies. Opponents of his fiscal policies often referred to his various government works programs as “alphabet soup”.
Since the Roosevelt Presidency, numerous political figures have tried to ascend to and claim the White House on the basis that government healthcare would be fixed. The problem being that government healthcare simply can’t be fixed.
Many Socialist voters and their Liberal allies who vote in favor of men like Barrack Obama and Bernie Sanders, whose platforms largely highlight the “importance” of government healthcare, have a hefty-if-nothing-else interest in taxing the wealthy to pay for the programs and using it as a grander part of the plan.
As Bernie Sanders said in one of the Democratic primary debates, “What all of the studies indicate is that payment under a Medicare-for-all single-payer system will be significantly less than what middle class families today are paying for health insurance.”
Bernie often makes the mistake of citing countries in Scandinavia. One of his favorites is Denmark. So let’s discuss the plausibility of a Denmark-like United States. It is first and foremost important to compare population sizes between the two countries. Denmark is home to about 6 million or so citizens. The United States shelters roughly 318 million more citizens than Denmark. While Denmark is approximately 43,094 square kilometers, the U.S is 228 times bigger at approximately 9.8 million square kilometers. That alone will indicate that the U.S footing a universal healthcare bill would be astronomically more expensive than Denmark doing so.
Of course the healthcare scheme would also require a massive debt to be taken up by the American people. More specifically, a debt twice the current amount. A plethora of sources (more than the ones I’ll name at the moment) had gone through Bernie’s platform and campaign promises during the primary season of the election to diagnose the credibility of his ideas. The Wall Street Journal estimated that Bernie’s plans would cost roughly $18 trillion to pay off. The price is hefty when all programs are accounted for, but isolating his single-payer healthcare proposal wouldn’t be much better.
Bernie Sanders’ healthcare plan would be a cost of $17 trillion in taxpayer funding, says the Washington Post. “His programs would cost the federal government about $33 trillion over that period, almost all of which would go toward Sanders’s proposed system of national health insurance.”
Now considering this alone, it should be enough of a reason that we cannot afford to move to a universal healthcare plan in the states. But if we were to approach the question from another angle — that of quality — it would not benefit the Socialist agenda much better.
John O’Shea of The Heritage Foundation Medical Policy staff wrote an article describing the true cost of American medicaid. Summarized in one snippet of text, his analysis of government efforts to expand medicaid programs discusses the bogged-down quality subsidized healthcare would bring with it. “A much better option would be to mainstream low-income families into the private health insurance markets, enabling them to secure the kind of coverage that best meets their personal needs,” O’Shea said. The private market has been notorious to suit the needs of the consumer based on their demand, and based on the resources available to private insurance companies. In the face of subsidization, private markets have struggled with profit and with incentives, and their goods and services have been spiking in cost.
In contrast, public sector growth in the medical industry has catastrophically low quality. In the nation of Canada this is especially true. There are many pitfalls to the subsidized healthcare industry in Canada. For in an in-depth review of it, Candice Malcolm’s National Review article is brilliant! Howard Anglin, a guest writer for the Toronto Sun, wrote a great piece describing the similarities between the healthcare system of Canada, and the repressive and restrictive system in China.
Anglin says in his article, “The reason is that our system produces among the very worst patient wait times, is not cheaper than most other countries, and does not even perform well when it comes to access and quality of health care based on income, the one area in which a state monopoly that should, in theory, excel.”
Of course, many Liberals will advocate that healthcare programs that are nationalized are far more efficient than the United States’. Wait times, however, are a notorious symptom of subsidized healthcare. The Hill has an article about three separate cases where patients died in the process of waiting for their doctors. Even Bernie Sanders talked a lot on the campaign trail about the tragedy of sick people not being able to get to a doctor on time, because it’s a shocking reality in the wake of poor public sector performance.
Even in more extreme cases of universal healthcare, like Venezuela, it only seems that true suffering of the citizenry is guaranteed when government ensnares the healthcare plan in its vice. Chaotic riots have broken loose in Venezuelan hospitals — similar to in super markets — as deprived citizens act out against their negligent government. One particular riot resulted in an evacuation after authorities had to use tear gas on the premises.
Venezuela’s healthcare crisis also encompasses long waiting lines and neglected patients. Hospitals are falling apart and sick infants are not being taken care of: resulting in an increase in infant mortality rate.
What is the overall point behind all of this? It’s very simple. America’s healthcare problem will not be solved by Obamacare or Obamacare “lite”. It will not be solved by government involvement or complicated Congressional bills. The healthcare system would instead best be served by a policy that respects the free enterprise system, the free market, and the states’ rights to dictate their own degree of coverage. Federal programs in America and abroad produce results that cripple the ill and bring damage to communities.
The “Healthcare Horror” will be solved by the Invisible Hand, and by Capitalism.