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  • Writer's pictureBrianna Lyman

Socialized Healthcare: The Grass Isn’t Always Greener on The Other Side

‘Free healthcare’ is the exact opposite of what it implies.

‘Free-anything’ comes at a hefty cost to taxpayers. Yet, lying politicians slap a “free” in front of anything they can think of in a quick bid to get votes. 

One of the biggest issues ahead of the 2020 election is “free healthcare”. Proposals from Bernie Sanders to former candidate Elizabeth Warren offer ‘free’ healthcare. According to Sanders, with higher taxes and government intervention, we can totally fix the healthcare system! 

What he and everyone else won’t tell you is what ‘free healthcare’ actually costs. We’re here to fill you in. 

First off, how does ‘free healthcare’ work? 

Looking at Bernie Sanders campaign site, Medicare For All, or, free healthcare, doesn’t want to emulate healthcare in the United Kingdom. Rather, Sanders wants to mirror Canada’s health care system. You know, the one that continually fails. 

Medicare For All would automatically enroll everyone into government run healthcare. Doctors bill the government instead of insurance companies, and with a single-payer system, there’s no choosing what doctors you want. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. 

To pay for this, Bernie would amend the tax code to raise taxes on “high-income” individuals, which is relative and unspecific. There’d also be an employer payroll tax, a new healthcare income tax, and a tax on securities transactions. Again, no other information is given. Why? Because Sanders is campaigning to naïve youth voters who don’t care, nor take the time to question what this all means.

But the answer is simple: higher taxes not just for the rich. 

‘Free Healthcare’ has numerous problems. For starters, liberals point to our current Medicare system as a small-scale example of how ‘healthcare for all’ could work. Medicare provides healthcare to those over the age of 65 who have already paid into the system.  With Medicare For All, those who haven’t paid into the system are now covered. Meaning, those who do pay into the system better be ready to pay a whole bunch more as they’re now responsible for not only themselves, but everyone else. This is quite literally the definition of inequality. 

According to the CDC, chronic and mental health conditions make up 90% of the nation’s $3.5 trillion in annual health care spending. Yet, only 45% of Americans suffer from one or both conditions. In fact, only 9.4% of Americans suffer from Diabetes. Yet, according to the American Diabetes Association, it’s estimated that every 1 in 4 healthcare dollars in the US is spent on care for those with diabetes. 

So, when Bernie Sanders and other liberal pundits say that Americans pay the most for healthcare than any other nation, they’re literally leaving out the most important piece of information: that more than half of Americans are not paying outrageous prices or that 10% of the population accounts for the most spending on healthcare. 

In Medicare For All, the government both pays for (as in raises your taxes and then uses the new funds to pay for it) and provides healthcare. The United States already has a version of this with the Department of Veteran Affairs, who in 2015 issued a report admitting that over 300,000 veterans died while waiting for the agency to process their information. Again, that’s 300,000 American lives lost because the government cannot manage healthcare. 

But Sanders is right, let’s throw caution to the wind and make this thing full scale! 

So, how has ‘free healthcare’ panned out in places like Canada? According to an article by Forbes, not so well: 

  • Orthopedic surgeons make less than half the salary American Orthopedic surgeons make because the government does not pay doctors enough despite the same position

  • The average family of four pays roughly $12,000 a year in taxes to cover their share

  • Wait times for MRI’s are 11 weeks compared to US wait times of 2 weeks

  • Patients wait on average 21 weeks to see a specialist as compared to US wait times of 21 days

In the most basic of terms, your health is at the mercy of the government. 

Are we really to believe we can trust the government with something as important as our health?


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