Free 'Medicare for All'? I want my money back.
It's not enough that "Medicare for All" is an example of Progressive intellectual incoherence. It is also another example of typical leftist deception in what its proponents conveniently omit.
Recall that "Medicare for All" is grounded in Bernie Sanders's claim that "health care is a right." From that dubious assertion, Sanders observes that some 30 million people lack health insurance and concludes, incorrectly, that they are therefore without the medical care they are entitled to have. In typical Progressive fashion, Sanders jumps directly to the unwarranted conclusion that this is a "problem" that government must solve and perfects the absurdity with "Medicare for All" as the solution. He advocates the simultaneous destruction of private health insurance, ultimately calling for a socialist government takeover of medicine.
Bernie may be on the outs at the moment, but unfortunately, his thinking is hardly isolated — most of the Democrat presidential candidates not only endorse this idea, but would double down on the lunacy by providing free health care for illegal aliens.
But wait: if you are like most of us — a citizen working for wages — you and your employer have long been funding Medicare with taxes (euphemistically called "contributions") deducted from every paycheck, in anticipation of Medicare benefits in your retirement. The accumulation of these taxes on middle-earners can amount to $100,000 compounded over your working years, rising to $400,000 or more for high earners. If you are already retired, not only have you lost that huge chunk of your earnings, but you are also compelled to pay premiums for the privilege of participating in Medicare. Medicare, in short, has never been free.
So if Medicare now is to be made free for everyone, how do we square the huge amounts some of us have already paid for Medicare coverage, with others having paid little or nothing? Sanders's proposal blithely ignores the fact that the ledger here is critically out of balance and needs serious adjustment. Doesn't this mean we are owed a refund of our lifetime "contributions" and premium payments as a matter of simple fairness and equality? If health care is suddenly a recognized "right" to be provided "free" by the government — and especially if free health care is extended to non-citizens — aren't we entitled to get our money back first?
Universal health care of the kind Sanders proposes, like today's Medicare, will of course never be universally "free." It will be paid from still more taxes and from reductions in the quality and availability of medical care. And, for Progressives, this is yet another way to achieve income redistribution. Medical care will be free for some, but not for others, with winners and losers chosen by politicians. Today's out-of-balance ledger will become even more skewed.
Sanders is naturally silent on every one of these points.
The problem with Sanders and other Progressives is that, in pursuit of their distorted concepts of "justice" and "rights," they do not concern themselves with such details as actual fairness. While they talk grandiose proposals, they never create wealth; they face no downside for their schemes; and they are never, ever held accountable for results. They instead make their careers cavalierly playing with other people's money, which affords them the liberty to concoct the most hare-brained ideas, while they bear none of the consequences for their beliefs.
It's time Sanders was compelled to put his money where his mouth is. If "Medicare for All" becomes law, Sanders can expect to receive a bill from me for everything my employer and I have paid into the system. It's basic, genuine justice. Think of it as "reparations."