Solving America’s biggest problem would make our country a better place. Democrats aren’t going to do that. Their health care solutions strive for an even more magnificent failure than they’ve already accomplished.
Extreme legislation and socialist policies that are absolutely unsustainable are not going to improve our economy, our lives, or the medical care we depend on.
Democrats can’t fix their health care problem. Republicans can’t do it either, but they aren’t the ones who put our affordable, accountable system in place. Now we have new plans to right the wrongs of the past, but the Democratic Party’s economic vision ignores what makes our economy tick and focuses instead on the demands of a liberal base that wants a society where costly things have no cost.
The party got lucky this week. Democrats took a deep dive down a rabbit hole with no foreseeable bottom after an awkward speech from Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday. Now the catastrophe they created nearly a decade ago can go on the back burner while they go after the president’s head. If this impeachment scandal helps Democrats win next year, then they can inflict what they want on the American people and we won’t be able to say no.
That’s what happened in 2010.
Thanks, Democrats, for America’s biggest problem
Health care will always be America’s biggest problem because we all depend on it. It’s a useful political issue because it can organize us, divide us, take our money, and raise our taxes. That means it’s easy to bribe the public with making health care better and by threatening to take it away. When the president talks about a Democratic Party hoax, this is the real deal.
Controlling health care opens the door to socialism because it draws in everything from corporate regulation to price control to funding public services. When you control health care you’ve got a foot in the door to controlling the economy. Economic control is where the extremist faction of the Democratic Party is headed.
Slogans and lies define health care strategy
Politicians must hate the internet. Their promises are preserved forever. At least Nancy Pelosi’s words were true. Now we know for certain what’s in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
The Senate Democratic Policy Committee promised us a “health care system that works for everyone.”1 Works for everyone is a popular Democratic Party slogan. It’s also a lie. There is no such thing. Someone always loses out. In this case it’s anyone who is responsible for paying the full price of their insurance premiums.
“Accountable” is another lie, a hypocritical oxymoron used by a party that ducks accountability for everything it ruins. That word was used in 2010 as a promise and a threat:
Government, insurance companies, medical providers, pharmaceutical and medical device companies, employers, and individuals – each have a vital role to play to create this new and accountable system.2
We never got that accountable health care system that works for everyone. We never got accountability from Democrats either, except for their promise that individuals have a vital role. That part was true: we pay, pay again, and then pay some more.
How incredibly ironic that the same party that insists affordable health care is a right is also responsible for the high premiums that make it a privilege.
Forget the past. Let’s fail at health care in the present.
Democrats continue to act as though we are naïve enough to believe the same health care promises they didn’t live up to when they saddled us with Obamacare. This is from March 2019:
We’re taking action today with this major legislation, which will protect patients with pre-existing conditions and take new steps to lower premium costs,” said Congressman Greg Stanton. “It’s time to work together to build a health care system that works for everyone.”3
There’s that “works for everyone” promise again. House Democrats who failed us the first time know they aren’t going to sneak their Protecting Pre-Existing Conditions & Making Health Care More Affordable Act of 2019 past the Senate. That means they have taken no action. They don’t have any major legislation. It’s all just talk and meaningless words on paper.
Besides, pre-existing conditions are still protected. Health insurance is still guaranteed issue. That has not changed and it shouldn’t. Shame on Republicans for trying to overturn the one good thing the ACA accomplished. If they had provided this protection with their own legislation before Obamacare we might not have to deal with the mess we’re dealing with now.
GOP and Dems working together? Sure. Let’s do that.
The Democratic Party health care scam gets even more ridiculous with an assertion from Rep. Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH) that Democrats and Republicans can join together to figure this thing out:
If both parties work together, we can crack down on waste, fraud, and abuse within the health care system, reduce overpayments to insurance companies, and start paying health care providers for how well they treat patients, rather than how often.4
“Waste, fraud, and abuse” is slogan and lie #3. We hear it all the time when lawmakers need to raise money that doesn’t exist. Waste, fraud, and abuse is a bottomless source of revenue that keeps getting deeper. Even if we were to reclaim every wasted cent right here and now, money lost to waste, fraud, and abuse is already been so over committed with this kind of promise that the cash wouldn’t make a difference.
Pelosi’s impeachment maneuver turns “work together” into Democratic lie #4. If there was an olive branch across House aisle, that twig just snapped.
Next health care spending pit won’t have a bottom
We are going to need a bottomless pit of cash if we swap Obamacare’s failures for a single-payer system like Medicare for All.
It’s not as if we haven’t been warned. Tennessee Rep. Phil Roe recalls what happened in his state:
As Tennesseans, we know how this system will play out. Tennessee made its own attempt at universal health care under TennCare in the 1990s. First implemented in 1994, it promised to lower costs and expand coverage; unfortunately, it only reduced quality of care and nearly bankrupted the state.5
That last part – bankrupted the state – is one of the things Democrats do best. Look at Illinois. Look at California. Look at New York.
A figure of $32 trillion6 for Medicare for All is making the rounds. That number puts our current $3.5 trillion7 in health care spending to shame. If Democrats want to fail even bigger this time, their single-payer system is definitely the way to go.
We all seem to agree that Americans shouldn’t die because they can’t afford health care. To that end, New Hampshire Democratic Rep. Jeanne Shaheen suggests:
Instead of continuously trying to repeal our health care law – which would strip coverage for millions of Americans and as many as 118,000 Granite Staters— Senate Republican Leadership needs to prioritize measures that reform the law to lower patient costs and improve access to care.8
Cheaper care for more people is a great idea. Democrats should do that, since Nancy Pelosi already took credit years ago for:
making coverage affordable for families and small businesses; strengthening Medicare; creating up to 4 million jobs; reducing the deficit; and extending coverage to 32 million more Americans.9
We can also give her credit for pushing impeachment forward, which guarantees Republicans will ensure Democrats wear their health care failure through 2020.
Presidential candidates back new socialist health care scam
On April 11, 2019 we were presented with yet another new Democratic Party bill that included a slew of presidential contenders and the same old promises:
United States Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) today reintroduced the Consumer Health Insurance Protection Act to hold health insurance companies accountable and strengthen consumer protections in private health insurance.10
There’s that word “accountable” again. We were promised we already had that.
Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) joined fellow candidate Bernie Sanders to shift our focus away from anger at her party and towards its capitalist enemies. In her press release Senator Warren let Sanders do the talking:
In my view, the current debate over Medicare for All really has nothing to do with health care. It’s all about greed and profiteering. It is about whether we maintain a dysfunctional system which allows the top 5 health insurance companies to make over $20 billion in profits last year,” Senator Sanders said.11
This is the socialist dialogue increasingly popular among Democrats. Like any good socialists they condemn the institutions that provide wealth to the nation and shift control to a government that spends too much, produces nothing, and is ruled by self-interested public officials.
That’s a bad idea. Even the government agrees.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma recently warned what Democratic socialist proposals for health care will bring to America:
Our choices are clear, we can choose Medicare for All or a public option, doubling down on government and a one-size-fits-all, socialist approach, with government price setting…threatening our world-class system of innovation and top-notch care, and replacing it with long lines and rationing.12
Ms. Verma should know. She already administers two massive government health care programs. She predicts what we already know will happen:
Medicare for All, the public option, and other radical socialist proposals simply double down on the same old Washington-first policies that have failed patients for years. They will increase taxes without fixing the underlying issues. They won’t lower costs – they’ll shift who pays. They won’t reduce burden, they’ll pile on new rules. They won’t pay for value, they’ll just pay less. They won’t empower patients – they’ll assume Washington knows best for everyone.13
We’ve been warned.
Of course, once the government is in control it won’t matter anymore. We don’t have any choice but to do what we’re told. That’s exactly where Democrats want us, but first they have to get rid of the president. Their false health care promises can wait.
UPDATE October 13, 2019: Medicare for Everybody makes Democrats’ second biggest problem much worse
Let’s pretend Medicare for All is the law of the land. Everyone gets health insurance: the poor, the homeless, the almost poor, the middle class, even illegal immigrants. We truly have a health insurance program for all.
We still have to pay for it. That gives Democrats a chance to climb up on their anti-Republican, anti-wealth stump.
H.R. 2452, the Medicare for America Act of 2019 lays the party’s cards on the table:
Medicare for America will be financed by sunsetting the Republican tax bill, imposing a 5% surtax on adjusted gross income (including on capital gains) above $500,000, and increasing the Medicare payroll tax and the net investment income tax. Medicare for America also increases the excise taxes on all tobacco products, beer, wine, liquor, and sugar-sweetened drinks.14
So we punish the rich and Republicans, but we also impose sneaky, hard to see regressive taxes on those without much income to spare.
Bernie Sanders’s funding scheme is called: “Make the Wealthy Pay Their Fair Share.” This includes whacking families making as little as $250,000 per year with a 40% tax rate and then attacking their investment returns, estates, tax deductions, and everything else with a monetary value15.
Here’s the problem for Democrats. No matter how much wealth they strip from the richest Americans, they still can’t put them in the poor house. Someone has to pay for everything. That means those with money will be able to afford better health care. They will have better outcomes. They can pay for better specialists and rest up in boutique hospitals.
Those with less money will die sooner from illnesses the rich can buy their way out of.
Like it or not, this is how all economies work. Even those at the top of socialist systems will get better health care.
No matter what Democrats do to solve America’s biggest problem we will always have health care for the rich and health care for the poor. Outcomes will be different. Critics will charge unfairness no matter how much we tax and spend.
Medicare for All is a bald-faced lie
This plan in all of its guises is health care for the masses. In the event this socialist fraud to keep us healthy passes, we will have a second problem to solve: how can we make the wealthy sicker so Medicare for All seems less unjust?
1. “Shared Responsibility for Health Care.” Democrats.senate.gov. March 27, 2010. dpc.senate.gov/healthreformbill/healthbill69.pdf, retrieved September 22, 2019.
3. “New Democrat Coalition Health Care Task Force Co-Chairs Statement on ACA Bill Introduction.” Greg Stanton. March 26, 2019. stanton.house.gov/media/press-releases/new-democrat-coalition-health-care-task-force-co-chairs-statement-aca-bill, retrieved September 23, 2019.
4. “Improving Access to Affordable Health Care.” Ann McLane Kuster. kuster.house.gov/issues/improving-access-to-affordable-health-care, retrieved September 19, 2019.
5. Alexander, Whitley. “Broken Promises: “Medicare for All.” Phil Roe, M.D. May 8, 2019. roe.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=400514, retrieved September 26, 2019.
7. Mark Hadley, Deputy Director, Before the Committee on the Budget. United States House of Representatives. “Testimony. Key Design Components and Considerations for Establishing a Single-Payer Health Care System.” Congressional Budget Office. May 22, 2019. p. 1. cbo.gov/system/files/2019-05/55258-SinglePayerTestimony.pdf, retrieved September 26, 2019.
8. “Shaheen Introduces Health Care Affordability Package to Lower Patient Costs & Improve Access to Care, Amid Renewed Republican Efforts to Repeal Health Coverage For Millions.” Jeanne Shaheen. April 1, 2019. shaheen.senate.gov/news/press/shaheen-introduces-health-care-affordability-package-to-lower-patient-costs-and-improve-access-to-care-amid-renewed-republican-efforts-to-repeal-health-coverage-for-millions, retrieved September 19, 2019.
9. “Major Accomplishments of the 111th Congress.” speaker.gov/sites/speaker.house.gov/ files/documents/MAJOR-ACCOMPLISHMENTS-OF-THE-111th-CONGRESS-copy.pdf, retrieved September 27, 2019.
10. “Warren, Colleagues Reintroduce Legislation to Hold Insurance Companies Accountable and Strengthen Consumer Protections.” Elizabeth Warren. April 11, 2019. warren.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/warren-colleagues-reintroduce-legislation-to-hold-insurance-companies-accountable-and-strengthen-consumer-protections, retrieved September 22, 2019.
11. “Warren Joins Sanders, 13 Other Senators to Reintroduce Medicare-for-All.” Elizabeth Warren. April 11, 2019. warren.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/warren-joins-sanders-13-other-senators-to-reintroduce-medicare-for-all, retrieved September 28, 2019.
12. “Remarks by Administrator Seema Verma at the American Hospital Association Regional Policy Board Meeting.” CMS.gov. September 10, 2019. cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/remarks-administrator-seema-verma-american-hospital-association-regional-policy-board-meeting, retrieved September 27, 2019.
14. “The MEDICARE FOR AMERICA Act of 2019.” delauro.house.gov/sites/delauro.house.gov/ files/Medicare for America of 2019 Summary.pdf, retrieved October 13, 2019.
15. “Options to Finance Medicare for All.” pp. 3-4. sanders.senate.gov/download/options-to-finance-medicare-for-all?inline=file, retrieved October 13, 2019.
Author’s note: this post was edited for clarity after the original publish date of September 28, 2019.