False Premise, False Promise: The Disastrous Reality of Medicare for All

False Premise, False Promise: The Disastrous Reality of Medicare for All

by Sally C. Pipes

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American health care is at a crossroads. Health spending reached $3.5 trillion in 2017. Yet more than 27 million people remain uninsured. And it's unclear if all that spending is buying higher-quality care.

Patients, doctors, insurers, and the government acknowledge that the healthcare status quo is unsustainable. America's last attempt at health reform -- Obamacare -- didn't work. Nearly a decade after its passage in 2010, Democrats are calling for a government takeover of the nation's healthcare system -- Medicare for All.

The idea's supporters assert that health care is a right. They promise generous, universal, high-quality care to all Americans, with no referrals, copays, deductibles, or coinsurance.

With a sales pitch like that, it's no wonder that seven in ten people now support Medicare for All. Doctors, especially young ones, are coming around to the idea of single-payer, too.

Democrats, led by the progressive wing of the party, hope to capitalize on this enthusiasm. In 2017, they introduced companion legislation in the House and Senate that would establish Medicare for All. They have already promised to do the same when the next Congress convenes in 2019. More than 70 House Democrats have joined a new Medicare for All Caucus. Senator Bernie Sanders is effectively already on the presidential campaign trail, making his case for single-payer.

If Democrats take the White House and Senate in 2020, and hold onto the House, a Medicare for All bill could be among the first pieces of legislation presented to the new president for a signature.

In this book, Sally C. Pipes, a Canadian native, will make the case against Medicare for All. She'll explain why health care is not a right -- and how progressives pressing for single-payer are making a litany of promises they can't possibly keep. Evidence from government-run systems in Canada, the United Kingdom, and other developed countries proves that single-payer forces patients to withstand long waits for poor care at high cost.

First, she'll unpack the Medicare for All plans under consideration in Congress. She'll explain how radical they truly are. Medicare for All will not save $5 trillion, as some of its proponents claim. It will cost about $32 trillion over 10 years, according to analyses from the Urban Institute and the Mercatus Center. It will outlaw private health insurance. It will raise taxes by trillions of dollars. It will cut pay for doctors to the rates paid by Medicare and thereby exacerbate our nation's shortage of physicians. And it will ration care.

Then, Sally will detail the horrors of single-payer. She'll start in Canada, whose single-payer system most closely resembles the one progressives have in mind for the United States. Analyses of the government-run systems in the United Kingdom and a few other developed countries will follow, with particular focus on the problems that these systems pose for patients and doctors.

To substantiate her indictment of single-payer, Sally will marshal both quantitative and qualitative evidence.

She'll highlight how Americans fare better than their peers in Canada and the United Kingdom on the health outcomes that are directly linked to the quality of a healthcare system, including survival rates for patients with cancer and cardiovascular issues. She'll also explain why the health outcomes where the United States performs poorly relative to other nations, like infant mortality and life expectancy, tell us little about our healthcare system.

Sally will pepper her text with heart-wrenching stories of the human costs of single-payer -- of people who were injured, were forced to remain in pain, or even died because their government-run healthcare system delayed or denied care.

Too often, evangelists for free markets limit their arguments to facts and statistics -- and fail to appeal to the public's emotions. Sally will feature the stories of individuals and families who have been victims of single-payer systems. These vignettes will help drive home the truth about single-payer -- and why it must not come to the United States.

She'll conclude with her vision for delivering the affordable, accessible, quality care the American people are looking for.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781641770736
Publisher: Encounter Books
Publication date: 01/07/2020
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 162
File size: 2 MB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Sally C. Pipes is president, CEO, and Thomas W. Smith Fellow in Health Care Policy at PRI, a San Francisco think tank. She previously served as the assistant director at Canada's Fraser Institute. She is the author of The False Promise of Single Payer Health Care (Encounter 2018), The Way Out of Obamacare (Encounter 2015), The Cure for Obamacare (Encounter 2013), The Pipes Plan (Regnery 2015), and The Truth About Obamacare (Regnery 2010). Ms. Pipes writes bi-weekly columns for Forbes.com, Investor's Business Daily, and the Washington Examiner's "Beltway Confidential" website. She received an honorary doctorate in 2018 from Pepperdine University for her work in health care.

Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Introduction "Medicare for All" Mania Sweeps the Political Left 1

Chapter 1 Health Care Is Not a Right 5

Chapter 2 Single-Payer Proposals Under Consideration 13

Chapter 3 The March to a Single-Payer Plan 31

Chapter 4 The Horrors of Single-Payer Insurance-Waits 41

Chapter 5 The Horrors of Single-Payer Insurance-Access to Cutting-Edge Treatments and Technologies 57

Chapter 6 The Horrors of Single-Payer Insurance-Financial Costs 73

Chapter 7 The Horrors of Single-Payer Insurance-Outcomes 85

Chapter 8 An Alternative Vision for Health Care Reform 97

Notes 109

Index 147

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