The Single-Payer Disaster

Opinion: Originally published at Fox News.

United States Capital Building
The Single-Payer Disaster
Newt Gingrich
Newt Gingrich

USA – -(Ammoland.com)- A recent poll should worry all Americans who care about the quality and availability of health care in America.

According to POLITICO/Morning Consult, 49 percent of American voters say they would support a single-payer health care system, wherein the only provider of health insurance in the United States would be the federal government.

Think about that: The same federal government that runs Medicaid and Medicare – both of which lose an estimated $70 billion to $110 billion in tax dollars annually to fraud – would be the sole option for your family’s health insurance.

Not surprisingly, 67 percent of Democrats said they are in favor of having the government completely take over our health insurance system – a figure that is up from 54 percent in April. This shows the growing influence that Bernie Sanders, who recently introduced a “Medicare For All” bill, continues to exert over the Democratic Party. What’s truly alarming though is that even 33 percent of Republicans polled said they support a single-payer health care system.

These results suggest that in the midst of arguing over Obamacare and the merits of the various “repeal and replace” bills, some basic truths have been forgotten.

It is time to go back to basics.

The most important principle to understand in the debate over health care is that government-dominated systems lead to scarcity and rationing. It is why we see the same food lines and starvation in Venezuela today that we saw last century in Soviet-run countries.

In single-payer health care systems, scarcity and rationing often take the form of long wait times. The Red Cross recently declared that Great Britain, which has a single-payer system, faced a “humanitarian crisis” of hospital bed and doctor shortages. Two people recently died at a British hospital after waiting more than 30 hours in a hospital hallway for treatment.

If this situation sounds familiar, it is because the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Health Administration, another government-run health care system, faces a similar crisis of long wait times due to years of bureaucratic inefficiency. (Fortunately, under the leadership of President Trump and VA Secretary Shulkin, this problem is being fixed, in part by offering veterans more non-government health care provider options.)

Other times, scarcity and rationing take the form of government refusing to pay for treatments that you and your doctor think are best for your health.

In Britain’s case, the government – not the patient or doctor – has the final say on what treatments are covered. According to National Health Service Constitution for England:

“You have the right to drugs and treatments that have been recommended by NICE for use in the NHS, if your doctor says they are clinically appropriate for you. You have the right to expect local decisions on funding of other drugs and treatments to be made rationally following a proper consideration of the evidence. If the local NHS decides not to fund a drug or treatment you and your doctor feel would be right for you, they will explain that decision to you.” [emphasis added]

The British government justifies its decisions through “comparative effectiveness” studies. But in modern medicine, which is becoming increasingly personalized, this is extraordinarily dangerous. If studies show Drug A is 70 percent effective at treating a disease, while Drug B is only 50 percent effective, the government may decide to cover Drug A over Drug B, regardless of what your doctor recommends. Medicine is rarely one-size-fits-all, and if you are a person for whom Drug A does not work, then you may be paying big for Drug B.

Ultimately, single-payer health care suffers from the same problem that Margaret Thatcher identified as the issue with all of socialism: “Eventually you run out of other people’s money.”

In 2014, the State of Vermont tried to pass a single-payer system. The state that gave us Senator Sanders was meant to be the liberal-torchbearer that would show the nation how great a government-run system could be.

Then, reality set in.

Democratic Governor Peter Shumlin realized he would have to raise the state’s payroll tax to 11.5 percent and set premiums at nearly 10 percent of people’s income.

According to The Washington Post, Shumlin determined the plan would be bad for Vermonters, saying “the potential economic disruption and risks would be too great to small businesses, working families, and the state’s economy.”

Three years after Vermont’s single-payer effort fell apart, California’s State Senate passed a single-payer health care bill in June of this year.

Even upon passage, the Democrats in the state acknowledged it was an incomplete, wildly expensive piece of legislation that had no hope of going anywhere. The plan would cost $400 billion a year. Lawmakers would have to raise the state’s payroll tax to 15 percent in order to raise the additional $200 billion in annual revenue required to afford the plan.

Republicans must remember these examples – and once again get into the habit of regularly communicating conservative principles and policies. If we don’t focus on winning the basic arguments about the merits of free markets over socialism, the Left will continue to try to convince every new generation of American voters that destructive policies, like single-payer health insurance, are reasonable.

If we let the Left win, America will be fundamentally changed in a matter of decades. That new America would be less healthy, less prosperous, and less free.

Your Friend,
Newt

Understanding Trump
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About Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich is well-known as the architect of the “Contract with America” that led the Republican Party to victory in 1994 by capturing the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives for the first time in forty years. After he was elected Speaker, he disrupted the status quo by moving power out of Washington and back to the American people.

Gingrich Productions is a performance and production company featuring the work of Newt Gingrich and Callista Gingrich. Visit : www.gingrichproductions.com

19 Comments
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Scott
Scott
3 years ago

Just like your argument that MOST low income people are not lazy, MOST of the high income people are not morally corrupt and greedy. There are some lazy people living off the system and there are some wealthy people who continue to accumulate additional wealth. SOME of each group are corrupt. Look at our elected politicians. Many of them either come into office with substantial amounts of money behind them and almost all of them come out of office with multi-million dollar holdings. Gee, how does that happen? We tried the higher tax brackets decades ago. If you look up… Read more »

Roger
Roger
3 years ago

What most folks don’t realize is that nationalized healthcare is a foregone conclusion, and this has been the global trend for several decades. Here in the good old US the public has been sold Socialism in the schools since the 70’s and the bulk of immigration has been from countries with a Socialist mentality. By and large the only folks I know who don’t Buy in are 50+, were born here and have a conservative family background … and we’re in the minority. I’m 70 on SSA and Medicare and have the ability to pay for a 1st class supplement,… Read more »

N30rebel
N30rebel
3 years ago

Get bent Kent! After years of Reagan, Bush, Clinton (an unadmitted centrist Republican) and, now, Trump, how could a person not be an expert on stupidity, having suffered through the impact of their acquiescence to corporate fascism? Lest you think I’m being partisan, I hold Democrats in equal disdain for many of the same reasons.

Bryan StMartin
Bryan StMartin
3 years ago

I sold health insurance. The profit margin is about $1.25 per person per month. They made a profit by having huge numbers of enrollment and preventing patients with pre-existing high cost conditions to enroll. Pharmaceuticals for these diseases are priced based on what the insurance company will pay, not on cost of drug. There is no way the government can do this. There was an option for high risk patients called a high risk pool. Not available in all states. This is where the Government can come in. Trump’s plan to permit cross state line competition during his campaign was… Read more »

Whodaty
Whodaty
3 years ago
Reply to  Bryan StMartin

@MorganArms&Ammo – What we really need is new government regulations mandating that all health insurance providers be NON-Profits. The CEO’s can still make a huge bundle or two, but it’s the stockholders driving for profits on top of the already high costs of treatment and management overhead that cause health insurance to be spiraling ever higher. Cutting out the stockholder side of things would make all the difference, as in Switzerland. For some details look at:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/caitlin-kraft-buchman/switzerlands-health-insur_b_291944.html The other thing the government should do is go after the people and institutions that defraud our healthcare system, with the tenacity given to… Read more »

JS
JS
3 years ago

I wish this site would focus on shooting news which is already maddening with all of the liberals attempts to control firearms. The slow pace at which the current bills on concealed carry reciprocity, share, and others move through Congress is crazy.

Larry Brickey
Larry Brickey
3 years ago
Reply to  JS

Yea and verily!

Bill
Bill
3 years ago

Pete, you know, I was going to say something very similar. Only I was going to say that the percentage is quite higher. Have you listened to most people under 35 try to articulate a basic sentence with any substance? They sound sooo dumb. I hate speaking with most of them. Then, I attended a wooden boatbuilding school in Cedarville Michigan and met a young guy from upstate NY, he was 18, homeschooled, and was the most articulate and educated person I had met in a very long time. I met his parents at our graduation and had to congratulate… Read more »

JS
JS
3 years ago
Reply to  Bill

And as the article shows the number is growing…

Scott E. High
Scott E. High
3 years ago

Give it up to the states to decide and/or implement. We already know how fiscally irresponsible most of the liberal states are. Some of them are constantly teetering on bankruptcy and several more are approaching it. If the Democrats truly believe that they have a “good” plan, let them implement it and prove it to the rest of the country. My guess is that those states would rather be able to blame the federal government rather than take the risk of having their own plans blow up –AGAIN!!

MBH
MBH
3 years ago

Hey, democrats can’t help it is is drilled into them starting the first day of school! Then it becomes a sickness!

VE Veteran - Old Man's Club
VE Veteran - Old Man's Club
3 years ago

Single payer health care is a key part of Socialism. Socialism is where the government dictates everything you can do, and shoots you if you don’t want to because you cannot own firearms. You are no longer free, but a slave to government. Socialism works so well at population control that if the government isn’t executing you, you have to watch out for you neighbor wanting to munch on you because he too is starving. It is nothing but misery and poverty except for the ruling class and your taxes become exorbitant climbing to anywhere from 50 – 75 percent… Read more »

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
3 years ago

@VE The Veteran’s Administration is a perfect example of socialized medicine. And you know how well the VA works!

Pistol Pete
Pistol Pete
3 years ago

That means 49 percent of the country is stupid
and all the democrats in the country are stupid

Donald Brown
Donald Brown
3 years ago
Reply to  Pistol Pete

Democrats are either one or more of these three: stupid, politically ignorant or morally corrupt.FACT! Am 65 years old .i know what i am talking about. Old geezer

N30rebel
N30rebel
3 years ago
Reply to  Donald Brown

I would think that by 65 years old you wouldn’t be so obtuse as to be unaware that Republicans are also stupid, politically ignorant and morally corrupt, but most of all greedy. I suppose it makes sense, though, if you are a social Darwinist.

Clark Kent
Clark Kent
3 years ago
Reply to  N30rebel

Coming from you; the expert in stupid…..

Chuckbone
Chuckbone
3 years ago
Reply to  N30rebel

@N30rebel, its pretty simple. If the feds control healthcare with a single payer system thay control a large percentage of the economy and whether you receive the care you may need. Who is pushing this plan? Democrat/socialist/communists. Also if you read the posts on this site you would know the republicans are not popular here.

BJI
BJI
3 years ago
Reply to  N30rebel

NOT ONLY the Dems and Repubs but wealthy and high income people are generally morally corrupt and most of all greedy! How many houses or cars should be owned by anyone when there are people STARVING and DYING of disease thru no fault of their own because they cannot afford a decent diet or medical care! DO NOT give me the BS that most of the low income people are that way because they are lazy! Very few people have the ability or luck to earn a 6 figure income. ALL income from $200,000 to $1,000,000 per year should be… Read more »