California Flirts With Another Bad Idea

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Writing at Investor's Business Daily, Sally Pipes reports that California, which is considering single-payer medicine, could stand to look at other recent attempts, as well as conditions in other nations that use the system:

Vermont's attempt imploded in 2014 following news that it would cost $4.3 billion a year -- nearly as much as the state's entire budget. Gov. Peter Shumlin concluded that the taxes and regulations required to fund the program -- an 11.5% payroll tax on business and a tax of up to 9.5% on individuals -- "might hurt our economy." No kidding.


The single-payer system I grew up under in Canada, also known as Medicare, condemns sick patients to delays that have grown ever-longer over the past few decades. Last year, Canadians waited an average of five months for medically necessary specialist treatments after receiving a referral from a general practitioner, according to the Fraser Institute, a Canadian think tank.
Also illuminating are Britain's "black alerts," or warnings that certain hospitals "can't guarantee life-saving emergency care."

Of course, data like these have been around since long before ObamaCare, and yet the march towards fully socialized medicine goes on, despite lulls in places like Vermont and Colorado: So there's a lesson for opponents of socialized medicine here, too. It is this: There is some other consideration in the minds of its supporters that causes them to ignore or not care about these problems.

That consideration is moral, and until those of us who oppose such plans also openly question and oppose the morality of altruism, we will continue to lose ground to such government programs. There is, and has been for a long time, ample evidence that these programs erode our standard of living -- to the point of endangering our lives. Instead of asking how much evidence it takes to deter the likes of Bernie Sanders, perhaps the real question is this: What will it take for people to say, "No. I am not my brother's keeper."

-- CAV

P.S. My latest column, on the lessons we can learn from a failed attempt at tax filing reform, now appears at RealClear Markets.

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