GOP Senator: ‘Medicare for All’ Is the ‘Greatest Threat’ to People on Medicare Now
By Randy DeSoto
Wyoming senator and former surgeon John Barrasso says it is seniors relying on Medicare who will be hurt the most if Sen. Bernie Sanders-style “Medicare for All” is adopted.
“There will be fewer choices, less control, and for people on Medicare, it is the greatest threat to them of all,” Barrasso said on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” on Thursday.
The Republican senator, who was an orthopedic surgeon for 24 years, said Canada serves as a good example of what Medicare for All would be like in the United States.
“As a doctor in Wyoming, I operated on people [from] Canada, where they have that one size fits all approach because even though the care was free the people couldn’t afford to wait long enough for the free operation and they came to me in Wyoming.”
According to a Fraser Institute study, the average wait time between a general practitioner referral and orthopedic surgery in Canada is 39 weeks . . .
Sally Pipes — president and CEO of the Pacific Research Institute, as well as a Thomas W. Smith Fellow in Health Care Policy at the center — immigrated to the U.S. from Canada and warned Americans that seniors will be among those most negatively impacted through denied health care under “Medicare for All.”
Pipes explained on Fox News’ “Life, Liberty and Levin” on Sunday that the single-payer system Sanders is proposing would mean private health care insurance would be banned, and the government take over and decide what care is provided based on what is “medically necessary for the population.”
Medicare, Medicaid and other government programs would be rolled up into a new government health care system, like that found in Canada or the United Kingdom.
“When people think something is free, they are going to demand a lot more of it,” Pipes said. So, the government will have wait lists and ration care, and “it is the elderly that will be most harmed by rationed care.”
In Canada, according to the medical care expert, the average wait time from a primary care referral to see a specialist is approximately 20 weeks, five months.
To get an MRI, Canadians must wait on average 11 weeks — nearly 3 months.
Pipes told Levin 200,000 Canadians a year seek health care abroad, paying out of their own pocket, because they do not want to or cannot afford to wait to see a physician in their own country.
The subject of wait times hits close to home for Pipes, whose mother died of colon cancer in 2005while she was a patient in the Canadian health care system.
According to Pipes, after going to her doctor and expressing her concern that she might have colon cancer, she was told “As a senior, we have too many younger people on the waiting list to get colonoscopies — people are waiting eight months to a year.”
“So she didn’t get her colonoscopy. Six months later she was hemorrhaging, she went to the hospital in an ambulance,” Pipes said. “Two days in the emergency room, two days in a transit lounge waiting to get a bed in a ward. She got her colonoscopy, but she passed away two weeks later from metastasized colon cancer. This is rationing of care and you reduce costs by denying care to people. It’s very, very sad.”
Pipes affirmed Barrasso’s warnings about diminished access to health care for the elderly, telling The Western Journal, “Medicare for All will be a disaster for our seniors.”
“Their care will be rationed just as it is for seniors in Canada and the U.K. because a government system has to control the funds for health care,” Pipes told The Western Journal. “Demand will outpace supply so the administrators will want to treat younger people first . . .”