Saturday, July 29, 2017

NJ Gov. Candidate Wants to Bring 'Medicare-for-all' into Healthcare Debate. Good. Let's Bury It

With ObamaCare repeal and replace on the front burner in Washington, an obscure candidate for the 2017 New Jersey gubernatorial election is trying to lift a complete government takeover of American healthcare into the thick of the debate. This fits with the Democrats’ far-Left agenda.

In Gov. candidate: Lacking in health-care debate: Medicare-for-all for the New Jersey Star-Ledger, Green Party candidate Seth Kaper-Dale wrote:

The Republicans had seven years to come up with a viable replacement to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), but today [July 17, 2017] Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky admitted to defeat when he couldn't find 50 senators to vote on a bill that would have left millions without healthcare. Absent an Obamacare substitute, the president wants a vote to repeal it, which would reverse more than 50 years of improvements in coverage for Americans.

I've listened closely to defenders of Obamacare and proponents of the Republican plans, but until recently few congressional representatives argued primarily about care; most talk about insurance. Both plans assumed Americans are obliged to throw money into a poorly-regulated private industry.  It's unnecessary.

Yes, it is. Money shouldn’t be thrown into the health insurance industry. Nor should regulations. Government money and regulation, built up over decades, have caused the steadily increasing disfunction of healthcare.

But his solution is worse than the disease. Medicare-for-all is just what it sounds like—single, meaning monopsony, financing of healthcare coercively commandeered by the federal government. Rather than admit the obvious—that government has had its chance are running healthcare, and it has failed—Kaper-Dale would reward government with total control. Notice also that Kaper-Dale, a cleric, ignores the immorality of using government force not to protect individuals’ rights to govern their own monetary and healthcare decisions, but to repudiate and alienated those rights from the people. This, of course, is what altruism demands.

I left this rebuttal commentary, edited for clarity:

After decades of government intervention in American healthcare, starting with the “original sin” of intervention—the tax exclusion for employer-sponsored healthcare—we’ve reached the ultimate absurdity; “unaffordable” healthcare at nearly 20% of GDP—financed by us, the very people who allegedly can’t afford healthcare without government “help.” Now, we’re to reward the cause of all of our problems in healthcare and health insurance with totalitarian control? Kaper-Dale proposes, as a solution to the problems caused by government, to disregard the rights of consumers, businessmen, and doctors, and force everyone into government control.  This is irrationality that borders on insane. It is cruel, dishonest, impractical, immoral, and wrong. You don’t reward the culprit by stripping away from the victims of government intervention their last meager elements of private control and freedom.

Our current healthcare is a quasi-socialized mixture of communism and fascism, built piece by piece, with only 10% of healthcare spending controlled by consumers. Don’t be suckered by simple-minded assurances like “universal healthcare puts healthcare financing into the hands of the state while delivery of care remains largely in the hands of the same healthcare professionals.” He who pays the piper calls the tune. State funding is tyranny, plain and simple. Freedom is individuals spending their own money as they judge best. Under single state payer, your doctor will be beholden to government cost-cutting bureaucrats, not you. The patient, in fact, will be cut out from the equation. As Kaper-Dale readily admits, your healthcare will be between the state and healthcare professionals—professionals who themselves will be regulated by government!

Don’t be suckered by the “efficiency” argument. Our current system is loaded with government-enforced bureaucratic inefficiency, but it is shifted to the hamstrung private sector. The only proven, moral “system” to efficiently deliver products/services and control costs is the natural incentives of a free market; consumers seeking the best value for their dollars from providers, governed by the profit motive, freely competing for consumers’ business—resulting in ever-widening affordable access to healthcare across the great mass of people. The opposite, “free” healthcare for all, results in exploding costs which government struggles to contain, resulting in “death panels” dictating who can get what healthcare and when. The discipline of the profit motive is the real cost reducer, provided we have a free market. Without that discipline, where’s the restraint? There is none, as Medicare’s unfunded liability proves. What’s left? The government’s rationing guns.

Don’t be suckered by demonization of insurance companies. The insurance industry has been crippled by government regulation and cronyism, and is not indicative of insurance in a free market. Private insurers in a free, unregulated market can’t dictate terms, because consumers can say “no” and bring their business elsewhere. Try saying no to government, which has the power of the gun—of law.

“Medicare-for-All” has been waiting in the wings ever since ObamaCare’s passage. It is the final assault to consolidate complete government control. We must repel it. We have now reached the end game we have been heading for for 80 years, and we must make the choice that has been implicit in every political battle over healthcare policy—freedom or slavery; immoral healthcare or moral healthcare; total government control or a fully free market based on individual rights in medicine; socialism or capitalism.

The government has had its chance at controlling healthcare, and it has failed. The solution is to respect the rights of individuals to make their own healthcare decisions and be responsible for their own healthcare needs, including how they spend their money, contract with insurers and doctors, and who, when, and in what capacity to assist others in need. Eliminate all health insurance mandates and legal barriers to competition; phase out the tax-created, employer based health insurance favoritism; phase out and eliminate Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP, and other forced wealth redistribution schemes; end remaining government regulations, mandates, and subsidies relating to and interfering in healthcare decision-making for providers and consumers; strengthen and step up enforcement of laws for policing markets against fraud.  

The government’s proper job is not to guarantee everyone healthcare—there is no “right” to healthcare that others must be forced to provide—but to secure the rights of each citizen to pursue healthcare according to her own judgement and in voluntary association and agreement between providers and consumers. Kaper-Dale clarifies the fundamental crossroad we are at. There is no escaping it. The time for half measures and compromise is over. The choice is clear: our freedom and individual rights, or all corralled under legal rule by a healthcare aristocracy forcibly financed with our own money.


Medicare-for-all is currently taking a back seat in the healthcare debate between ObamaCare and its alleged Republican replacement. At this writing, the Republicans are flubbing the chance to move majorly toward a free market: Indeed, they rarely talk about free market healthcare and what it would mean, especially morally.

But make no mistake: total government control of healthcare, via single payer, is waiting in the wings. This may be the last chance to reverse the 50+ year tide of increasing problems of healthcare cost and paralysis associated with growing government interference, euphemistically called “improvements in coverage for Americans.” We are approaching the day when a majority of Americans, tiring of the never-ending political fight over healthcare, will throw in the towel and give up complete control to government, without ever knowing that it is precisely the politicization of medicine that is the problem—and that a complete separation of medicine and state leading to free market, individual rights-based healthcare is the only alternative to today’s mess. A Republican collapse on the issue, or a bad replacement, will pave the way for that eventuality.

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