Healthcare is swiftly being recognized by individuals across the board as a fundamental human rights that is being redefined as a governmental responsibility towards its people. However, healthcare is not the responsibility of the government nor a right, but is a good and service offered by an entrepreneur in that field of practice.
“Health care must be recognized as a right, not a privilege. Every man, woman and child in our country should be able to access the health care they need regardless of their income. The only long-term solution to America’s health care crisis is a single-payer national health care program.”~ Sen. Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders, the current champion of the Medicare For All Act (M4A), contends that with his plan, he would be able to cut drug and administrative costs across the board to make his universal care plan affordable. These cost cuts however, in the long run are negligible at best. It might be true for some that on an individual scale free healthcare would be more affordable, but on a national level it is far from feasible.
According to the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, the Medicare for All Act that Senator Sanders proposes would over a ten year span increase the federal budget by over $32.6 trillion. The author of this study, Charles Blahous, stated even if the federal government were to double all income taxes on both individuals and corporations, there would not be enough revenue collected to cover the extreme costs of Medicare for All. To give an idea of what this means, our national budget for the year 2020 is $4.7 trillion, with a mandatory spending of $2.8 trillion and a discretionary spending budget of $1.7trillion. If Congress were to pass Sanders M4A, they would be taking fiscal responsibility for an additional $4.2 trillion. That means, if Congress only spent the discretionary budget on M4A, which means a complete and total disbanding the military, they would need to find a way to pay for an extra $2.5 trillion. This means that if Americans want free healthcare, they had better be ready to foot the bill because it definitely isn’t going to be free.
Blahous explained further in the study, that Sanders’ plan would reduce the provider payment rate to that of the current Medicare reimbursement system which only pays roughly 60% of what insurance companies pay. This is bad because projections say that if the current Medicare reimbursement laws were upheld, it would cause over half of all U.S. medical establishments to operate at a loss by 2040. This means that in order for a hospital to remain in existence, it would have to ration medical supply (decreasing the quality of care) and attention that it gives to patients, thus creating long waiting lines and prolonging the amount of time patients remain without care. In essence, the whole purpose of providing more people with care would be defeated.
Compare that catastrophe to a market system, where doctors and medical establishments would compete for your business by offering the highest possible quality of care for the lowest possible price. This creates innovation, because it incentivizes entrepreneurs in the medical field to find ways to make their care better less expensive than their competitors.
After reading all that and my solution to the Medicare for All debacle, you might ask, “What about people that can’t afford to pay for healthcare, what should come of them?” Charities and and social systems should fill the gap for what doesn’t cover people who can’t afford insurance for healthcare. All in all, healthcare is not a fundamental human right, but is in fact a good and service developed and offered by care providers at a competing rate with other care providers, to ensure the highest quality of care at the lowest possible price to you as a consumer.