Legendary British rocker and Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger’s upcoming hospital discharge after his surgery last week highlights the beauty of free market health care.
One day after Jagger reportedly underwent a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) on Thursday, he was already feeling well enough to comment on social media.
“Thank you everyone for all your messages of support, I’m feeling much better now and on the mend,” he tweeted, adding, “and also a huge thank you to all the hospital staff for doing a superb job.”
Jagger’s thank you to the hospital staff is important.
He received what a medical professional called a “miracle procedure” at a New York facility. Although he hasn’t confirmed his reason for treatment in the United States, apparently he “Can’t Get No Satisfaction” from the UK’s single-payer National Health Service (NHS).
Democratic socialists like Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., who preach the beauty and simplicity of a single-payer “Medicare for all” system haven’t done their homework.
They haven’t talked to the people who actually live under it. If they had, they’d realize that Medicare for all equates to rationed heath care.
Hospitals in England are overcrowded and medical professionals are overworked. Emergency patients can wait up to 12 hours before being seen by a physician, and staff work under extraordinarily high pressure.
Single payer sounds great — the problem is funding.
When Ocasio-Cortez was asked how she’d fund Medicare for all just days before her election to Congress last year, her answer was jaw dropping-level naive: You “just pay for it,” she told Univision’s Jorge Ramos.
She should have asked Bob Kerslake, former chairman of the board at King’s College hospital in London. He resigned from his lofty position in protest over that very issue — inadequate funding.
“We desperately need a fundamental rethink,” he wrote in The Guardian. “Until then we are simply ‘kicking the can down the road,’”
Our northern neighbor has its own single payer health system, which sends droves of Canadians to the United States in search of quality treatment.
In 2017 more than one million patients who remained in Canada experienced excessive wait times, resulting in $1.9 billion in lost wages.
Last week the Canada Free Press printed a letter to the editor suggesting that obtaining health care under a single payer system was akin to getting a driver’s license at a New York City DMV office — frustrating and time-consuming.
But over and above the excessive wait times is the level of care received through a single payer system, as compared to a market-driven one, according to Cato Institute senior fellow Michael Tanner.
“Essentially, if you’re looking for the top heart surgeon in the world, the chances of them being in the U.S. versus Britain is much higher,” Tanner told The Daily Caller. “You can’t equate universal coverage with getting the best health care. There is evidence from that from the NHS.”
President Donald Trump has pushed Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare’s failed and expensive system since entering office, and the National Review editors have taken up that mantle, calling it “a Republican Duty.”
But what everyone is forgetting is that health care was less expensive before Obamacare. Why replace it? Instead of coming up with another centralized system, grease the gears of the free market to make it more effective. For example:
- Increase competition among insurance companies by allowing the purchase of policies across state lines;
- Give individual policyholders the same tax advantages that companies enjoy when purchasing health insurance policies;
- Allow individuals to band together as associations to purchase group policies;
- Enact tort reform to prevent excessive medical malpractice awards;
- Expand tax-advantaged medical savings plans.
Smarter minds could come up with more, without creating the dinosaur of another Obamacare.
Jagger was knighted for services to popular music in 2002. Despite the attachment to England that his knighthood suggests, he apparently recognizes the UK’s problems with single-payer health care.
If a 75-year-old rocker can recognize its shortcomings, surly Congress can also ... can’t it?
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.
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