The First Murmurs of a Healthcare Debacle

It’s all very hush-hush, at this point, but our nation’s brightest minds — those in the U.S. Senate, of course — are set to point their considerable intellectual prowess in the direction of universal healthcare. Currently, three general plans are on the table:

_Create a plan that resembles Medicare, administered by the Health and Human Services department.
_Adopt a Medicare-like plan, but pick an outside party to run it. That way government officials would not directly control the day-to-day operations.
_Leave it up to individual states to set up a public insurance plan for their residents.

The Medicare for all discussion has been ongoing for quite some time. Roland Benjamin took a look at it, for example, about a year and a half ago on Anchor Rising. The first link above provides a couple of scenarios that ought to enable any rational person to begin to see the fatal flaws of such plan:

If the public plan were open to all employers and individuals — and if it paid doctors and hospitals the same as Medicare — it would quickly grow to 131 million members, while enrollment in private insurance plans would plummet, the study found.
By paying Medicare rates the government plan would be able to set premiums well below what private plans charge. Employers and individuals would rush to sign up.
But the results would be far different if the government plan was limited to small employers, individuals and the self-employed.
In that smaller-scale scenario, the public plan would get from 17 million to 43 million members, the study said. It found that a government plan could be effective in reducing number of uninsured.

In either case, the system would lower incentives and motivation among healthcare providers and surely diminish services and quality. Insurance companies would begin struggling, and folks who maintain private plans will see prices float right past affordability, pushing them into the government net.
If the government outsources administration of this same plan, it achieves no end but creating an additional layer in the process and generating the friction inherent in a system that leaves one group (politicians) to set rules and standards and another to make the numbers work. In other words, it would exacerbate trends that are already too prevalent. And if the feds punt the issue to the states, it would do what big government does best and find the worst of all worlds in the name of expediency.

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