Single-Payer Advances Government Control, Not Health

      Under the guise of “repeal and replace,” the House of Representatives recently voted to keep broad swaths of ObamaCare. To many conservatives, it was a betrayal —Republicans promised to repeal ObamaCare, not retain it. To liberals, it chipped away slightly at their goal of full-blown single-payer healthcare, if only temporarily.

      Single-payer means that everybody pays massive amounts of money in taxes, and then the government pays for everybody’s healthcare. For those who do not mind crushing tax burdens for government-rationed healthcare, this can sound like an appealing option. Obama once publicly supported it, as did self-described socialist Bernie Sanders.

      But as the old saying in economics goes, “there is no such thing as a free lunch.” And in places with single-payer healthcare, everybody pays for the lunch — big time — in the form of much higher taxes, less freedom, rationed care, long wait times, and more.

      Within single-payer are some variations. Sometimes, private doctors are still allowed to operate, provided they accept money and orders from the state. Sometimes, though, all doctors simply become agents of the state, as in Communist Cuba, North Korea, or Sweden, where a court recently ruled that midwives must participate in killing unborn children or lose their job.

      In all cases and places where it has been tried, single-payer leads to these horrendous problems. Even in the nations where the government supposedly does it best, as in Canada, those who can afford to do so often come to the United States for better, faster treatment.

      More than a few analysts have suggested that under ObamaCare, or ObamaCare Lite, as the slightly modified version approved by the House is being called, what little remains of the market in the American healthcare system is likely to implode under the crushing burden of government. If and when that happens, statist advocates of more government will launch their next push for a full-blown single-payer regime.

      A similar trend is being observed in education. With the federal takeover of schools, there is a growing crisis in education that even the Reagan administration’s National Commission on Excellence in Education recognized was a threat to America’s future. And so, the out-of-control statists in Washington, D.C., have now unleashed “Full Service Community Schools” that are literally usurping the remaining responsibilities of parents — health, dentistry, mental health, and more — under the guise of improving education. Freedom loses again.

      As is generally the case, government caused most of these problems to begin with. Therefore, more freedom — not more government — is the solution to fixing them.

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