The Wuhan Coronavirus ravages the world. As the situation in China improves with 52% of all cases now recovered, the virus is spreading rapidly in South Korea, Iran and Italy. From those countries, the regions around them suffer. Yesterday, the United States reported her first death from the disease. Day by day, the world becomes more unhinged over the coronavirus.
In an atmosphere where everything is milked of whatever political value it has, the coronavirus inevitably impacts politics. Major health issues naturally make one consider the state of the country’s medical infrastructure. This contributes to why healthcare is the most often cited main issue for 2020 voters. Interest in healthcare to this extent alongside a growing pandemic may well make previously unpalatable options seem much more palatable. Case in point, Bernie Sanders’s flagship program, Medicare for all.
The so called “democratic socialist” boasts of a world of rainbows, unicorns and a new Garden of Eden if the plan gets a chance. Quoting directly from his campaign website:
- “Create a Medicare for All, single-payer, national health insurance program to provide everyone in America with comprehensive health care coverage, free at the point of service.
- No networks, no premiums, no deductibles, no copays, no surprise bills.
- Medicare coverage will be expanded and improved to include: include dental, hearing, vision, and home- and community-based long-term care, in-patient and out-patient services, mental health and substance abuse treatment, reproductive and maternity care, prescription drugs, and more.
- Stop the pharmaceutical industry from ripping off the American people by making sure that no one in America pays over $200 a year for the medicine they need by capping what Americans pay for prescription drugs under Medicare for All.”
-Bernie Sanders’s official website
Sky high promises, but can he deliver? Sanders can be faulted for many things, but lack of commitment is not one of them. He’s held his ground on Medicare for all for a long time and will not give quarter on it in any debate or interview. In a recent Democratic debate, when pushed on the policy, he said this:
“(A recent study) said ‘Medicare for All’ will lower health care costs in this country by $450 billion a year and save the lives of 68,000 people who would otherwise have died.”
-Bernie Sanders in a recent debate
What an excellent barb, Sanders carries the day and everyone around the world can now hold hands and sing the Internationale! Unfortunately for the radicals, he is condemned by that which he says exonerates him. Even VOX, a traditional friend of the Molotov-cocktail throwing anti-capitalists penned an article giving only shaky support to Sanders on his show pony study. When even VOX refuses to write a Pravda-style article (or make a propaganda video) for a leftist cause with a slobbering endorsement of it, a forest of red flags should go up. Nonpartisan PolitiFact was much less forgiving, calling the claim “mostly false.” The only item saving it from being listed as “false” or even “pants on fire” was the fact that the study Sanders cited indeed exists. Every else about it was either dishonest, misleading or flat out wrong. The study assumed unrealistically low Medicare rates could be paid to hospitals. It also assumed that because the previously uninsured would now have access to preventative care, almost $75 ($75,000,000,000) billion in hospitalization bills will be avoided. PolitiFact notes that expanding coverage had not had that effect in the US. It fails to account for any increase in medical spending in people who already had insurance but now have the incentive to spend more because the artificially low prices. Also important is the fact that the lives saved number comes only from cherry picked data. Libertarian newsmagazine Reason nods to a study by a left-wing think tank predicting a Medicare for All plan costing $7 trillion ($7,000,000,000,000) more than current healthcare spending over the same time period. Like oil and water, facts and Bernie Sanders tend not to mix.
The electorate is up in arms over healthcare and a highly contagious coronavirus is wreaking havoc around the globe. At the same time, an old-left politician is promising borderline mystical solutions to fix the healthcare system that no one is happy with. Republicans had time to fix the problem when they had slim majorities in both houses of congress, occupied the presidency and had a majority on the Supreme Court. That didn’t work and the right never regrouped in earnest to make a second charge on healthcare hill. It is not a stretch to imagine the people saying it is time to give someone else a chance to fix the problem. Sanders is the likeliest choice to fill those shoes despite yesterday’s loss in South Carolina. This brewing storm might produce a tornado quickly and America might just end up with a president Sanders. If that comes to pass, his dogmatism and promises will inevitably lead him to force through his Medicare for all plan. Considering the evidence he uses to support it falls flat on close examination, is it really a good idea to vote for him to implement his vision?
Medicare for all has no place in the American republic. Reject socialism. Reject Sanders.
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