Brookings Institution: FixGov- Dana Goldman: Why Bernie Sander’s Plan For Universal Health Care Is Only Half Right

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks during an event to introduce the "Medicare for All Act of 2017

Source: Brookings Institution

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

Actually, I believe Dana Goldman is being generous here and giving Senator Bernie Sanders too much credit here. I don’t believe Senator Sanders is even half right and is selling his supporters a Mercedes for the cost of a Ford Escort and telling them that he’ll get back to them as far as how much the Mercedes really cost later on. Leaving his supporters with hopes of buying a Mercedes with only the budget of an Escort.

The problem with a Mercedes health care plan is that is cost as much as a Mercedes. If you’re looking at a Mercedes SEL or sports car, you’re talking about eighty thousand dollars or more. If you’re a young public school teacher just starting out, you might only be able to afford the Ford Escort economy car. Luxury cars are expensive for most Americans and so are great health care plans. Even Senator Sanders is now acknowledging that his so-called free universal Medicare For All health care plan is not free.

Why? Because it would be run by government. Who funds government? The taxpayers that consume its services. How do taxpayers pay for government services? Through taxation and that includes from their annual income, as well as payroll taxes that comes out of their paychecks. Whether you’re new public school teacher making 25-30 thousand dollars a year, driving a Ford Escort or another economy car. Or corporate lawyer or crooked politician making 500 hundred thousand dollars a year driving a Mercedes SEL or perhaps a Jaguar, or another great luxury car. The Sanders’s Medicare For All plan comes with deep costs and they have no idea to pay for it.

And you would be talking about a Medicare For All budget assuming you’re completely eliminating all private health insurance companies, as well as Medicaid, Tri-Care, the Federal civil service health insurance program, and all state health insurance programs, you would be talking about an annual Medicare budget of over three-trillion-dollars, to go on top of the already four-trillion-dollar U.S. Government budget. There’s no free health care for anyone who pays taxes. Which means the Medicare For All supporters would have to come up with the finances to pay for it.

And if that is not depressing enough I only covered the costs of a Medicare For All plan and the fact that their supporters don’t have a damn clue how to pay for it. Other than saying, “well, if we can borrow trillions of dollars to pay for wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, we can do that to guarantee health care for everyone.” Which at best is a sophomoric answer. Which is like saying, “hey if Billy can skip cool and shoplift, how come I can’t and have to go to go to school everyday?.” Not exactly an example that you want to teach people.

But how about the other big problem dealing with completely eliminating competition in the health insurance system and completely putting the U.S. Government in charge of the health insurance for 320 million Americans. We’ve already seen the problem with the Veteran Affairs Administration when you put the one agency in charge of not just the health insurance for everyone, but their complete health care as well.

Which is military veterans not able to get needed health care because their hospitals are overcrowded or live hundreds of miles from the nearest VA hospital. Which is why Congress and the Obama Administration reformed the VA in 2014 and now veterans can get health care at private hospitals at least, leaving taxpayers to pick up the costs of their health care that these veterans have earned by serving their country.

The VA example is really the only example you need to know why government shouldn’t be in complete control of the health insurance for a country of 320 million people at least. Socialism is just not the answer here because government is no bureaucratic and moves so slowly with the executive not being able to reform themselves quickly and keep up with the times without the approval of Congress. And Congress which always has their eye on the next election and always keeping their eyes on their donors and making sure they’re pleasing them and only being able to move when it helps them politically.

The U.S. Government doesn’t respond to competition because it doesn’t have any in America. In theory they can do whatever they want and don’t even have to meet a budget. Private organizations obviously don’t have have that luxury and have to stay within their budgets and be able to adapt and deliver the best and most affordable services that they can. Or they’ll lose to the competition. Which is why you want competition in the health insurance market and you want to keep that market and if anything expand that market and give people other options to pay for their health insurance.

Like Medicare option and not just having Medicare for our oldest and unhealthiest Americans. That could be run by the states and not adding to the Federal budget. As well as health savings accounts including for low-income workers which would add even more competition to the health insurance market.

So, other than the costs of a Medicare For All plan other than their supporters seeming to believe that we can borrow three-trillion-dollars a years and put it on the national debt, which would actually be more expensive than what we borrowed for Afghanistan and Iraq, at least annually. Or than having rich people not only fund their own health care and health insurance, but forcing them to pay for everyone else’s even for people who can afford health insurance and health care and that the U.S. Government would be in complete control of everyone’s health insurance in a country of three-hundred and twenty-million people, without the money to pay for it other than deep borrowing and expecting wealthy people to cover the other costs and forgetting that rich people can simply escape taxes by moving their money to other countries, you might actually have to like the Sanders’s Medicare For All Plan. At least the idealistic romance novel side of it. Free health care for everyone. Who would be against that. But again, so such thing as a free lunch for people who buy that food. No such thing as free health care for people who consume that health care.

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Source: TYT

The Young Turks: Ana Kasparian, Jimmy Dore & Ron Placone

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About Erik Schneider

Full-time blogger on a multiple ray of topics and subjects, because of multiple interests.
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