A few weeks ago, UnitedHealth Group, the nation’s largest insurer, announced their intention to drop out of the Obamacare exchanges in all but a handful of states following projected losses of nearly $650 billion this year. This move is being interpreted as the first in a new line of insurance company dominoes to fall as costs continue to exceed projections.
Remember when Obama promised us that we could keep our insurance company and our doctor? Good times… good times.
Anyway, you would think that this obvious failure of the Physician-in-Chief’s greatest accomplishment would prompt healthcare professionals to call for the return to a free market based system. Right? Not so fast my fellow Conservatives.
A blue ribbon panel of 39 leading physicians have published a proposal in the America Journal of Public Health called “Moving Forward from the Affordable Care Act to a Single-Payer System.” The proposal is signed by over 2200 physicians from 48 states and the District of Columbia.
“Our nation is at a crossroads,” said Dr. Adam Gaffney, a Boston-based pulmonary disease and critical care specialist, lead author of the editorial and co-chair of the group that produced the proposal. “Despite the passage of the Affordable Care Act six years ago, 30 million Americans remain uninsured, an even greater number are underinsured, financial barriers to care like co-pays and deductibles are rising, bureaucracy is growing, provider networks are narrowing, and medical costs are continuing to climb.”
Dr. Gaffney goes on to blame rising costs, a growing bureaucracy and fewer choices on the Affordable Care Act.
Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, a professor of public health at the City University of New York’s Hunter College and lecturer at Harvard Medical School, said “lives are literally at stake” in the continuing debate over Obamacare:
“We can continue down this harmful path — or even worse, take an alternative, ‘free-market’ route that would compound our problems — or we can embrace the long-overdue remedy that we know will work: The creation of a publicly financed, nonprofit, single-payer system that covers everybody. Today we’re saying we must quickly make that shift. Lives are literally at stake.”
A “remedy that we know will work”? Not according to Sally C. Pipes, president, CEO and Taube Fellow in Health Care Studies at the Pacific Research Institute; who has actually lived under such a system:
“Single-payer’s cheerleaders cite Canada as proof of the system’s superiority. It’s a foolish fetish: Our northern neighbor’s health-care system is plagued by rationing, long waits, poor-quality care, scarcities of vital medical technologies and unsustainable costs. That’s exactly what’s in store for America if we follow Canada’s lead.”
A single-payer (government-controlled) healthcare system has been the goal all along. Leading up to his run for president, Obama repeatedly confirmed that his real goal was a single-payer healthcare system. He admitted that the leap from a free-market to a state-run system was too big to take on all at once; that a bridge between the two would be necessary for success.
In the weeks leading up to the initial launch of Obamacare, Harry Reid stated in an interview that success of the Affordable Care Act wasn’t his main concern. The real goal was move past insurance-based healthcare to single-payer nationalized healthcare and he saw Obamacare as a means to do what he was unable to do up front.
One of the benefits pointed out in the doctor’s proposal will be the power granted to the federal government to negotiate lower prices for medicine, services and other out-of-pocket expenses. In other words… RATIONING!
Oh, and it can be paid for with “modest new taxes.” Bernie Sanders supports a single-payer nationalized healthcare system like the one proposed, and experts have estimated the cost to be $15 trillion. Obviously, it will take a little more than a “modest” tax increase.
Hillary claims to oppose the single-payer idea, committing herself to “improve” Obamacare by making it more like the failed Hillarycare proposal she and Bill tried to pass in the 1990s. Either way, the costs will rise and higher taxes will be needed to pay for it.
And as for Donald Trump’s so-called “free market” solution? It turns out that his plan contains much of the same language found in the proposal made by the panel. In fact, Trump’s policies on single-payer healthcare mirror many of the ideas held by Sanders.
David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative, your source for opinion that’s politically-incorrect and always “right.” David is also a contributor to RedState.com.
His daily commentary is nationally syndicated via Salem Radio Network.