A recent story in USA Today points out that nearly half of Democratic candidates are supporting repealing and replacing Obamacare with Medicare for All— the latest name for nationalized health care. Medicare for all would outlaw private insurance, and increase government spending by $33.6 trillion while cutting payments to health care providers by 40% or $660 billon over ten years. Medicare already reimburses below costs, forcing health care providers to make up the difference by charging higher prices for private patients. If private insurance were outlawed and government payments were enforced, many doctors and hospitals would be forced into bankruptcy while many others would leave the medical profession.
Polls show as much as 70% of Americans support Medicare for All, including a majority of Republicans. But that support drops once individuals are informed that Medicare for all requires a $32 trillion tax increase .
Still, Democrats are counting on being able to use Medicare’s popularity and the belief that the increased taxes will be offset by increased private sector spending on health care to maintain popular support for their plan. They also hope to use Obamacare failures to boost their case by claiming the problems with Obamacare are that the insurance companies still play a prominent role in health care. They have a point, but Obamacare is a classic case of crony capitalism masquerading as social welfare.
Sadly, they may succeed and one reason is that Republicans’ Health Care policy is little more than Obamacare lite. This mirrors the debates over Obamacare when too many Republicans defended the existing system as a model of the free-market instead of making the case that there were real problems with Health Care and that the solution was more liberty and less government.
The shame of this is that the Trump Administration has taken a number of steps to improve health care by expanding people’s choices, and as a result premiums are lowering and Trump is even getting credit for saving Obamacare. There are also a number of replacement plans that, to one degree or another, expand individual choices and options. Campaign for Liberty will continue to press for repealing Obamacare and replacing it with real free-market health care.
Read some of Campaign for Liberty chair Ron Paul’s thoughts on Obamacare and the failure of Republicans to offer a clear alternative here, and here.