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

Wednesday, October 24, 2018


When the Democrats controlled every branch of government at the beginning of the Obama administration, we were told that healthcare in the United States was a mess and that the answer was the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare). We were told that medical costs would go down (they didn’t), that you would certainly be able to keep your doctor (you couldn’t), that health insurance would once again be affordable (it wasn’t), and that the cost to the taxpayers would be manageable (they weren’t). The Democrats' health care plan began to collapse almost immediately, requiring politically motivated delays and on-the-fly modifications.

As we approach the 2018 mid-terms and begin the long slog toward the 2020 presidential elections, the leading democratic socialists are again telling us that the solution to the healthcare mess is "BernieCare"—a universal healthcare program proposed by Bernie Sanders in which the government controls everything. The Democrats are currently avoiding calling this a “single player“ plan because it polls very poorly. The American public recognizes that government control of just about anything results and inefficient, costly, and ineffective results. So, the geniuses in the Democratic Party have decided to call it something that polls far better—“Medicare for All." The only problem is, it isn’t.

James Freeman dissects BernieCare and writes:
So the new Democratic strategy is not to say “single payer” even when they mean it. Mr. Sanders is offering what he calls “Medicare for All” even though his plan ends Medicare for everybody. It’s not a drafting error. USA Today notes that the phrase “Medicare for All” polls well and then adds:
But the surveys also show that support erodes when people hear the arguments that the plan could increase taxes or government control. And nearly half of adults surveyed last October falsely assumed they could keep their current insurance under a single-payer plan.

The notion that it’s popular is premised upon people knowing almost nothing about it,” said Matt Bennett, co-founder of the centrist Democratic think tank Third Way. “That’s a problem for a very complicated thing that would transform one-fifth of our entire economy.
It sure is a problem—one that many other Democrats would just as soon not explain until after Election Day.
Because Bernie Sanders and his many followers are unreconstructed socialists, they feel strongly that it is far better to have poor-to-mediocre, costly, and restrictive health coverage for everyone rather than having small percentage of people who remain uncovered. By the way those few people do have access to poor-to-mediocre healthcare, just no specific insurance. And if they qualify under income guidelines, they have access to Medicaid providing them with generally free health coverage. But never mind.

Let’s get back to the basic tenets of “Medicare for all." In reality, BernieCare eliminates Medicare and replaces it with something that is even more costly, less comprehensive, and significantly more restrictive. But hey! It is called “Medicare for All."

Under BernieCare and most of it’s variants,
  • You might like your current doctor, but there is no guarantee that you’ll be able to keep him or her.
  • You might like your existing insurance, but you will not be able to keep it.
  • You might like the ease with which you can access specialists or surgical services, but that access will change dramatically—and not in a good way.
  • You might think that if the program is really bad, you’ll be able to switch to a competitive health insurance program, but you won’t be able to.
  • And finally, you might think that some bureaucratic magic will result in lower costs, but you’d be catastrophically wrong. The Democrats themselves admit that the cost will be in the trillions of dollars, and that taxes will have to rise precipitously to cover those costs.
Freeman continues:
In a new paper, [the White House Council of Economic Advisers ] notes that in order to pay for BernieCare “with the same spending cuts across all existing Federal programs, these cuts would need to be 53 percent across the board in 2022. In other words, without additional taxes, all other programs of the Federal government would need to be cut by more than half.”

Beyond the enormous tax burden, the council also explored the impact on patient care. The paper notes the better survival rates after a cancer diagnosis for patients in the U.S. compared to various European countries often presented as models of more socialized medical systems.

The council also notes U.S. outperformance on longevity of older patients compared to many countries in the European Union. Now on Twitter, Mr. Sanders has the gall to pretend this amounts to an endorsement of his plan, as if BernieCare really does keep Medicare in place and simply stretches it to cover everyone in the country. In fact he imposes fewer choices and complete bureaucratic control on virtually all U.S. patients.

Embedded in the text of BernieCare is the one Sanders promise voters can be confident he will keep: if you like your health plan, you won’t get to keep it.
But hey ... what’s good for Venezuela has got to be good enough for us. Or maybe those of us who see a pending medical and financial disaster might take the lead from democratic activists and chant, “Hey hey, Ho ho, 'Medicare for All' is just for show!”