With Rhode Island’s own Democrat congressional delegation, particularly Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, signing on for Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders’s single-payer, Medicare-for-all health care plan, Betsy McCaughey’s recent New York Post article is worth a read for its turning of the tables.
Details on how Sanders’s plan would actually work, notably with regard to paying for it, are sparse, but McCaughey teases out some implications of concern. For one thing, according to McCaughey, private health care would be made illegal. Everything would have to go through the government system. Consideration of UHIP and DCYF in Rhode Island and the Veterans Health Administration nationally (to pick just three examples) make that prospect terrifying.
Perhaps even more significant, though, is this:
BernieCare guarantees you hospital care, doctors’ visits, dental and vision care, mental health and even long-term care, all courtesy of Uncle Sam. Amazing, right? But read the fine print. You’ll get care only if it’s “medically necessary” and “appropriate.” Government bureaucrats will decide, and they’ll be under pressure to cut spending.
That’s because Sanders’ bill imposes an annual hard-and-fast dollar limit on how much health care the country can consume. He makes it sound simple — Uncle Sam will negotiate lower prices with drug companies. Voilà. But driving a hard bargain with drug makers won’t make a dent in costs. Prescription drugs comprise only 10 percent of the nation’s health expenditures.
Consider this “hard-and-fast dollar limit” in the context of another national controversy over the debt ceiling and debate of the Senate GOP’s latest health care proposal, which would limit the expansion of government spending on health care, a prospect that Democrats and the media elite (not just news, by the way) are endeavoring to tar as inhumane. How can it be cruel to limit government spending on health care, but just dandy to ration health care generally?
The quick (if specious) answer may be that government spending accrues to the vulnerable and disadvantaged, but that argument dissipates if the wealthy are barred from supplementing their own care. Single-payer simply becomes the government providing care for services that and to people whom it considers worthy.