Single-payer health care is always a losing proposition
Sen. Bernie Sanders lectured “health care is a human right, not a privilege”— even as he unveiled a plan that would deny Americans the right to seek the best health care they can afford.
Sanders, the Vermont Independent running for the Democrat nomination for president, previewed his “Medicare for All” proposal Wednesday in Washington. Most Democrats vying against Sanders seem to agree with him that some sort of single-payer health insurance program should be adopted.
Whether it is called “Medicare for all” or something else, single-payer plans have one thing in common: They all make government the sole source of health insurance. Sanders states explicitly that his scheme would kill the private health insurance business.
Americans would be required to sign up with Uncle Sam for health insurance. They would not be permitted to buy policies from private companies.
There is a reason the United States has so many private companies offering literally hundreds of different kinds of health insurance. It is that Americans want to buy policies they view as best for them, and to pay as little as possible for the coverage.
Sanders and other single-payer proponents like a one-size-fits-all approach. They wouldn’t even offer a take-it-or-leave-it option. Everyone would have to obtain insurance with coverage dictated by the government.
Costs would be higher, of course. Middle-class and higher-income people would have to pay more for insurance out of their own pockets. Lower income consumers would be subsidized by the government, with taxpayers footing the bill.
Invariably, some form of health care rationing would result, as health care dictators in Washington worked desperately to hold down expenses for the system.
But Sanders and others favoring his approach want voters to see this as an improvement. Some people swallow the pandering hook, line and sinker.
Think of the proposal this way: What if you went shopping for a new car and were told there were only six or seven models available, all approved by the government? What if you wanted some of the sophisticated new safety sensors offered by many automakers and were told they could not be ordered because Washington had deemed them to be too costly?
Chances are you would be very, very unhappy. Who are the bureaucrats to tell us we cannot buy better protection if we desire and can afford it?
Now, imagine the same kind of constraints apply in a different place — your doctor’s office.
It just won’t do. All the talk about rights in the world cannot cover up the fact that Sanders and his cronies are talking about taking some of them away from Americans.