In their seemingly never-ending quest to fully entrench the federal government into our health care system, Democrats running for president and serving in Congress continue to push radical proposal after radical proposal to move toward a government-controlled health care insurance system. They may give it a variety of names — from the public option to Medicare-for-All to single-payer — but the net result would be the same: higher taxes on hardworking Americans in order to fund a system that creates less choice, less flexibility, and poorer health-care outcomes.
There has been so much grandstanding on the left about the wonders of Medicare-for-All or the public option with very little substantive facts about how such massive, big government programs would be funded. That’s completely intentional. The reason Democrats are so vague when it comes to discussing funding mechanisms is because these government-controlled proposals would all require large tax increases on Americans and result in higher private plan premiums. With a price tag of more than $30 trillion over the first 10 years alone, there would be no way to fund these programs without increasing taxes.
Not only that, but the creation of a public option would spell the inevitable demise of private and employer-sponsored health care plans as we know it. According to a recent study, 20 percent of state marketplaces would no longer offer a single private insurance option by 2028 if a public option were to be introduced. That figure would increase to nearly 70 percent by 2050. And to think the public option is the more moderate of the proposals being put forward by Democrats.
In place of the wide array of health care plans available today, Americans would be stuck with a one-size-fits-all, government-run health care insurance system that yields higher costs, diminished access, and a lower quality of care. As a taxpayer and, more importantly, as a father of young children, the prospect of being forced into such a system raises serious concerns for me. Policy makers should be focusing on expanding coverage and lowering costs by encouraging healthy competition in a free marketplace. These so-called plans do the exact opposite: squashing competition and eliminating choice for patients and consumers.
Medicare-for-All, a public option, or single-payer will shift the ability to make critical health care decisions away from patients, families, and their doctors and toward government bureaucrats and politicians. That is not the direction our health care system should be headed. We need leaders that will stand up for personal choice and control when it comes to choosing the coverage, doctors, and treatments that work best for patients themselves.
There’s no doubt that there are serious, fundamental flaws within our health-care system that should be addressed. But these issues won’t be solved by taking away what choice and flexibility Americans currently have in the private insurance marketplace — nor will they be addressed by forcing Americans to pay more for substandard care.
It’s time for Democratic lawmakers to take a good old-fashioned dose of common sense and rethink their failing strategy on health-care reform. More government control over the private health care decisions is not the answer, and it never will be.
Michael Fields is the executive director of Colorado Rising Action, a 501(c)(4) organization “focused on holding liberal groups and their special interest networks accountable and advancing conservative principles.”