On Saturday’s Periscope, Scott Adams posed the question (and I’m paraphrasing a bit):
“How can it be true that solving healthcare requires trillions of dollars and massive tax hikes and it also be true that only 18% of the country doesn’t have healthcare?”
First, is it true that only 18% of the country doesn’t have healthcare? No. The actual answer is 10% of those under 65. Obamacare actually worked to the extent that if you give people free money, they will take it.
Here’s a chart from the Congressional Budget Office (CBC):
Obamacare was ostensibly to:
- Provide insurance to those that were uninsurable. This, of course, is not insurance at all but rather welfare for which I have no problem. We’re a caring nation and methods need to be developed to handle the tragically ill.
- Create subsidies for those who couldn’t afford insurance. A hoped for consequence would be that emergency room visits would decline. This did not occur.
As you noted, Scott, if the intent was to insure the uninsured and the uninsurable, this could have and could be easily accomplished by simply totaling the costs and dividing this among the population through taxes. Boom. Done.
Employer provided healthcare turns out to work really, really well and helps companies compete for employees by providing excellent healthcare benefits.
As many of us have said, yelled, and screeched — 90% OF THE COUNTRY IS HAPPY WITH THEIR HEALTHCARE! Don’t mess with it!
However, Obamacare didn’t do that. What it did was completely distort the individual insurance marketplace. It also added various requirements that caused healthcare costs for both private and public workers to accelerate.
Why do certain Democrat candidates want to proverbially throw out the baby with the bath water and replace it with something that costs trillions of dollars?
The answer, apparently, is that they believe that all the money that’s going into employer plans would simply go into “Medicare for All” and that the government could do a better and more uniform job than employers for less cost. Now they add on the tax to pick up everyone else and problem solved.
I might be inclined to even like this plan EXCEPT that there’s absolutely no evidence that the government could do a better job than the private sector! In fact, Obamacare shows the exact opposite!
We should also address “freedom.” When we talk about “the right to healthcare” some people mean basic services. That’s fine and we have a 90% solution for that today. Where things get dicey is when we talk about “the right to the absolutely best healthcare money can buy.” Here’s where things go off the rails and costs skyrocket. It’s also not possible because if Scott Adams has a health issue, which he had with his speech, he has the means to purchase the best healthcare possible anywhere in the world. For the rest of us, not so much.
Sadly, healthcare insurance has gone from a purely mathematical problem dealing with probabilities to one dealing strictly with emotion and fear. And as we know, fear is strong persuasion.