Monday, June 05, 2017

The Chimera of Single-Payer

The American Left is enamored with the idea of single-payer health care. To them, it's the best possible form. They are blind to it's drawbacks.

Making the government responsible for health care also gives the government a bigger say in individual behavior. Considering the misguided efforts at dictating school lunches, imagine what will happen if politicians decide that the best way to cut health care costs is to mandate lifestyle changes? Right now insurers are offering incentives but imagine if these had the force of law?

And there is the big question, why does the Left want to trust their health care to the people who administer the VA hospitals?

But these issues are minor compared to the disruption that a change to Single Payer would cause to the economy. Think about it. Health care is a big portion of the economy. Single Payer means nationalizing it. Insurance is around 9% of the economy and they want to outright eliminate that.

Most Americans get their insurance through their employer and are happy with it. It's part of their compensation package. It's also one of the biggest things that unions have to offer. Unionized industries typically offer superior health benefits.

What will happen if Single Payer is implemented? Health insurance is a tax-exempt benefit. Just handing over the cash paid on employee's behalf will bet them less than they are currently getting.

In order to implement Single Payer, taxes will have to be raised. Most advocates think that other people (the rich) will be taxed and that they will get free benefits. The truth is that the rich don't have enough money. Everyone will have to pay.

When all is said and done, lots of people will be better off but lots will be worse off and the change will put the economy in turmoil for years, maybe decades. One thing that is guaranteed is that the transition will be must harder than the Left believes. The idea that the government can just put it into place without consequences is absurd.

We may get to see how this works out. Vermont tried to implement a single-payer system but it was a total failure. California is currently debating it. We'll see if they have more success than Vermont had. 

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