Medi-Cuba, here we come!

Allysia Finley wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal where she detailed the fallout in California from the explosion of Medicaid costs.  Medi-Cal enrollment now boasts 14 million:

Obamacare encouraged states to expand Medicaid so that it covers people with incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty line – in other words, up to $16,400 for an individual. After the Supreme Court struck down ObamaCare's mandated expansion, the federal government induced states to sign up by initially assuming 100% of the cost for these people. That will slip to 90% in 2020, though it's still a bargain for most states.

But wait...

Last week a group of Medi-Cal beneficiaries sued the state for creating "a separate and unequal system of healthcare, one for the insurance program with the largest proportion of Latinos (Medi-Cal), and one for the other principal insurance plans, whose recipients are disproportionately white."

Ms. Finley describes a plaintiff who, after more than a year trying to find a surgeon who would remove her gallbladder, finally had to travel to Mexico and pay for her surgery out of pocket.  Racism!

Medi-Cal reimburses only between a third and one half of what private insurance will pay for procedures, and Ms. Finley cites a study by the California Health Care Foundation that found that 45% of California's primary care doctors will not accept new Medi-Cal patients.  As a result, many patients who should be seeing a primary care physician for minor medical issues are flooding hospital emergency rooms at unprecedented rates, consuming expensive E.R. resources and crowding out hospital beds and medical services for patients who need urgent care.

Question: Why should doctors be permitted to pick and choose those for whom they will or will not offer care?  When it comes to government-run health care, only the Cuban model is logically airtight, whereby it is illegal for anyone to practice medicine in competition with the state.  Now, this solution would obviously cause consternation to more than a few people, but rest assured that in every country where health care is socialized, the political elite and a chosen few – star athletes, entertainers, nuclear scientists (there are minor cultural variations among countries) – never fail to receive top-notch health care.  We may also inconvenience a few Canadians who still like to come here for certain medical treatments, but what is it the communists liked to say about omelets and breaking eggs?

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