This article is part one of a series.
The wrongheadedness of all Democrats (and most Republicans) on Capitol Hill is demonstrated by their notion that the federal government can actually control healthcare costs.
And President Donald Trump’s own lack of understanding was demonstrated by his campaign promise of "insurance for everybody" in an Obamacare replacement plan.
If the goal is truly to keep costs down, scrap the whole ball of wax — Obamacare, any alternative to it as well as today’s notion of health insurance altogether.
Repair? Replace? Forget it
The Affordable Care Act’s (Obamacare’s) dismal failure should have been a deafening clarion call to lawmakers that something was terribly wrong. But no, they insist instead upon either fixing or replacing it when they should just repeal it, letting the free market take over.
Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., told The New York Times last month that the president "may have been the only person who didn't know" the complexity of the healthcare system.
Then the Tennessee Republican demonstrated his own ignorance by announcing he’ll be working with Democrats to fix Obamacare. You can’t fix something that’s fundamentally flawed.
Moreover, any attempt to replace Obamacare with something else would run into the same problem Democrats did when drafting the ACA — the same one that Alexander observed in Trump but doesn’t recognize in himself — the system’s complexity.
The Full Monte
Last week Sen. Bernie Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, went way off the rails by introduction a single-payer, government-controlled healthcare system. Yet the Vermont Independent demonstrated his own lack of knowledge when he couldn’t explain to CNN’s Jake Tapper how it could work when two states tried it before and failed. "These are cobalt blue states — Vermont and California — where people wanted single-payer, and there were problems because it would cost too much," Tapper observed. "How do you make it national if you can’t even get it in Vermont and California?"
"Well it’s not a — no, no, no, no. Let’s — Jake — let’s be, let’s be careful about this." Sanders replied uncomfortably. "A single-payer health care system, in my view, and according to studies that I have seen, would save the average family significant sums of money."
Right, just like Obamacare was supposed to "save the average family significant sums of money." Instead we got skyrocketing premiums and deductibles inflated so high as to make the policies worthless. Not to mention, "If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor."
Sanders struggled in his CNN interview because single-payer doesn’t work. Writing for Investors Business Daily, Sally Pipes, a Thomas W. Smith Fellow in Healthcare Policy at the Pacific Research Institute, called single-payer a Trojan horse that would inevitably lead to patients "paying a lot more for a lot less healthcare."
And that "lot less healthcare" she referred to equates to rationed healthcare. Just as socialism leads to everyone being equally destitute, socialized medicine leads to everyone’s medical needs being equally poorly attended to.
That’s why Canadians come to the U.S. for their own healthcare needs.
The government can’t control the economy, or even the fraction that healthcare represents.
The former Soviet Union tried it and the system collapsed. China gave it a go and is fast becoming more capitalist than the United States. Cuba continues to struggle under its weight and is still living in the 1950s.
Venezuela? Forget it.
The other impediment to the doctor-patient relationship
And while we're at it, most private health insurance plans should be shelved also.
Just as homeowners don't use insurance to pay to unstop a clogged drain, replace a broken window or fix a damaged porch step, patients shouldn't use insurance to pay for a simple diagnostic test, having a torn knee sutured or getting a shot of penicillin.
In each example, insurance only gets in the way of the consumer-provider relationship, turning a simple transaction into an unnecessarily complex and ultimately expensive one.
Throwing an insurance carrier into the loop often has another disadvantage: The patient doesn’t know beforehand how much he’s paying for the service, and the physician may not may not even be aware what he’s going to receive until the check comes in the mail.
Standard health insurance plans do little other than add to the cost of health care. Don’t believe it? Compare any modern physician’s office to its counterpart of 60 years ago.
What was once a group of medical professionals served by a single receptionist-bookkeeper has devolved into a conglomeration paper-pushers being served by one or two physicians.
If it’s affordable healthcare we’re seeking, we’re going to have to discard the notion that health insurance equates to healthcare. It does not.
That means discarding Obamacare, any fix to it, any replacement including single-payer and even today’s concept of health insurance.
Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He’s also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter, who can often be found honing his skills at the range. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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