President Reagan frequently said that government is not the solution, government is the problem. Nowhere can this be seen more clearly than in the cost of medical care.
Before the Federal Government got heavily into health care in the mid-sixties, medical care was cheap and affordable for almost everyone. Doctors even commonly made house calls. We took what was a very minor problem for very few people and turned it into a major problem for everyone.
The pattern seems to be that the Federal Government makes a problem so bad that the only solution people can see is for the government to take it all over.
The "Affordable Care Act" was the socialist approach to health care, and all it will do over the long haul is make a bad situation even worse by putting the federal government between people and their doctors; this will only lead to a rationing of care, all sorts of inefficiencies and waste, and a declining quality of medical care for everyone.
We were told over and over by the President and his supporters that if we passed his healthcare plan, the average family would save about $2500 a year. Instead, for the great majority, premiums and other costs have gone way up.
The law was written in a way that gave big insurance companies a major windfall so they would not oppose the bill.
Dr. Betsy McCaughey, a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Analysis, wrote that insurance companies lobbied “furiously” for the bill because it “compels the public to buy their product and forces taxpayers to subsidize it. What a sweetheart deal. The giant players – United Healthcare, Cigna, Aetna, Anthem and Humana - have seen their stock prices double, triple, even quadruple since the law was passed in 2010.”
The sad thing is that even as good as U.S. medical care is now, it would become much better and much less expensive if we could move more in the direction of a free market for medical care instead of in the direction toward more government control and more bureaucracy.
James K. Glassman wrote in U.S. News and World Report:
“One reason health care costs have been rising so much faster than inflation for so long is that we don’t pay for health care the way we pay for everything else. We’re removed from the buying process so we have less incentive to be frugal, to shop around, or even to pass up medical care altogether when we probably don’t need it. Suppose your employer gave you ‘food insurance’ that reimbursed you for all your groceries. Would you search out bargains in hamburger, or simply grab the best steaks without looking at the price? Sensible insurance should shield you from catastrophes but not routine wear and tear (you expect your homeowner’s insurance to protect you against a tornado, not a torn window screen).”
Some people have said that socialized medicine works well in Canada or in some other countries. Always these other countries have about five or ten percent of the population of the U.S., have much higher taxes, and do not have nearly the crime or illegal immigration problems that we have, so the comparisons are meaningless.