According to the Real Clear Politics poll average, the leaders for Demoractic Presidential nomination are (first place) former Vice President Joe Biden (D), (second place) Sen. Bernie Sander (D), (third place) Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D), and (forth place) Sen. Kamala Harris. Three of the top four Democratic candidates are planing on nationalizing our health care system according their latest debate answers.
U.S. health care spending was over $3.5 trillion or $10,739 per person in 2017 and it’s growing. As a share of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, health spending accounted for 17.9%, making it one of our largest sectors of the economy. Healthcare is provided by many distinct organizations and is largely owned and operated by private sector businesses. Fifty eight percent of U.S. community hospitals are non-profit, 21% are government owned, and 21% are for-profit. That means roughly 80% of our medical system is already government-run or non-profit. It appears that top non-profit hospitals are not controlling their executives salaries with people making over $10 million a year. Yet all the politicians talk about is the overcharging on the capitalist side, which is a smaller part of the overall hospital system.
“Prohibitively high costs” is the primary reason Americans have had problems accessing health care, according to Gallup. Since almost everyone agrees that the cost of health care is the primary problem, then historically the best way to bring down costs is to open up the system to additional competition and increase transparency. The best way to increase prices is to limit competition and reduce transparency. Government programs like Obamacare (ACA or Affordable Care Act) said they would be more open but in fact were less, especially in the low-population markets.
Changing 18% of the economy (and with the Democractic leaders this would be a massive change eliminating the capitalist system for healthcare) means most if not all companies and many jobs associated with them would be eliminated, new positions would open, and a completely new government-run operation would be in charge.
What the top Senators are proposing would make Obamacare look like a warm up for the big game. This is a massive change to a substantial part of our economy and all three proposing such massive changes have almost zero experience in the the healthcare industry. None of them have led a massive restructuring in any industry at all. Even more concerning, they really have very little private sector experience at all.
This would be the single largest government takeover in the history of America, run by political bureaucrats. What could go wrong? Oregon’s governor at the time Obamacare was implemented had been an emergency room doctor, and even his team managed to waste millions.
Obamacare never came anywhere close to proving the coverage and price reductions that the government promised. In Oregon it was full of fraud at the state level and unflatteringly compared to New Jersey’s plan. In both states, plans raised costs, limited access and decreased transparency– the complete opposite of what the politicians promised. Is this a surprise? The governor at the time, John Kitzhaber, eventually resigned under a cloud of scandal.
When the political bureaucrats want to take over big parts of our economy, promising many wonderful outcomes, and with only cursory knowledge about the industry they want to drastically change, we are all in serious trouble.