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

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Medicare for All

The majority of all Democrats and the entire left-wing of the party (which is now a significant percent of the majority) have decided to take a little time out from demonizing Donald Trump's attempt to improve border security and reform our broken immigration system. After all, the tens of thousands of illegal immigrants who enter our country monthly have an "absolute right" to health care, and what better way to provide it to them than a single payer system?

In addition to bankrupting the country while providing ineffective and wasteful services (that is, after all, what big government does), the single payer medical system envisioned by the Dems would have a number of unintended but quite predictable negative consequences, including but not limited to longer wait times by a system that is overwhelmed by demand and under-compensated by fiat. It appears that at least a few Dems actually understand this, but it doesn't matter. Big government in our lives is their goal, so ...

James Freeman writes:
After dismissing for years the idea that Democrats’ health care plans would lead to a government takeover, new House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth on Tuesday asked Congress’ top economist to sketch out the options for a government takeover. The Kentucky Democrat also implicitly sketched out the political game plan: enact socialized medicine before patients and taxpayers understand what they’ll be losing.

In a remarkable document that assumes short political memories, longtime ObamaCare cheerleader Mr. Yarmuth acknowledges that the coverage and cost control promised by Affordable Care Act backers never materialized. Mr. Yarmuth admits that many Americans are still uninsured and still “struggle to afford their health care costs.” Rather than exploring ways to allow more market competition in a health care financing system long dominated by Washington policy, Mr. Yarmuth instead asks in a Tuesday letter to Congressional Budget Office director Keith Hall how Washington can control all of the financing. Specifically, Mr. Yarmuth asks for a report on the “design considerations that policymakers would confront in developing proposals to establish a single-payer system in the United States.”

At a 2013 congressional hearing Mr. Yarmuth crowed that ObamaCare “is putting customers back in charge of their health care.” It was a cruel joke for patients who had their choices of plans and doctors taken away by the 2010 law. But now Mr. Yarmuth and his fellow Democrats aren’t even pretending anymore—they want Washington in charge.

In Tuesday’s letter Mr. Yarmuth asks for many details about how a government-run system might be structured and administered. But ironically—given that he is supposed to be overseeing the federal budget and his letter is addressed to an economist—Mr. Yarmuth makes it clear that he’s in no hurry to be informed on one particular aspect of such a system: price. Writes Mr. Yarmuth:
The report would not necessarily provide CBO’s estimate of the effects of any particular proposal for a single-payer system on federal spending or national health care spending but would, to the extent feasible, provide a qualitative assessment of how the choices with respect to major design issues would affect such spending.
Yes, for as long as possible Democrats would like to have a qualitative discussion in which they can talk about imagined benefits, rather than a quantitative discussion which can only result in historic taxpayer sticker shock.
Like most ideas that emanate from the Left, imagined benefits that are rarely, if ever achieved, always trump quantitative facts. In the magical utopian world of Leftists, big government is efficient, economical, and never, ever disposed to exert its control over those who must depend on it. There is never the possibility for fraud and abuse, and every employee is "essential". Big government bureaucrats never, ever strive for more and more budgetary money and they never, ever lie to benefit their growing fiefdoms. Regulations never, ever get in the way of small businesses. In fact, big government enhances personal freedoms. And all of those things are true, aren't they?

Aren't they?

Uh ... no.