Bernie Says Medicare for All

Bill Neinast

A congressman says, “This bed is so comfortable.  It feels so good, and I look so good in it---I’ll take it.”

Salesperson, “Would you like to know the price?”

Congressman, “Price?  Who cares about the cost?  Someone else will pay for it later.”

This, in a nutshell, is the socialist/democrat approach to creating new government programs because it makes them look good to those “poor” voters out there who need another handout.

The current best example of this feel good philosophy is Senator Bernie Sanders’ proposal to abolish medical insurance companies and provide free medical care for everyone. That means Medicare for all. 

Think about that for a moment.  Does it not indicate that Sanders flunked math in all grades of school and knows nothing at all about economics?

He wants to increase demand with no increase in the supply.  That will result in long lines and waits at medical clinics, if you can get in at all, and reduction of services.

Medical service personnel will become government employees.  The government would decide what those personnel could be paid for their services and what services they could provide. 

For example, as is already happening in some countries with similar programs.  Because of the high demand for some service, such as cataract surgery, that service will be denied elderly patients so that younger patients can be served.

What will such a program do to enrollment in medical and nursing colleges? The enrollment rate would decrease in an inverse ratio to the increase in the waiting lines at clinics.

The more basic question, though, is what is the problem?  

Has anyone ever been denied medical services that were really needed?  

In recent weeks, I have had to use the services of the local hospital’s emergency department---once by ambulance and the other time as a walk in.

I was not stopped or detained in any way to be asked if I could pay for the service or how I was going to pay for it.  I was just rushed in and serviced.  I cannot imagine it being handled any other way with anyone else with any other problem.

Most medical problems do not require emergency care.  So there is a different procedure for ordinary care, and there are rules and regulations concerning insurance coverage.  So there are undoubtedly cases where someone may want a doctor to examine a mild sore throat, but the insurance would not cover the cost, so the patient stays home.

Under Sander’s plan, that patient would just go down and join the line waiting to have minor cuts cleaned and bandaged or some such.  Believe me, all freebies are abused.

A much better, but unthinkable, approach for Sanders may be to investigate the effect of the government’s involvement in the medical care system so far.  One finding might be that the government’s involvement is a major factor in the escalating costs of medical care that make it increasingly difficult, because of costs, to obtain non-emergency medical care.

Anyone currently on Medicare will recognize the problem.  Look at your recent Medicare statements.  Can you interpret them and have you noticed the growth in length and pages in the last few months?  Think of the administrative costs in both the medical and government offices to prepare those?  How much does that administration add to the cost of your office visit?

Compare the size of your doctor’s office to the same office 30 years ago.  Has the increase in that administrative size improved your medical care in any way?

Removing the government from medical care and turning instead to keeping medical insurance companies from being too administratively involved in the medical care business might result in lowering medical costs substantially and allow more to easily pay for their own care.

Such an approach might not get medical care for more people, but it would keep the supply of medical personnel growing and not cost the 33 trillion dollars in free medical care for all over ten years.  What would that do to the national debt that already exceeds 22 trillion dollars?

So here’s the perspective.

If you are like that congressman in the first paragraph who feels so good and thinks it looks so good to take care of all those poor people out there, visit some descriptions of the long lines, waiting periods, and denial of services in some of the countries where medicare for all abides.

Is looking good and feeling good for encouraging that socialist ploy for votes worth it?



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