The endgame of Obamacare is about to be realized with the Democrats’ recent announcement to officially launch their plan to create government-run healthcare.
Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), chairwoman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, issued a public request earlier this week for information to solicit feedback on different aspects of a bill that will create a government-run public option health insurance plan.
“We believe bold steps are necessary in order to achieve universal coverage and lower health care costs.
“As we work to draft bold legislation, our goal is to ensure that every American has quality affordable coverage regardless of income, age, race, disability, or zip code.
“While the Biden Administration has taken a number of steps to expand coverage, including opening a special enrollment period that enabled over one million people to sign up for coverage on the Federal Marketplace alone, tens of millions of American still remain uninsured or underinsured.”
The Murray/Pallone proposal is a plan that will allegedly operate alongside the free market as an alternative to private insurance. However, Obamacare was always intended to lead to a public option or Medicare for All, and a public option was always intended to lead to government-run healthcare and the destruction of free-market healthcare, as we learn in an opinion piece from the Washington Examiner.
President Biden has said he doesn’t support “Medicare for all,” citing the program’s high price tag of $32 trillion. But by reopening Affordable Care Act enrollment … and calling for a so-called “public option,” [he] essentially supports moving the United States to single-payer healthcare on an incremental installment plan.
Democrats hope to continue to add to the rolls of public [health] programs, although they vary in the degree to which they are transparent about this as a strategy to get to single-payer. Some are very transparent, such as Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren. They’ve suggested two steps: They would start by offering a public plan alongside private insurance, the so-called “public option,” with the goal of moving all the way to single-payer next.
Democrats don’t need to make a big push to get “Medicare for all,” which might alarm Americans who don’t want socialized medicine. Rather, all Democrats need to do is continue to load the rolls of Medicare and Medicaid and subsidized ACA plans.
The Democrats’ strategies to get to single-payer, whether by allowing people to buy into government programs or expanding eligibility, all continue our march in this wrong direction. (emphasis mine)
Republicans are likely to do what they always do ahead of an election by latching onto this issue ahead of the 2022 midterms and pretending to oppose it, but they have pretty much made the Democrats’ plan for government-run healthcare a done deal.
Republicans made and broke the promise to repeal Obamacare in 2012 and 2014 — McConnell always claimed it couldn’t be done with Obama in the White House — and they assured America in 2016 that if voters gave them the keys to the kingdom, they’d finally get the job done.
Of course, they lied because Obamacare was never repealed.
Despite this fact, Trump and the Republican Party promised to really, really, really repeal Obamacare if voters would allow them keep their majority in the 2018 midterms. This lame attempt to avoid the Blue Tsunami many predicted would occur failed BIGLY when voters handed the GOP a humiliating defeat by giving Democrats their biggest midterm election victory since Watergate.
Despite this track record of lies, Trump doubled down on the promise to repeal Obamacare in 2019 by announcing that his Republican Party would be known as “the party of healthcare,” and promising to propose a “phenomenal” new healthcare plan by fall of that year.
Trump’s plan never materialized, and his Republican Party became the odds-on favorite to guarantee the creation of a public option and/or Medicare for All.
While American healthcare has its share of problems, the Democrats’ plan to create a government-run healthcare system will take those problems and make them universal and mandatory. We get a picture of what that will look like from our neighbor to the north (via Reason.com):
“With COVID-19 fueling a surge in hospitalizations, the latest data provided by the Ministry of Health shows that as of December 31, 2020, there were 29,650 people on a waiting list for surgery” in Saskatchewan, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) reported earlier this month. The CBC noted similar delays in other provinces.
“Specialist physicians surveyed report a median waiting time of 22.6 weeks between referral from a general practitioner and receipt of treatment,” which is the longest wait recorded, according to the free-market Fraser Institute.
As of 2020 only 62 percent of Canadians told Commonwealth Fund pollsters that they “waited less than 4 months for non-emergency or elective surgery after they were advised they needed it,” compared to 92 percent of Americans. Only 38 percent of Canadians were able to see a specialist (who might recommend such surgery) within four weeks, compared to 69 percent of Americans.
Such waits cost more than money—although they cost plenty of that. “[T]wice as many Ontarians with heart ailments passed away waiting for surgery during the pandemic than before COVID-19 hit,” according to the National Post. (emphasis mine)
Of course, some of these numbers were affected by COVID, but data from other countries operating under a government-run healthcare system had trouble delivering services as advertised long before anybody had heard of COVID-19.
Healthcare in the United States isn’t perfect, but that’s no excuse to abandon liberty and the free market and turn it over to a government-run healthcare system owned and operated (and rationed?) by tyrants who will use it to gain more control over our lives, and leverage it to remain in power.
A much better solution would be for the government to get completely out of the healthcare business.
Ironically, the last conservative to serve as president once warned us of the dangers of Medicare for All and government-run healthcare. In his famous radio address about socialized medicine in 1961, Ronald Reagan pointed out how it was a “foot in the door” strategy to create “a mechanism for socialized medicine capable of indefinite expansion in every direction until it includes the entire population.”
The Gipper was right, but I’ll bet he never imagined that Trump and the Republican Party would be the ones making the Democrats’ plan to create government-run healthcare a reality.
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.