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Kamala Harris Says If You Like Your Plan, Too Bad

Kamala Harris was alone on the stage in Iowa for her first town hall with Jake Tapper of CNN. The bad news is, she is as far left as we thought. Maybe even fursther left, at least in her healtcare policy position.

When Tapper asked her if she supported Medicare for All, she confirmed. When he asked about what would happen to people who liked their insurance, her response sounded a lot like unicorn noises and rainbow fluff.

Let’s move on? Let’s not. How about we ask our veterans how well a government run healthcare system is working for them? Let’s review. Following the scandal regarding delays in care, Congress overwhelmingly approved the VA Choice Program.

The program was intended to reduce wait times by allowing veterans who faced more than a 30 day wait inside the VA system to seek care with providers outside the system. Sounds great, right?

Sure. Until the GAO found in 2018 that because of government bureaucracy, restrictions and deadlines, veterans were still waiting an average of 51 days and some up to 70 to see a doctor. Never mind that the government had to turn to the free market to even try to find medical care for veterans that was more expedient. And they still screwed it up.

Harris talks about the difficulties of dealing with insurance companies. Have you been to the DMV? Called the IRS? Can you name a single government agency that you have dealt with that does not have ridiculous rules, tons of paperwork and less than helpful staff? Why would healthcare be any different?

But, but Canada and the U.K. proponents yell! What about them?

Canada’s national healthcare plan covers about 70% of medical expenses. Physicians, hospitals and diagnostic test are covered. Pharmaceuticals, physical therapists, vision care and other services not defined as essential are all paid for by supplemental insurance or paid for out of pocket. The public versus private cost share has remained about 70/30 since the mid-’90s. Do you know what else is about 70/30? The employer/employee share of private insurance in the U.S. for family coverage. Funny that.

Oh and the U.K. You mean the place that had to delay between 50,000 and 75,000 surgeries last year due to “third world conditions” in the National Health System? Where doctors reign supreme in the determination of who gets to live and who must die with backing from the courts? Where the “Liverpool Care Pathway”, essentially starvation, was routinely used for patients who were perceived as terminal?

Incedentally, the U.K. also allows people to buy private health insurance to escape the delays and rationing the plague the NHS.The selling points for private insurance are:

  • shorter waiting times
  • quicker diagnosis
  • better facilities, such as a private room

You mean the government health system is inefficient and plagued with substandard facilities and delays? Color me shocked.

What is even more distressing about this clip, is Harris’s dismissive attitude towards Tapper’s question. “Let’s move on”, she said as if the complete nationalization of healthcare and elimination of private insurance is a foregone conclusion. Never mind a recent poll found support for Medicare for All plunges when the elimination of private insurance is in play.

The Kaiser Family Foundation found strong voter preference for maintaining private insurance when they polled Americans about the realities of nationalized healthcare. When confronted with them, voters balk. Especially at likely delays.

All you need to do is review the grand bargain the Obama administration made with the public regarding the Affordable Care Act. No real changes to your healthcare providers or insurance plan and lower costs. Everyone would have access to more care for less money! None of this happened.

And none of the promises of Medicare for All will be fulfilled either. The realities of high taxes, delays in care and eventual rationing are what voters would actually be supporting. Even Harris’s home state of California stopped a bill for universal coverage. If California wouldn’t do it due to prohibitive costs, shouldn’t that inform the rest of us?

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