How Much Does It Cost?

The Daily Signal posted an article today about single-payer health care. This was one of the signature issues of the Bernie Sanders’ campaign for President and is still being considered in some states.

The article reports:

Earlier this year, Sanders introduced a big and comprehensive “Medicare for All” proposal that would create a government-controlled health care system at the national level. The plan has gained momentum among Senate Democrats, but has also slammed into a fiscal reality check.

Three independent estimates from a diverse range of health care economists and policy analysts have highlighted the enormous additional cost of Sanders’ proposal. The liberal Urban Institute estimated that the 10-year costs would amount to a stunning $32 trillion, while the conservative Mercatus Center at George Mason University put the cost at $32.6 trillion.

Professor Kenneth Thorpe of Emory University, a former adviser to President Bill Clinton, used a different set of assumptions and set the 10-year price tag at $24.7 trillion.

Charles Blahous of the Mercatus Center said his own $32.6 trillion estimate made generous concessions for the purposes of calculation, and he accepted Sanders’ assumptions that the proposal would also generate savings, such as massive payment reductions to doctors and other medical professionals.

Blahous added that more realistic assumptions underlying estimates of the Sanders legislation would likely push the total taxpayer price tag even higher than $32.6 trillion.

The article mentions what has happened to state efforts to institute single-payer programs:

Officials in Sander’s home state of Vermont tried to make their state the first in the nation to create a “single payer” health care system. The ambitious proposal died after the costs were made known. According to an official state analysis, the proposal would have cost a total of $4.3 billion, with the state cost reaching $2.6 billion. As The Boston Globe noted, the entire Vermont budget in 2015 was just $4.9 billion. The state would have to increase the state personal income tax to 9.5 percent and add an 11.5 percent payroll tax.

Same problems with Colorado. Voters overwhelmingly rejected a Colorado ballot initiative to create a government-controlled health care system. That’s no surprise. According to an independent analysis, the proposed program, funded by an increase in state taxes, would still run an estimated deficit of $7.8 billion by 2028.

Even liberal California legislators have struggled to advance a “single payer” program. Their proposal has stalled, lacking the necessary legislative support. Again, this was not surprising given the cost. A California State Senate report concluded that the cost would total $400 billion and the state would have to raise $200 billion in new taxes.

There are things to consider other than cost. People in countries with single-payer often come to America for health care–it’s not that we are cheaper–we are not–but health care is available here. In Britain, people sometimes wait more than a year for heart surgery. Often they die while waiting. The free market works–even in health care. If America wants to improve its health care and reduce the cost, it needs to introduce the free market. That means getting rid of over-regulation by the government. There should be basic safety standards imposed by the government, but that should be the end of it. The free market works.

Is This Really What Democratic Voters Want?

The American Thinker posted an article today that includes the following quote from Chelsea Clinton. Chelsea was answering a question as she campaigned for her mother:

AUDIENCE MEMBER: “Is she planning on expanding Obamacare as people know it, ACA, to include people who are not fully documented? Because when you get ill, your illness will not ask you if you are a permanent resident or not.”

CLINTON: “It’s such an important question. Thank you for supporting my mom. My mom has very strong feelings that we must push as quickly as possible for comprehensive immigration reform, and this is a real difference between her’s and Senator Sanders’ record, she supported comprehensive immigration reform at every possible chance and she was one of the original supporters and sponsors of the DREAM Act. She does not believe that while we are working towards comprehensive immigration reform we should make people wait, like the families you are talking about. Which is why she thinks it’s so important to extend the Affordable Care Act to people who are living and working here, regardless of immigration status, regardless of citizenship status. While we’re pushing for comprehensive immigration reform and reminding Republicans who are currently running for president that a couple of years ago they actually supported comprehensive immigration reform – something they seem to have forgotten during this election cycle – that we do whatever we can to solve challenges in the education system and the health system and elsewhere.”

Okay. Let’s back up a little. Emergency rooms are not allowed to turn away people who need medical attention–regardless of whether or not they can pay for it and regardless of their legal status. To open up national health care to everyone who is here whether they are here legally or not is to commit financial suicide. This is not just about healthcare–this is about the financial survival of America. If this is done, America will lose the middle class. The middle class will be expected to bear the additional debt and tax burden that this will entail. Upward mobility in America will be a distant dream of the past. Eventually it will not only hurt the people who come here seeking a better life–they won’t find one; it will hurt the people who live here now. If you are planning to vote for Hillary, you might also plan to apologize to your children and grandchildren in the future as you explain why you didn’t do something to prevent the bankruptcy of America.

Just a note. While I was working the polls Tuesday, a woman came up to me and said that she thought ‘the rich’ should pay for new roads and bridges and new college buildings. I wonder if she realizes that because ‘the rich’ have tax accountants and people who help them legally avoid taxes, the burden will fall on the middle class. Ultimately, she will be paying for these things. Class warfare is a useful political tool, but it is not an honest one.

We Knew This Was Coming

When the healthcare bill was being debated, President Obama told us, “If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what.” Well, I hope you weren’t counting on that.

Byron York at the Washington Examiner reports:

Now, it should surprise no one that more and more companies are exploring the possibility of dropping their employee health coverage in 2014. A new study from the benefits-consulting firm Towers Watson finds that nearly 10 percent of midsized to large companies are seriously considering doing just that, and another 20 percent are thinking about it. Still others don’t know. “Many are uncertain how they will respond to the looming impact of state-based insurance exchanges in 2014,” says Towers Watson.

The new healthcare system is designed to push people into healthcare exchanges, receiving healthcare subsidized by the government. This is the step toward the single-payer plan that Democrats in Congress was not able to pass. As private healthcare is phased out, government healthcare will be the only option.

The article reports:

The bottom line is that the new system appears designed to push more and more people into the exchanges, with more and more people receiving health coverage subsidized by the government. For the cynical, it might even appear that is what Obama and his Democratic allies wanted all along. Remember that Obama said, during a January 2008 debate that, “If I were designing a system from scratch, I would set up a single-payer system.” He couldn’t pass a single-payer system, or even a public-option system, even when he had filibuster-proof majorities in Congress. But he could enact a system that will take a slower route in that direction.

We need a Republican president and congress in 2012. Their first order of business should be to repeal Obamacare. Otherwise we will have government run healthcare with a year.

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