Why are Democrats now calling for Medicare for all? The reason is obvious: Obamacare failed to fix America’s healthcare crisis. If Obamacare had succeeded in fixing America’s healthcare crisis, there would be no reason to be calling for a new reform, one that would vastly expand the role of the federal government into healthcare.
But make no mistake about it. Medicare for all will not fix America’s healthcare woes, any more than Obamacare did. Where will that lead us? It will lead us to a full and complete takeover of healthcare by the federal government. That will be a system in which all doctors become employees of the federal government and where every American will be going to the federal government for medical care. Of course, that will also mean that everyone’s healthcare records will be in the possession of federal politicians and bureaucrats.
In other words, like healthcare in Cuba, a country that many Democrats and liberals extol as a model for healthcare.
The economist Ludwig von Mises perfectly explained this phenomenon. He said that it begins with a particular government intervention into peaceful activity. That intervention, however, has consequences, adverse ones. The consequences lead to a crisis. Rather than repeal the original intervention in order to get out of the crisis, government officials instead enact a new intervention to fix the problems arising from the original intervention.
You know what happens then. The new intervention produces even more adverse consequences, which lead to a new crisis. Rather than repeal the two interventions, government officials double down with a new intervention. The process continues until there is a full government takeover and control of the activity.
That describes the situation in American healthcare.
The United States once had the finest healthcare system in the world. It was one based on no government involvement in healthcare. It was a free-market healthcare system. Advances in healthcare were occurring at a phenomenal rate. Doctors absolutely loved what they did in life. Healthcare services were reasonably priced.
In fact, hardly anyone had major medical insurance. That’s because healthcare costs were considered just an ordinary part of life, sort of like periodic car repairs. The price of healthcare stayed within reasonable boundaries.
The poor had no problems receiving treatment by both physicians and hospitals. I grew up in Laredo, Texas, which the Census Bureau said was the poorest city in the United States. Every day the doctors’ offices were filled with patients, some from Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, which was on the other side of the Rio Grande. The doctors knew that many of them could not pay for the treatment. It didn’t matter. I never heard of a case where doctors turned away anyone for inability to pay. And Laredo doctors were among the richest people in turn, second only to the oil families. They didn’t begrudge giving people free healthcare, especially since they were making so much money from everyone who could pay.
That’s the way things should be: a way of life in which healthcare is based on the free market and where charity is voluntary, not mandated through the force of the IRS or any welfare-state bureaucracy. A free-market healthcare system is precisely why the United States once had the finest healthcare system in the world.
Everything began going south with the enactment of Medicare and Medicaid in the 1960s. That is the root cause of America’s healthcare crisis. Gradually healthcare costs began climbing and then soaring. Doctors began hating what they did in life and many of them began retiring early.
Of course, there were other interventions that aggravated the situation, such as medical licensure, insurance regulation, and income-tax manipulated employer insurance plans. But the big root of the problem was — and continues to be — Medicare and Medicaid.
As the crisis gathered steam over the years, the last thing that interventionists wanted to do was repeal the original cause of the crisis. They were simply too devoted to Medicare and Medicaid and were determined to make these socialist programs succeed. Their response was a never-ending series of healthcare reforms. As Mises predicted, those reforms produced even more healthcare crises, which brought about more reforms, which produced more crises.
That’s how we ultimately ended up with Obamacare. As we have discovered, it has failed to fix America’s healthcare crisis. Instead, it has produced demands for Medicare for everyone. As previously stated, things won’t stop there. As Medicare for all produces an even bigger healthcare crisis, the calls for a full and complete federal takeover of healthcare will grow incessantly larger.
Nothing anyone can do will make any of this work. No reform will work. Medicare for all will not work. A full federal takeover of healthcare will not work. That’s because socialism cannot be made to work, not even by American politicians and bureaucrats. Socialism is an inherently defective system, one that produces nothing but chaos and crisis.
There is but one solution to America’s healthcare woes: A repeal of Medicare and Medicaid. An end to all governmental involvement in healthcare. A total separation of healthcare and the state. A total free-market in healthcare. This is the only way to get us back on the right road and restore health to American healthcare. There is no other way.