The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Universal Healthcare

Bernie Sanders is about to push his current version of universal healthcare. Sander's utopian dream of "free" healthcare for all, supported by significant tax increases on businesses, including small businesses, and on 47 percent of the adult population who do pay income taxes. The menagerie of early Democrat hopefuls for the 2020 presidential election have jumped on board, endorsing Bernie's plan.

Over the coming weeks, I'm certain we'll hear promises about keeping your doctor, improved health care, lower costs, fewer waits, blah, blah, and blah. Oh, wait! Those were the same "promises" that were offered by the previous administration when they sold Obamacare to a gullible public. The promises were lies, just as future claims about universal healthcare will also be purposeful lies.

Those of us who in 2010 warned that Obamacare would be a disaster, have been proved correct. It is a failing program, with rapidly escalating premium costs and reduced options for those who must use it.

I just hope this isn't a case of deja vu, where Democrat lies and posturing result in a system of healthcare that will provide bad care, longer waits, rationed coverage, less medical innovation, fewer new life-saving drugs, high costs to the taxpayer initially, shortages of both doctors and other healthcare professionals, with stratospheric costs longer term that just might bankrupt us all.

Sen. John Barrasso M.D. offers a little reality from the point of view of an actual physician, not a left wing politician:
Supporters of putting the federal government in charge of personal health care decisions often cite the United Kingdom as their model. Democrats in the U.S. are pushing this idea at the same time many in the U.K. see their system of nationalized health care entering an ObamaCare-like death spiral.

The number of patients [in the UK] left waiting 12 hours or more for emergency care has spiked this year. There has also been a jump in the number of people [in the UK] waiting 18 weeks or longer to start treatment for long-term conditions.

Democrats would import these wait times to American health care. Everyone will get to experience the kind of delays at the heart of the VA hospital scandal a few years ago.

Some patients will never get the care they need. When Washington pays all the bills, it will soon decide to exert tighter control over everybody’s care.

In Britain, the rationing of health care has meant prohibiting certain medications and limits on surgery for things like cataracts and knee and hip operations. Some medical boards have banned routine surgeries for patients who are obese or smokers.

The British have found rationing necessary partly because of the exorbitant cost of “free” medical care. Another reason is the shortage of professionals to provide this care. The number of general practitioners has fallen, and four out of 10 say they are unlikely to be practicing in five years. Just since March 2016 there’s been a drop of 5,000 nurses and midwives across the British health care system.

Many cite disillusionment with the quality of care provided to patients. It’s a legitimate concern. The U.K. ranks 20th out of 24 western countries for breast cancer survival. The U.S. is first. For ischemic stroke the U.K. is 25th out of 30 countries. The U.S. is fourth.

If that’s the kind of quality care Democrats are planning, they should know that it won’t come cheap. Democrats in the California state senate passed their own version of “single-payer” earlier this year. The plan was estimated to cost about $400 billion per year – more than double the entire state budget.
The GOP shares the blame for the coming debacle as Dems jettison reality and push the dream of universal healthcare. The GOP's inability to craft a reasonable repeal and replace for Obamacare has provided an opening for the far left (meaning the vast majority of all Dems in Congress) to demagogue this issue. If you think Obamacare was a failure, just wait until your healthcare is turned over to the same people who currently run the VA.