The Democrats are trying to rush their health care “reform” bill through Congress before anyone understands what is in it. The bill is intended to be the precursor of socialized medicine, the “single payer,” national health system that Great Britain, Canada and many other countries have tried, with uniformly awful results.
The Democrats are trying to fudge the cost of their proposal, but Health Systems Innovations, a Minnesota consulting firm, has analyzed both the House and Senate versions of the bill. The results aren’t pretty: a $3.5 trillion price tag over ten years, and a “private market crowd-out” of around 64 million Americans.
Meanwhile, the Obama administration has backed off its claim–often repeated by Obama himself–that if you like your present coverage, the government won’t take it away from you. The latest such fudging was by economist Christina Romer:
But the worst thing about socialized medicine isn’t its ruinous cost, or the rationing of medicine, or the inevitable decline in quality. It’s the change it implies in the relationship between the individual and the state. As Mark Steyn has written, once a country adopts socialized medicine, there is no such thing as a freeborn citizen. Every child is born a ward of the state.
Congress is on the brink of making one of the worst mistakes in the history of the Republic. It remains to be seen whether the disaster that is socialized medicine can be averted.