The Daily Aztec

Americans don’t want Medicare for All

This plan, originally popularized by self-described Democratic socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (I- VM) is unpopular, unaffordable and unfair to American citizens.

by Dylan Meisner, Staff Writer

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Heading into the 2020 Democratic presidential primaries, one policy proposal that seems to be getting an inordinate amount of attention is the proposed expansion of Medicare to all Americans, or Medicare for all. 

This plan, originally popularized by self-described Democratic socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (I- VM) is unpopular, unaffordable and unfair to American citizens.

One popular refrain from its proponents is the support it enjoys in public opinion polls. 

For example, a recent Reuters–Ipsos survey found it enjoys 75 percent approval among Americans, with 85 percent of Democrats saying they support the policy as well as 52 percent of Republicans.

But these polls are grossly misleading, as the respondents lacked crucial information as to the implications of the policy.

When Americans are told taxes would need to be raised for this plan, the support for Medicare for all drops. 

When informed Medicare for all would lead to increased taxes (as are experienced by every country with nationalized healthcare), support dropped to 37 percent, according to a recent survey by the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation. 

The same poll also found when respondents were informed it would lead to an increase in wait times (another common side effect), support plummeted to 26 percent. 

Medicare for all is also comically unaffordable.

According to a study by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, the program is estimated to cost $32.6 trillion (yes, with a “t”) over the next 10 years.

For context, the already bloated federal budget is $4 trillion per year, meaning this policy would nearly double the federal budget. 

The cost of this program would require a tax increase on all Americans, not just the “top one percent” of income earners Senator Sanders loves to conspiratorially demonize.

This program is unfair to the American people because it would eliminate their ability to choose their healthcare plan or coverage.

The Scandinavian healthcare models Bernie blabs on about whenever a camera is in front of him all lack any options for consumers, only offering generic, government-run coverage replete with rationing and long wait times.

It is no secret, however, that America’s current state of healthcare is awful. 

While we lead the world in innovation, we rank abysmally low in the world rankings for coverage.

The Affordable Care Act bears the brunt of the blame for this fact, as the combination of an individual mandate and massive subsidies have lead to a grossly inefficient system.

Given the innovative nature of the American medical industry in spite of massive government regulation, there seems to be a simple fix. 

We should unleash the beast that is the American free enterprise system, that combined with unfettered medical innovation would lead to cheaper and more comprehensive coverage. 

Whether or not an individual mandate should exist is a fair argument. 

For those who insist on that policy, Switzerland is the perfect example of how to run such a system. 

The Swiss have a largely libertarian system (besides the individual mandate) with innovation and competition abound with little rules and regulation.

Healthcare is not a right, despite Bernie Sanders’ impassioned claims.

Americans have a right to speak freely, and this is a right against the government silencing us. 

We have the right to keep and bears arms, and this is a right against the government disarming the citizenry. 

We have a right to a free and fair trial before the collective may strip us of our life, liberty or property. 

We have a right to not be discriminated against by the government on the basis of immutable characteristics.

We do not have a right to demand that a doctor treat us. 

And we certainly do not have a right to demand that our neighbors be forced to subsidize our bad health via taxes at the point of government gun.

Bernie Sanders and the progressive wing of the Democratic Party are actively undermining the classically liberal definition of rights as laid out by John Locke.

Rights are abilities humans innately possess that are given by God, would be present in a state of nature, are not to be impeded by government. 

Rights are not affirmative goods or services to be demanded of others.

Dylan Meisner is a freshman studying political science. You can follow him on Twitter @DylMeisner.

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