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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Bernie and Health Care

For John, BLUFOr a future lack of it.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here, from The New York Post, is Mr Michael Tanner's 31 January 2016 take on "Bernie and the high cost of ‘free’ health care".  The sub-headline is "Modal Trigger Bernie and the high cost of ‘free’ health care".

The lede and early part of the article:

“If you think health care is expensive today,” humorist P.J. O’Rourke once opined, “just wait until it’s free.”

History has repeatedly demonstrated the undeniable truth of O’Rourke’s dictum, but that hasn’t stopped politicians from promising that the next time really will be different.  The latest to promote this version of hope over experience is Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is promoting his plan for “Medicare for All” as a key part of his presidential campaign.

Given that Medicare is running some $40 trillion in the red, that might not be the best model, but Bernie’s undeterred.  In fact, Sanders’ plan would actually cover more services than Medicare.

And, it would do away with all of Medicare’s modest cost-sharing components like co-payments, deductibles and premiums.  When Sanders promises free health care, he means it.

The question is, who will pay for it?  We will, with higher taxes.  While we talk about taxing corporations, we need to remember that a corporation that wants a 5% profit and faces a 5% tax increase the tax money won't come out of the profit, but will appear in terms of higher prices, which is an indirect tax on shopper (the rest of us).

There is also the idea of squeezing the pharmaceutical companies and their obscene prices and profits.  The flip side of that is the idea of killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.

From the article:

There’s a reason why more than half of all new drugs are patented in the United States, and why 80 percent of non-pharmaceutical medical breakthroughs, from transplants to MRIs, were introduced first in this country.
You may say it is pretty good as it is and Europeans don't seem to care.  Looking to the future it might well be a problem for our children or grandchildren, as certain medical conditions become resistant to current drugs.  The battle against disease, against germs, is never ending.

There is also the political spin out there.  That is sometimes amusing.  From the article:

But as bad as BernieCare is liable to be, it’s particularly ironic to watch supporters of Hillary Clinton and President Obama criticizing “socialized medicine.”  Where do they think we’ve been heading for the last six years?  ObamaCare may not be quite as expensive or comprehensive as BernieCare, but it still represented an enormous government takeover of the health care system.
Mr Michael Tanner is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

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