Brian Mark Weber / February 3, 2023

Free Healthcare Is Getting More Expensive

Both in the U.S. and around the globe, the flaws of government-run healthcare are becoming more and more evident.

The concept of free government healthcare is appealing to millions of Americans. But what sounds like a good plan might be too good to be true. There are some very real and very negative consequences to handing over one-fifth of the U.S. economy to government bureaucrats.

What could possibly go wrong? Well, plenty.

Right here at home, we’ve seen government bureaucrats pretending to be health experts while pushing lockdowns and vaccine and mask mandates. We’re only beginning to see the blowback from policy wonks and self-serving politicians playing doctor during COVID-19.

Before that, how can we forget about the ObamaCare disaster? The government couldn’t even get the website to work, and 12 years later we’re still paying the ever-higher price for government overreach and intervention.

We can also look beyond our borders, where nationalized medicine has already been implemented. Take Great Britain, for example. (No, really, take it.) As National Review’s John Fund and David Simon report: “Medicare for All would harm and perhaps kill many Americans. Just look at the pain and suffering that England’s version of single payer, the National Health Service, is inflicting on patients. The NHS reports that as of November 2022, 2.9 million of the 7.2 million patients referred for treatment waited more than 18 weeks to start treatment. Over 450,000 patients waited more than a year.”

They add: “The NHS acknowledges that these results do not meet its standards, but it admits that its goal is to ensure that 92 percent of patients wait ‘no more than 18 weeks.’ NHS emergency rooms also are a disaster. Another NHS report shows that in December 2022, 35 percent of patients were not seen, i.e., had not begun to receive care, within four hours.”

The Heritage Foundation reports on other horror stories coming out of the British single-payer health system. Yet it’s that very system that Democrats want to replicate here in the U.S.

Unfortunately, our Medicare hospital fund is expected to go broke by 2028, putting American patients at risk. Apparently, free government healthcare is great until the government can’t afford to provide the very basic services and procedures we’ve become accustomed to in the free market system.

Who knew free healthcare could be so expensive? When a government-run healthcare system runs out of money, it’s patients who pay the price with their health.

“The result is rationing and agonizing waits for routine treatment,” writes Pacific Research Institute health policy researcher Sally Pipes. “Patients are suffering the consequences. More than 8,400 Canadians died while waiting for treatment between April 2019 to March 2020.”

Pipes adds that there are only two acute care beds for every 1,000 Canadians, and that when it comes to technology, “Our northern neighbor has just 10 MRI machines and 15 CT scanners per million people. The United States has 38 MRI machines and 43 CT scanners per million people.” It’s no wonder that Canada is now turning to the private sector to deliver healthcare services in order to alleviate pressure on the government health system that’s dysfunctional.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Health Minister Sylvia Jones plan to deliver more procedures at private clinics. The Ontario Health Insurance Plan will continue to fund tests and surgeries, for which there are more than 200,000 patients waiting. Ford said it’s time for new thinking about healthcare.

Hmm … ya think?

But the problems of government healthcare go beyond mere funding. And once politicians and bureaucrats are calling the shots, patients will lose control over their healthcare choices.

Moreover, doctors are being forced to put their moral and religious principles aside. In Montana, however, the legislature is pushing back, debating a bill that would prevent doctors from being forced to perform abortions.

In the era of COVID-19, more Americans have become critical of the U.S. healthcare system, and many more are open to the idea of a single-payer system. Before we take that colossally foolish next step, we’d better take a serious look at the disaster that socialized healthcare has become — both here and elsewhere around the globe.

After all, our health is at stake.

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