Most of us have humorous or irritating anecdotes about the dysfunction of some government department. it’s usually the DMV, which in many states is a jobs program for the mentally challenged but terminally lazy among us. Add the complex processes designed to maximize employment and minimize efficiency, and we have a glimpse of Dante’s first circle…or maybe the eighth!
But most people don’t require the services of their DMV for life-and-death issues. Health care is a completely different animal, and we can all see the degradation of America’s medical care with the introduction of government over the last decades. And there is still a healthy (but chaotic) private component in the nation’s biggest industry.
But it’s not completely broken, so the socialists in DC need the next step in the devolution of the greatest and most innovative health care system into a dystopian socialist nightmare of rationing, endless delays, interminable waits and a sharp decrease in our standard of living.
“The package – which Democrats could pass on a party-line vote using their slimmest-possible Senate majority – includes other Democratic goals, such as lowering Medicare’s eligibility age from 65 to 55 or 60 and expanding the program to cover dental work, glasses and eye surgeries as well as hearing aids,” Fox Business reports.
This sounds like a small tweak to Medicare, the massive government healthcare program for senior citizens. But lowering the age to 60 is actually a move with drastic ramifications.
For one, Medicare is already one of the biggest drivers of our federal budget crisis. Its major trust funds are projected to reach insolvency within the next 5 years. Further expanding this program that’s already fueling our debt crisis will only accelerate this impending fiscal nightmare.
But even more importantly, it represents a significant step toward the socialist dream of government-run healthcare for all. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, lowering the Medicare eligibility age to 60—let alone 55—could lead to up to 14.1 million people being shifted off of private health insurance and onto the government plan.
One significant complaint about American health care is that we spend too much money on it. But it is an industry just like widget making or farming. Why is that necessarily a bad thing? What is bad is the inefficiencies introduced into the industry by government interference. And increasing the size of the government portion of the industry will accelerate the spiral into the toilet that the power-mad single-payer lunatics desire.
For all of Canada’s bragging about their wonderful medical system, a few chats with actual Canadians who have needed that system will quickly disabuse one of the notion that government and healthcare can coexist. And Europe is even worse. Care that would take weeks in America takes months. And that is a diminution of quality of life. Hip replacements and knee replacements are quick in this country, but take many months of navigating the government bureaucracy to acquire in most other 1st World countries with socialized medicine. And sometimes the answer is a flat: No. And just imagine how they deal with life threatening illness. Breast cancer surgery happens here in a matter of a few weeks. In the UK? Not so fast!
And with government control comes perhaps the most insidious change…biomedical research will slow to a crawl. Who would bother with investing sometimes billions of dollars in mostly unsuccessful projects if the payoff for the few successes is a paltry government-decided compensation. And the same market force would apply to the people who decide to become physicians. It used to be the best and brightest, but how many of our best and brightest would want a career as a government functionary?
I’ll take American medical care, warts and all, over any other country’s system.