Bernie Sanders believes that access to healthcare is a right – and he’s willing to blow up any semblance of individual choice you enjoy in this arena (along with the economy) – to pursue this ideological fantasy.
You have to give the man credit for one thing – he’s honest about his extreme, radical, and frankly dangerous intentions: He’s calling for a $28 trillion federal takeover of your healthcare.
Unlike President Obama, who famously said, “if you like your plan you can keep it” under Obamacare (the joke was on us) Sanders is explicit: He will ban private insurance. You will not be able to pay a doctor directly for his or her services.
This is the intellectual equivalent of the government declaring that food is a right and nationalizing grocery stores. Your taste preferences? Desire to shop at Wal-Mart versus Whole Foods?
They’re subordinate to the Greater Good, comrade!
Health care policy analyst Avik Roy recently laid out the trouble with Bernie’s inaccurately named “Medicare For All” plan, not least of which is that it’s likely to increase the deficit by an eye-popping $19 trillion.
“The plan would effectively abolish the private health insurance industry, including companies like UnitedHealth Group, Aetna, and Anthem. It would charge the government with designing and administering a universal, comprehensive insurance product that would cover ‘the entire continuum of health care, from inpatient to outpatient care; preventive to emergency care; primary care to specialty care, including long-term and palliative care; vision, hearing and oral health care; mental health and substance abuse services; as well as prescription medications, medical equipment, supplies, diagnostics and treatments.’”
There’s no pretense here about you being able to keep your plan or your doctor: You will quite literally be forced into whatever scheme government bureaucrats see fit – including the possibility of being forced to forego treatment because some government official deemed your preferred method of care “medically unnecessary.”
And naturally, this attack on your liberty comes with a hefty price tag, paid primarily by, you guessed it, the middle class! So much for Bernie’s fist shaking rants about millionaires and billionaires: You could tax them at 100 percent and it would fund the government for less than half a year (ignoring the economic fallout and resulting loss of additional tax revenue, of course).
Keep in mind that this doesn’t count existing state and local tax burdens. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the price of “free” health care, college, [insert utopian fantasy of your choice here]. You give, in some cases the majority of your earnings to the government, all for them to restrict your access to a market otherwise filled with endless options.
“Ideologically, Sanders is completely wrong. People do not have a morally justifiable reason for using government to force others to pay for their health care. And if they already pay for their medical care through taxes, they have a right to opt for purchasing medical care on a free market instead. Doctors likewise have a moral right to sell their very important services on a free market. Their skills, minds, bodies, and years of specialized training do not belong to the government; they belong to doctors themselves. Patients should want it this way, because doctors sovereign over their own destinies are also the most self-responsible and capable.”
Sanders’ health care plan is a disaster, morally and economically. The good news is, as even Hillary Clinton has pointed out, that the American people don’t support this nonsense.
Outlawing private insurance is about as feasible as outlawing private schools. The task before us now, as Avik Roy pointed out, is to fight for free market reforms that make healthcare more affordable and put individuals in control of our own medical choices.