Medicare for All? No Thanks, Part I

Senior policy analyst David Hogberg takes issue with a health care policy prescription made on the popular leftie website AlterNet:

Over at AlterNet, Joshua Holland argues that the way to universal coverage – which he inexplicably supports — is to open Medicare to all of those who want to join, not just those age 65 and older.

Holland’s article is so riddled with ignorance that it is going to require more than one blog post to set it straight.

Let’s begin with the type of health care system that Holland believes is superior to the one in the U.S.:

Holland: The day you pass a law opening up Medicare enrollment to everyone who wants in is the beginning of the end for our bloated, overpriced private health care system. Within ten years, we’d have universal, single-payer health care, with just a small percentage of Americans sticking with private insurance (like in the UK).

If we were to go the UK route, we would soon end up with a health care system that would be overused because people would think (erroneously) they are getting something for free. In response, the government would have to ration care, yielding a system characterized by bureaucracy and inefficiency:

-We could have a system that results in over 770,000 people on a waiting list to get surgery, like in the UK.

-We could have a system that results in children with heart defects on waiting lists to see a specialist, sometimes for two years, like in the UK.

-We could have a system that results in about 61,000 surgeries cancelled annually due to lack of resources, like in the UK.

Thanks, but I will take what Holland calls “our bloated, overpriced private health care system” over the UK’s any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

Coming next: Administrative costs.

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