Senator Bernie Sanders is detached from reality. I didn’t realize it until today when I learned he told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that a lot of people would be “delighted” to pay more in taxes if it meant free healthcare.
Here’s the full quote:
“Yeah, but I suspect that a lot of people in the country would be delighted to pay more in taxes if they had comprehensive health care as a human right. I live 50 miles away from the Canadian border. You go to the doctor any time you want. You don’t take out your wallet. You have heart surgery, you have a heart transplant and you come out of the hospital and it costs you nothing.”
Let’s break that down. Bear with me, as there’s a lot to cover.
First, no human alive, regardless of how they feel about government programs, is delighted when forced to pay more in taxes. Nobody gets their tax bill and says, “Oh, my lucky stars! I got to pay more taxes than I did before. This is wonderful! I’m delighted!”
Next, we get to the qualifying caveat, “if they had comprehensive health care as a human right.”
As caveats go, it’s one that can seem appealing on the surface. It has the two important phrases used by progressives across the board now: “comprehensive health care” and “human right.” There has been an indoctrination that has spread throughout a large portion of the population from progressives to moderates to conservatives. This indoctrination has made people believe they do not have comprehensive health care and it’s somehow their right to have it as a human.
Today, we have that right. Whether through the state, their employer, or paying as an individual, every American has access to comprehensive health care. It is too expensive for some, but again the state has inserted itself into the equation already with Obamacare. The horror stories of people losing their access to health care are overblown and oftentimes demonstrably false.
As far as it all being a right, that’s debatable. Many conservatives like to point out it’s a commodity and that emergency care is already guaranteed to everyone. But I do not believe that’s the right approach to argue against the current push for programs like Medicare-for-All. Those who choose to not pay for their health coverage and who refuse to go through the steps to get their health coverage given to them by the state are making a concerted effort to deny their own access to health insurance. It’s not something we go out and buy on a whim, so labeling it as a commodity is misleading. It is a commodity by definition, but as we try to win the narrative battle, ignoring the inherent differences between health coverage and gold or orange juice is a mistake.
Rather than view it as a right, it should be viewed as a privilege made available in varying degrees to every American, even those who cannot afford to pay for it. That just makes more sense in winning hearts and minds than calling it a commodity.
Now, we get to the juicy fallacies in the Senator’s argument. He lives close to Canada. Great! That means he likely gets to see Canadians in his neck of the woods coming to America to have procedures done. Why? Because of the demonstrably false claim that “you go to the doctor any time you want.” No, Senator. They don’t. They are extremely limited in when they can go to the doctor, how much time they can spend with their doctor, and what their doctor can offer them at that moment. They don’t have the same luxury we have of wanting to have procedures like elective knee surgery without being forced to suffer through the pain for months or years before they can get on the operating table.
That’s one reason so many from Canada, the United Kingdom, and other “single-payer utopias” are coming here. They don’t want to wait. The other reason is they’re learning the quality of care is deteriorating as it is wont to do whenever government pushes aside the free market to make everything they touch mediocre.
The last part is the one that would make most conservatives chuckle if we weren’t so worried about it becoming a reality. He said Americans would get all sorts of health care from checkups to major operations and it wouldn’t cost us anything. Actually, Senator, that’s not true. It would cost us everything.
What Bernie Sanders fails to realize is his plans would reduce quality of care, increase overall costs through taxation, and drive our problematic healthcare system to the edge of collapse. Then again, maybe he does realize this.
We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.
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