Even though Bernie Sanders is no longer running in the presidential election, the nation’s health care system still faces a real threat from socialized medicine.
In fact, it can be argued that a Joe Biden presidency may even increase the prospect of full-scale socialized health care.
Sen. Sanders’ Medicare for All plan called for the immediate elimination of the private insurance that millions of Americans reply on.
Former Vice President Biden repackages that as a more politically palatable “public option,” but make no mistake: Mr. Biden’s public option would simply lead the nation down a slower path to the same result. And that is full-scale, government-run socialized medicine.
Marc Palazzo, who is the executive director of the Coalition Against Socialized Medicine (there’s no mistaking what side of the issue he’s on) recently wrote, “The political left and its new standard bearer cleverly frame their radical proposal as merely an ‘option’ that expands choice. But their plan draws from the same, tired socialist playbook: market-distorting price controls that crowd out the private sector, lead to more government control, crush innovation and cause access restrictions for patients.”
We believe that Mr. Palazzo is on target with his assessment.
Mr. Biden’s plan begins by offering a government-run health care option using socialist-style price controls to set artificial prices well below market rates and true cost — ultimately, of course, leaving taxpayers on the hook to underwrite the difference.
The government plan’s artificially low prices would then slowly strangle its competitors in the private insurance market, ultimately crowding it out altogether and thus achieving the left’s long-term objective of socialized health care.
“As with other socialist schemes, government price setting in health care would come with serious consequences — it’s only cheap because someone else is paying the price,” Mr. Palazzo adds.
One study, for example, found that the public option plan would add $700 billion to the federal deficit over 10 years.
The artificially low rates at which a public option would pay doctors and hospitals would inevitably lead to reductions in care and reduced investment by health care providers.
Under the public option, eventually American patients would face the same dangerous health care conditions that countries with government-run health care systems deal with, including the shortages of medical supplies and long wait times for hospital beds and critical treatments.
If the consequences of the so-called public option sound familiar, it’s because they are largely the same alarms that many were sounding about Mr. Sanders’ Medicare for All plan.