Today’s New York Times is carrying a video op-ed entitled “I’m Republican. I Never Thought I’d Fight for Medicaid.” The op-ed calls for an expansion of Medicaid in North Carolina and other states to cover people who are uninsured and do not qualify for Medicaid because they make too much money.
First things first. While Republicans have traditionally despised welfare programs for the poor, such as food stamps, they are among the fiercest proponents of socialist programs for the middle class and wealthy.
Examples of the Republican embrace of socialism abound: Social Security, Medicare, public (i.e., government) schooling, school vouchers, education grants, state support for colleges and universities, foreign aid to dictators, farm subsidies, corporate grants, and many others.
Every one of those programs is based on using the coercive apparatus of the state to tax one group of people in order to give it to another group of people. In his great little book The Law, the French free-market legislator Frederic Bastiat called that type of system “legal plunder.”
Thus, while it might be shocking for a Republican to find himself supporting a welfare program for poor people, he is being disingenuous if he suggests that he opposes socialism in general. While he might disagree with Democrat Bernie Sanders in degree, he shares a deep commitment to socialism in principle with that self-labeled socialist.
Americans once had the finest healthcare system in the world — a free-market healthcare system. It was so reasonably priced that hardly anyone had medical insurance, with the possible exception of catastrophic insurance. It was a system in which people in all income categories were being treated. Doctors, who at that time loved their profession, would voluntarily provide free healthcare services to poor people simple out of sense of moral obligation.
The enactment of Medicare and Medicaid succeeded in destroying that healthcare system. That’s when healthcare costs began soaring, launching an ever-increasing set of healthcare crises, followed by healthcare reform after healthcare reform. Meanwhile, doctors began hating what they do in life and began checking out with early retirement.
Of course, no reform has ever worked to resolve the healthcare crises. There is a simple reason for that: Socialism cannot be made to work, even when it’s not referred to as socialism and even when it’s run by American bureaucrats.
That’s what so many Americans still don’t get: No matter what healthcare reform is adopted, it’s not going to fix the crises. Anyone who devotes himself to coming up with the magic reform that will finally fix America’s healthcare system is wasting his time, money, and energy. He’d be better off just leaving the system alone because as we have learned, reform oftentimes makes things worse, which leads to calls for even more governmental involvement in healthcare.
There is only one way to get America back on the track toward the finest healthcare system in history: the repeal (not the reform) of Medicare and Medicaid and the total separation of healthcare and the state. There is no other way. Socialism cannot be made to work, not with Medicaid expansion, not with Medicare for all, and not with a full socialist government takeover of healthcare.
Finally, and most important, there is no way to reconcile a system of mandatory charity, which is what Medicare and Medicaid are based on, with the principles of a genuinely free society. Thus, Americans have to make a choice: Do you want freedom or do you want the “security” that supposedly comes with Medicare, Medicaid, and other socialist programs? You can’t have both because freedom and mandatory charity are opposites. The choice must be made: Freedom or “security”?
I say: Let’s go with freedom. Let’s repeal, not reform, Medicare and Medicaid. Let’s cast America’s horrific experiment with healthcare socialism into the dustbin of history and restore a free-market healthcare system to our land.