Cons

A Bernie-Sanders/Warren style Medicare-For-All plan would overwhelm the government budget.  Like the government budget costs in Canada, it would only be a matter of time before the U.S. can only spend its budget on healthcare.

Photo Taken From Reuters/Aaron P. Bernstein

A Bernie-Sanders/Warren style Medicare-For-All plan would overwhelm the government budget. Like the government budget costs in Canada, it would only be a matter of time before the U.S. can only spend its budget on healthcare.

    Healthcare is a hotly discussed topic right now in the United States. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have helped to popularize the idea of a single-payer healthcare system; furthermore, it has been a topic of conversation with COVID-19 fresh on everyone’s minds, mainly Generation Z and Millennials; however, this poses the question of whether or not it is the best course of action that our nation should take. Indeed, a single-payer healthcare system will fail our citizens as it is failing in other nations around the world.

     What many people don’t understand with single-payer healthcare is that medical decisions are in the hands of government bureaucrats, not you. What is American about having no freedom to choose what healthcare you can have? According to an article published by the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, healthcare “gets rationed” by government officials in nations that have adopted a single-payer system. For instance, the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom provides very limited access to cataract surgery, hip and knee replacements, MRI scans, and even prescriptions that treat diabetes and chronic arthritis. In the United States, this is not an issue: the Affordable Care Act makes it clear that private insurance companies cannot refuse treatment to patients that have pre-existing conditions. Furthermore, wait times are grueling in nations such as Canada and the United Kingdom, where, according to an article from the New York Times, it can take up to twelve hours to see a doctor for an emergency.

 

Photo Taken From National Review
A Bernie-Sanders/Warren style Medicare-For-All plan would overwhelm the government budget. Like the government budget costs in Canada, it would only be a matter of time before the U.S. can only spend its budget on healthcare.

     Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have made it abundantly clear that they would eliminate private health insurance for American citizens if they were to be elected. Would this be the best decision economically? Both candidates have repeatedly claimed that this healthcare plan would be just like Canada and Europe. There is one problem with that: European nations and Canada both possess private insurance plans due to the overwhelming cost of only a single-payer healthcare plan. In fact, Canada’s healthcare system consumes a staggering 43.2 percent in Ontario in 2016. The Fraser Institute also estimates that with the current population growth and growth of single-payer patients, Ontario’s health care expenses are “projected to grow at about 5.3 percent per annum on average”. This means that Ontario will be spending about 80 percent of their whole budget on only healthcare by 2031. Why would the United States want a system like this? 

A Bernie-Sanders/Warren style Medicare-For-All plan would overwhelm the government budget.  Like the government budget costs in Canada, it would only be a matter of time before the U.S. can only spend its budget on healthcare.

     When we need surgery, we do not fly to Canada, South Africa, Israel, China, the European Union, etc. When we need surgery, we are in the best nation in the world to receive treatment. The quality of American healthcare is so much so that people outside of the U.S. fly here for the sole purpose of receiving our healthcare.  This reality is supported by recent studies from the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that there are “deficits in several areas including angioplasty, cardiac catheterization and intensive care” in Canada’s universal healthcare system. Consequently, from government-funded healthcare, Health Economics and Policy (J.W. Henderson, 2014) reveals that there are “245 CT scanners . . . one for every 123,500 citizens” in Canada. In the United States, there are “3,667 CT scanners, one for every 73,000 Americans”.

Photo Taken From Seven Days
In 2011, Vermont guaranteed universal healthcare for its residents. In 2014, Vermont repealed this law due to the fact that regulating this system would require momentous tax rates on its citizens and small businesses.

    It should also be noted that the majority of funding for biomedical research comes from private insurance companies. This is primarily due to the fact that discovering cures can make a profit; therefore, it can be concluded that competition among insurance companies often leads to innovation in the biomedical field. We see this idea at play when observing that funding for research provided by drug companies has increased by $4.3 billion from 2008 to 2013. Of course, I am not suggesting that utilitarian motives have no place in driving this competition; however, I am suggesting that finance surely holds a place in motivating the private sector to compete in biomedical research. Due to this enormous funding from private insurance companies, the “U.S. still leads the world in research and development expenditures” (University of Michigan 1) in comparison to our single-payer counterparts.  

In 2011, Vermont guaranteed universal healthcare for its residents.  In 2014, Vermont repealed this law due to the fact that regulating this system would require momentous tax rates on its citizens and small businesses. 

     Politicians like Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez, and Warren have all indicated that their ideal system of universal system can lead the American people closer to one thing: a utopia.  Why wouldn’t we want to be like the Sandanavian nations?  The problem is like many pursuits for a utopia, a dystopia always develops from utopian ambitions.