Archive for Medicare

On Medicare for All…

Posted in Grumblings with tags , , on March 26, 2020 by chemiclord

Again, apologies for “getting political.”  If you simply want nothing to do with this topic, back away now.

First things first, what you’re about to read here is not a defense of the current system of healthcare in America.  It’s a disgusting mess of hideous failings that isn’t even doing the bare minimum.  It needs to be dipped in bleach and then run under ultra-violet light until the germs that infect it die, then set on fire afterwards just to be sure.

This is something that the entirety of what passes for the left in the United States of America (and even a fraction of the right) agrees with.  Where the reservations begin is with the idea of a single-payer government run and administrated “Medicare for All” is the best (or even a good) answer to the problem.

I will acknowledge that I am one of those people.  I do not see any scenario where Medicare for All ends up being much more than an equal disaster of a different vein.  And here are the primary reasons why (in no particular order)…

Firstly, anyone who wants “Medicare for All” most likely has never been on Medicare.  Admittedly, this is a messaging bit, but Medicare is unmitigated garbage.  You spend your time on it desperately trying to scavenge the money to get off it.  Its means, compensation, and providers are routinely below par.  Wait times are horrific.  Quality of service varies so greatly that you’re basically flipping a coin that you’ll even be able to arrange for care at all, much less that it’s actually going to help.

After a severe injury to my back that required “immediate surgery,” I nonetheless waited four months while Medicare weaseled through every alternative (against the spinal specialist’s recommendations), until I was able to swing into a private plan that got me the surgery I needed with a nationally acclaimed surgeon in two weeks time.  This was fortunate, as the surgeon noted that the herniated discs had started to calcify and if I had waited much longer I would have likely required a wheelchair for the rest of my life.

To make Medicare a viable national single-payer system would basically require it to no longer be Medicare.  Which is fine, but if you’re gonna have to tear it all up anyway, let’s not cling to the wrapper.

Secondly, the cost analysis of it makes a dangerous assumption that the government will be able to lock in or reduce medical costs.  This is a flawed assumption because there is literally no precedent where this government has demonstrated that ability.  In fact, and you can probably ask the same college kids who are clamoring for M4A how well the government has managed the prices of their higher education.

When this government gets involved, prices inevitably go up, and usually go up in astonishing fashion, and that can be found quite literally everywhere that government is involved.  There is no evidence whatsoever that it is capable of bringing costs down, and the burden of those increased costs will nigh assuredly fall into the laps of the people who can’t afford it, because…

Thirdlymy grandfather used to have a saying whenever he would talk to me about politics.  “Never give your government a power that you don’t want your opponents to use.”

Internet Leftists seem to operate on an idea that their ideas will be so amazing once implemented that the populous would never dream of handing the reins back to Republicans.  Problem is, (once again) that there is absolutely no precedent of that, and every precedent that Americans will not only give power back to conservatives… but that they will do it in depressingly quick fashion.  It took Americans about thirty years to forget how bad things were before the New Deal.  It took them about five to forget how despicable of a man Nixon was.  Obama’s growth policies didn’t even have time for the ink to dry before enough of America was willing to hand power to Donald Trump.

America will not hesitate to give this single-payer Medicare to the Republicans that will either immediately gut it to the point that it can’t function, or use it as a weapon to impose their draconian, Evangelical leanings.  When, not if, the GOP starts requiring Medicare to deny any and all abortions, transitional therapy, or requiring gay conversion treatment in order to see benefits, I would want there to be another option for our most vulnerable to have, even if it’s not cheap.