The #M4A Price Tag Makes it DOA
By Elizabeth Wright
Continuing with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s declaration that August should be healthcare month, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) is taking a look at Senator Bernie Sander’s (I-Vt) idea that we should have Medicare for All, colloquially being referred to as #M4A on Twitter and in other social media. Aggressively promoting this new Faustian bargain are the Democratic Socialists, a quickly growing faction within the Democrat party. Their chapters across the country are planning to have a weekend of action on August 11 and 12, promoting the idea. And many of the same people who promised Obamacare would lower premiums by an average of $2,500 a year are now promising this wonderful plan will solve everything. Do not believe it.
M4A creates a federally administered, fully integrated, single-payer healthcare system and adopts Medicare’s payment systems. There would be no private health insurance. Sanders claims his new plan would have no co-pays, deductibles, and M4A would cover “the entire continuum of healthcare.” Just show your health card to your doctor, and voila! Free healthcare!
So, who would pay for all this “free” stuff? You would pay for it, as well as employers, and the perpetual target of the left, “the rich,” through high taxation. Sen. Sanders claims his plan will only cost $1.38 trillion per year. Ultimately, it will cost a lot more . . .
If the U.S. should adopt a single-payer system, services will be overused, and costs will go up, just as has happened elsewhere. Pacific Research President Sally Pipes, a healthcare policy expert, stated in a March 19, 2018 op-ed, “Since the government would be unable to limit demand for care, it would only have one way to control costs – and that’s to limit the supply of care. Single-payer systems do so by providing cut-rate payments to doctors and hospitals. That discourages people from entering the medical profession, building new clinics and health facilities, and generally logging enough hours to provide all the care that patients would like to demand.”
For example, in England, the National Health Services utilizes the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, with the paradoxical acronym NICE, to decide what drugs and treatments that doctors can prescribe. As a result, patients are often denied some of the most advance care. In Canada, the Fraser Institute annually releases reports on the perpetual wait times Canadians must endure to see a specialist, get an MRI, have orthopedic surgery, and so forth.