I am a huge fan of people presenting a solution to issues that plague our society. Ms. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has presented a solution to our healthcare system. It is a very expensive solution, but she brought one to the table. The problem that I have with her solution is that she has no idea how we are going to pay for it.
Instead, she wanders off into left field yapping about the necessity of Medicare for all. Okay. Over ten years, the Medicare for all bill will cost 40 trillion. She wants to raise the taxes on the wealthy and across the board (putting the burden squarely on the shoulders of the taxpayers). Even with such extreme overreach by the government, it would only generate 2 trillion dollars. Which means that the other 38 trillion will come from where?
I don’t support raising taxes across the board. Eliminating taxes on corporations for example, allows innovation to take place. Competition breeds innovation. Raising taxes to astronomical heights crushes the spirit of enterprise. It is no wonder that between the cheap labor and harsh taxes that many businesses left America.
Ms. Cortez needs to understand that her “free” healthcare for all, will be paid for by the taxpayers. There is no such thing as free. Anything that the government “gives” you is taken from someone else. It seems that her heart is in the right place, but “giving” health insurance to people who can’t afford it will overtax a broken system. Imagine if you will, an influx of say one million new clients scattered throughout the United States. The current healthcare system will crash because there are not enough doctors and nurses to stem the tide of new patients. What will be the next step to make this pipe dream work? The government will start choosing who becomes doctors and nurses.
It is the only logical step. If there are not enough doctors and nurses to care for the sudden increase of patients, one of two courses of action must take place: choose doctors and nurses against their will or watch the quality of healthcare disappear. With a sudden influx of new patients, getting a doctor’s appointment will become more difficult, the quality of care will go down, and malpractice lawsuits will go up. The infrastructure of America will collapse. It may not collapse right away, but over time we will not be able to maintain our infrastructure.
Ms. Cortez touts herself as a big picture person. Then have a look at the big picture. In broad strokes, Canada has a system akin to Medicare for all. A search on Google tells me that Canadians wait longer than four weeks to see a specialist. Less than half of Canadians can get a next day appointment (CBC News, 2017). If you are having a heart attack now, you don’t need a doctor tomorrow.
Granted, it is easy for me to poke holes into the solution that Ms. Cortez has presented, while never posting my own solution. Therefore, in the spirit of fair play here is my solution. First, we need to conduct a poll of every citizen in America to see who wants universal healthcare. If the majority chooses to pursue this, then we place every citizen in America and those scattered around the globe into the VA healthcare system. All doctors and nurses are absorbed into the VA hospitals and clinics. Then we will have government ran, universal healthcare. It would cost a lot less than 40 trillion dollars.
The pros to this idea that I have presented includes, but is not limited to: we can use the hospitals and equipment that is already in place, the system is already in play, and the VA has the largest budget of all departments in the federal government. Therefore, it makes sense to not re-invent the wheel. Just use the system that we already have in place and move some people around. Take down the signs for the private hospitals, change the name to (name of your city or town) VA.
To give you guys an idea of how long the wait for an appointment would be under the solutions that is presented here, here is my personal experience. I have had a toothache since November, 2017. After spending three weeks trying to reach the dental clinic at my VA hospital, I was given an appointment to be seen a month later. When I arrived at the appointment, they only took X-rays. They did not have a dentist on staff that could pull my tooth. Eight months later, I still had the toothache and I was finally told that they had me an appointment to have all of my teeth removed. The day of my surgery, I had to wait five hours for a sheet of paper to be sent to the surgeon’s office. Then I was seen. The surgery did not take place and I still have a toothache. So far, it has been 13 months and my next dental appointment is January 10, 2019. Universal healthcare rocks!