By Dave Racer, MLitt
President of Freedoms Dream Foundation
During 2019, the annual premium for a family health insurance plan provided by an employer averaged $20,576.[i] This high premium is compounded by very high deductibles and out-of-pocket spending before the insurance begins to pay. It is not impossible for a family to spend more than $33,000 on health insurance and medical care before their insurance starts to pay the bills. In some parts of the country, premiums exceed $45,000.
Everyone knows that health insurance costs too much, although they disagree on the reasons. Something must be done, and so we turn to politicians to fix it. I have written extensively about this – most recently in The Manual – Health Care 2020: Connecting the Dots.
Here I want to focus on one repetitive theme that “It’s time for government to take over health care.”
No one should escape responsibility for the high cost of care but carving out insurance companies because of a belief that government can provide access to quality health care at a reduced cost is like cutting off your arm because your leg is infected. It replaces terrible pain with something far worse.
Comparing government-run (single payor, Medicare-for-All, Government Option) between countries and with U.S. health care is an endless and futile exercise. I want to emphasize one point that reaches across all health systems run by governments and paid by taxpayers – pre-existing condition exclusions.
All government-run and funded health systems share this in common – a global budget. Taxpayers, who pay very dearly for their “free” health care, really love their systems as long as they remain relatively healthy. When, however, they find themselves with serious diseases that threaten their quality or length of life, they discover that access to care is limited – and wait times are long.
Many individuals who become desperate for care flee to the United States or another foreign country, and use their own money to get the care they are denied (or for which they must wait) in their native countries. In other words, their medical conditions – a pre-existing condition – means they are denied timely medical care, if they can ever get it.
Quite literally, in countries that require medical care be provided through a government-run and paid system, life and death – and the quality of life – is in the hands of medical bureaucrats and the politicians that decide their budgets. If you have an expensive and/or chronic health problem, your pre-existing condition will preclude you from getting necessary care.
We definitely need to find better answers for U.S. health care, and we must do so soon – we already cannot much afford it. Turning to government-run care, however, would be the most critical step we could take toward servitude and the loss of liberty.
As a Canadian health care broker once said, “If the United States turns to single payer health care, then where will I send my patients?” Not here, because we Americans will be begging the bureaucrats to allow us to receive care before it cripples or kills us.