Sen. Elizabeth Warren promised to cancel everyone’s private health insurance coverage during Wednesday night’s Democrat debate.
This early in the campaign season, and I mean way early, months and months and months away from the first votes being taken, the only real benefit of Wednesday night’s debate was how it nailed Warren down as a power-hungry socialist who will take away everyone’s private health insurance.
There was no ambiguity here.
One of the night’s better questions came from NBC News anchor Lester Holt, who asked straight out, “Many people watching at home have health insurance coverage through their employer. Who here would abolish their private health insurance in favor of a government-run plan? Just a show of hands.”
Only New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Warren raised their hands.
“I’m with Bernie on Medicare for All,” Warren explained, naming the Democrat-Socialist.
What that means is 150 to 180 million Americans will lose their health insurance only to be shuffled into a one-size-fits-all government scheme that will turn American health care into an experience similar to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
And what about Medicare recipients, millions of whom have a private secondary insurance? If we are going to abolish private insurance, what about those plans?
The misguided thinking behind Medicare for All is that Medicare recipients are generally pretty happy with the program, so why not abolish private health insurance and put everyone on Medicare where they will be equally happy.
Well, let’s not forget that Medicare’s trust fund is scheduled to go “belly up” in seven years, which means the massive government program will be operating at a deficit for the foreseeable future.
What happens when the money vanishes? What happens if the money situation becomes worst than estimated (which is always the case with government programs) if the country is hit with a lengthy recession?
Do taxes go up, which will only lengthen the recession, or are providers paid less, which means fewer people go into the medical field, which means rationing?
Look at how the government’s Obamacare boondoggle, which tried to work through private insurers, managed to strip millions of their access to their doctors and nearby health care facilities.
What’s more, Warren’s argument against health insurance is topsy-turvy nonsense:
“[I]nsurance companies last year alone sucked $23 billion in profits out of the health care system, $23 billion,” she stressed. ” And that doesn’t count the money that was paid to executives, the money that was spent lobbying Washington.”
“We have a giant industry that wants our health care system to stay the way it is, because it’s not working for families, but it’s sure as heck working for them,” she added.
Medicare is a mere seven years away from losing billions and billions of dollars annually while the private health insurance industry is operating at a $23 billion profit.
And that’s a bad thing, how exactly?
Warren is also flat out lying — or, if you prefer, speaking with a forked tongue, about private health insurance “not working for families” when surveys show that more than 100 million Americans, upwards of 71 percent, are “satisfied with their current employer-provided health coverage.”
But forget about the finances of it all, forget even about putting bureaucrats and craven politicians in charge of our health — what about our freedom, what about our rights as free Americans to make our own choices about how we go about the business of taking care of our own health.
Where do you go… Who do you petition… Who do you hold accountable… if Medicare for All sucks?
Because there is no place to go. Just like there is no place to go if you are unhappy with the DMV, IRS, or a public school.
Didn’t we already try Medicare for All with our veterans, and look how that turned out. Hundreds of veterans died due to indefensible corruption, one-size-fits-all lunacy, and deadly wait times caused by rationing.
The VA scandal broke wide open in 2014, but here we are five long years later and it is just starting to improve — and the improvements came from opening up choices to veterans in the private sector.
If hundreds of people died in the private sector due to incompetence — well, that never would have been allowed to happen because only the government can allow things to go so horribly wrong before alarm bells start ringing.
I am in no way arguing that private health insurance companies are perfect. Far from it. But the biggest problems associated with private insurance are costs and those are not going to go away if the federal government takes over, especially when you are looking at a whole new federal bureaucracy, another massive monolith of countless unionized government employees built behind it.
Additionally, if anything, stupid government regulations are one of the reasons costs are so high.
A cost problem is a lack of competition. The government does not allow insurance companies to sell their wares nationwide, which, if reversed, would flood every state with insurance companies competing with one another.
And then there’s the fact that insurance itself stops the consumer from caring about the cost of their health care services, which means there is no price competition.
This is one of the reasons the cost for services covered by insurance continues to go up while the cost for medical services not covered by insurance (Lasik, plastic surgery) become more affordable.
Can you imagine what an oil change would cost if your auto insurance covered it?
So, what Warren did last night was to raise her hand and promise to make everything worse, and that matters because she was the only person the stage last night who has even the whisper of a chance of winning the nomination.