Bernie's health plan falls short

May 10, 2016

Two nonpartisan groups (Tax Policy Center and the Urban Institute in Washington) recently conducted a joint study that concludes the Sanders's plans are short a total of more than $18 trillion over a decade. The research claims his programs would cost the federal government about $33 trillion over that period, almost all of which would go toward Sander's proposed system of national health insurance. To fund this program, the Democratic presidential candidate has put forward just $15 trillion in new taxes; simple math says that leaves a shortfall of $18 trillion. Kenneth Thorpe, a former health official in the Clinton administration, predicting Sander's plan would cost $25 trillion over a decade Read more:

While it is true that we spend more on healthcare than any other country and we have worse outcomes, why is it that thousands of patients come to the US to be treated each year? Canadians have been doing it for years - borrowing, taking out a second mortgage - to come and get a needed test, MRI or surgery. The problem with socialized medicine is that there is only so much money to go around. You get what you pay for. In Canada it is not uncommon to wait months for a scan or other test; many hospitals and Dr.'s offices are closed on the weekends. What happens when the U.S. has a "pick-a- number, stand-in-line/ DMV" philosophy with healthcare? Where do we go to seek treatment immediately or to get the latest technologically-advanced healthcare in the world?

I recently spoke to my neighbor down the hall in my office building (ok, we were chatting in the ladies room). She had just had a hip replacement and was exercising each day walking down the hall. Amazing really, that she was up and about and back to work in weeks! We were discussing how wonderful and advanced modern medicine is and how lucky we are to be in the U.S. She told me a story about a trip to Australia about a decade or so ago - she had a car accident and ended up at the nearest hospital; the 'free' hospital, where there were 8 or 9 beds in a room, with one woman who was permanently living there after amputating her leg. She was eventually transferred to a nicer facility; one that people can attend if you have money or if you can afford to buy private health insurance. I have heard similar stories about healthcare in Europe as well. Talk to anyone that has a problem overseas and needs to be hospitalized; see how their experience compares to that of going to a hospital in the US.

I have one question for people that think the government should run our healthcare: How well does our government run other services such as the D.M.V. , the post office, Social Security? How is the service and what is your experience like? I understand we have a huge problem and that we need to provide for people who can't provide for themselves, but I also think people need CHOICES. Forcing people to buy the kind of health insurance plan that the government thinks people need is not my idea of freedom to choose. The law say: You can keep your plan if you like; you can keep your Dr. How is that working so far?

Yes, our healthcare system needs a major overhaul; however, having the government tax us to death and provide healthcare for everyone is not a good solution. We have some very smart people in this country, and I'm hoping that someone can figure out a solution that gives Americans the freedom to choose their providers, choose the type of health plan they buy, and offer something Affordable - because the Affordable Care Act has done the exact opposite - decrease choice of providers and plans and premiums have more than doubled for many over the past 2 years. I may not have all the answers, but I know one thing: Socialized medicine is not the Answer. (Ask anyone that qualified for Medicaid - many people would rather buy health insurance or go without than take the government's program.)