A single-payer healthcare system — especially one run by the government — should scare the wits out of every taxpayer. Government-run healthcare is either acceptable but expensive (Sweden), inexpensive but inefficient (Russia), or expensive and inefficient (Canada).
Capitalism and the US
From the pioneers of the industry to the billionaire tech magnate — every inventor, businessman, and entrepreneur created products and innovations to match the demands of the market. Competition and demand have made products and services better and more affordable. A 26-inch screen television set in the 80s cost roughly a thousand dollars. Today, you can have a 40-inch full HD TV for less than $400 at Walmart. Without competition, prices will remain high, and innovation will more or less stagnate.
Effects on Healthcare
Free market capitalism is at the heart of the US healthcare system. Hospitals toe the line between providing the best service and charging the right amount. Premiere hospitals charge exorbitant fees but provide excellent service and almost guaranteed results. Other hospitals try their utmost to provide the best service they can muster with the limited funds that they receive. You have a choice on how much money you are willing to spend on your treatment. Companies and corporations selling Medicare insurance also provide you with a choice. You can tailor your coverage to be as wide or as specific as you want. Insurance companies that want to service corporate clients will often bring down their prices, expand their services, or both. Currently, 90 percent of the US population is covered by insurance, and 50 percent are covered through their employers. The majority of Americans are happy with the insurance they have. Changing a system already in place — especially one that has been proven effective can have dire consequences.
A Disaster Waiting to Happen
A blanket healthcare system run by the government will rob you of choice. You cannot tailor your insurance to fit your needs or go to an FMO for additional coverage. With the government as the sole client, hospitals will begin to charge exorbitant fees — similar to how college tuition has doubled since the 90s due to government student loan programs. Unlike college tuition, taxpayers will bear the brunt of healthcare costs. Taxes will rise, and services will remain the same or even decline. With no competition, hospitals can do the bare minimum and still charge whatever they want. If the government takes steps to control the pricing — most hospitals will simply shut down. Smaller hospitals, especially ones in rural districts, will not be able to remain profitable enough to justify their operation. Currently, hospitals are getting almost double the money from commercial insurers compared to Medicare. Government-run hospitals are also not viable solutions — one just needs to look at the VA to see how efficiently the government can run hospitals and clinics.
Don’t Fix It If It’s Not Broken
The US’ free market-driven healthcare system has been in place for years — proving its efficiency and efficacy. An untried system that does away with competition and relies solely on the efforts of the government is both risky and expensive. What the government should focus on is providing healthcare to the remaining 10 percent of Americans with no access to it — and leave the ones satisfied with their healthcare alone.