Bernie has a plan.

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Bernie Sanders, the self-proclaimed democratic-socialist senator from Vermont and 2020 presidential candidate, announced his Medicare for All plan Wednesday. In a crowded meeting room in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, flanked by two U.S. flags and in front of a banner that said, “Health Care is a Right,” Bernie laid out his plan to completely scrap employer and private health insurance and replace it with a single-payer, government-run health care system.

The currently-acknowledged cost – which we all know from experience with previous grand government social welfare schemes will prove to be grossly understated – runs to some $35 trillion over ten years; or roughly $3.5 trillion per year.

For some perspective, the entire federal revenue budget for fiscal year 2019 is $3.4 trillion. And that staggering sum is still not enough to cover existing spending. To keep the bureaucrats paid and the lights turned on, the government will need to borrow another $900 billion.

But not to worry, Bernie has a plan. The money will come, according to Sen. Sanders, by making the “rich” and “greedy corporations” “pay their fair share.” (What a novel idea.)

There are two problems here. The first is the cost. The cost alone would kill this lunacy but for the fact that the number is so huge, it is beyond comprehension. Americans have become so numb to the massive sums thrown about in discussions of federal spending that citing the cost of any federal program has little measurable impact even on nominal fiscal conservatives.

The second problem is that a significant number of people, justifiably disgusted with rising premiums, rising deductibles and fewer choices of providers, are going to think Bernie’s plan sounds like a good idea. ‘Hey, they do it in England. I talked to a Brit once and he told me their health care is great.’

It isn’t. Trying to adopt the British model here would be catastrophic. The UK has one-fifth the population of the U.S. spread over one-fourth the land area. Scaling their system up to cover 320 million people flung across an entire continent would be a disaster.

An article this week in the Times of London details how tens of thousands of older Brits are going blind from cataracts as they suffer the National Health Service’s rationing of cataract surgery. As challenged as our health care system is, you nevertheless don’t hear similar stories here. Here, you can have cataract surgery within a week for the price of a modest car payment.

It has been true since the establishment of the National Health Service in 1948 that no matter how much Parliament appropriates for it, it is never enough. The health care that Brits don’t pay for with cash they pay for with time – time spent waiting on care that is severely rationed by government bureaucrats.

No, Bernie, health care is not a right. Nor is it a privilege. It is a service like any other important service. Somebody has to pay for it.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of ATW Media, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The TEAM FM in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

You may also like...

6 Responses

  1. Richard Anderson says:

    What Bernie Sanders wants to do is to fundamentally transform The United States of America to a socialist* America, *i.e. like the defunct socialist U.S.S.R. where those in government “worshiped” atheism, collectivism, and communism — the individual be damned.
    To embrace socialism is to hate America as Founded. Yes hate, because Karl Marx and his writings is the polar opposite of everything our Founding Fathers fought and died for.

    It should be noted, that socialist Bernie Sanders has some twisted nostalgic admiration for the defunct U.S.S.R., as he chose, of all places in the world, to honeymoon with his bride in that country which will forever be known for the brutal repression of its citizens and of political thought.

    In stark contrast to the now dead regime of the Soviet Union, The United States of America, a Constitutional Representative Republic, was Founded in Freedom under God, with The Bill of Rights making crystal clear what the limits of government are, what the government CANNOT do. Namely, it cannot violate the “unalienable RIGHTS*” {*i.e. inherent and GOD given} which belong to each and every individual American citizen.

    No, Mr. Sanders is NOT fit to be President of the United States. Instead, perhaps, he should move to some socialist/communist country which is more in tune with Marx’s failed ideologies of the past. Because this I know, millions of Americans who love these United States, like me, will NEVER, nor will we EVER, accept the socialist takeover of our beloved U.S.A..

    God Bless The U.S.A. and our President.
    Go Trump in 2020.

  2. Ron Eagleman says:

    Yes Paul, that elusive “someone” who has to pay for it, and we all know that “someone” is the American taxpayer. It is amazing that “anyone” would listen to a self-described Socialist who has never had a real job or met a real payroll in his life. It is also amazing that “anyone” would swallow yet another idea that has proven to be disastrous, not only to the economy, but also to the access to health care. As in all Socialist countries, those on the top of the pyramid would not be subject to such rationing that would certainly follow. These elites would be exempt from the horrors of denials of treatment and long waits for basic treatment; does anyone remember the ACA and the carve outs for our esteemed politicians? Of course, “free stuff” is easy to peddle, and without a sufficiently informed electorate who actually pays taxes, it could sell. Universal government controlled health care is the holy grail of despots; with this control, every other right in our Constitution and Bill of Rights can be erased. If there is any activity that the government finds offensive, including firearm possession, it is a simple matter to deny coverage based on the determination that the behavior is medically risky. How about the consumption of certain foods? When a person is faced with the fear that he/she or family will be denied health care if they behave in certain ways unacceptable to the rulers, most will be very obedient.

  3. “Socialists?”
    Call ‘em what they are:
    Everything’s FREE?
    What next, free Vodka???


    • Richard Anderson says:

      The infamous Vladimir Lenin once said, “The goal of socialism is communism.”

      Thus, it is incumbent upon WE THE PEOPLE of our blessed country –The United States of America– a Constitutional Republic Founded in FREEDOM under God, that WE as a freedom loving country, be forever vigilant and REJECT “in toto” the evil and misery which is socialism. CHOOSE American free enterprise Capitalism.

      A blessed Palm Sunday to all. Go with God, and God bless America.
      Let Freedom Ring!

  4. Anyone here see Bernie’s Fox News town hall?

  5. Darrell says:

    Does Bernie’s plan to “completely scrap private health insurance” include jobs for all those currently employed in that particular sector?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *