Chart by Evercore ISI
Comforting chart, eh?
When I lived in Texas a local radio station would often play commercials for a “healthcare sharing ministry” called Medi-Share. It was advertised as a way for Christian members to lower their insurance premiums by “[sharing] their money to pay for each other’s eligible medical bills.”1 One commercial featured a member who thankfully boasted that Medi-Share members had “shared” something like $150,000 in medical bills associated with an illness or procedure that had come on suddenly. Upon hearing that ad I would always wonder to myself: “Why would anyone who anticipates having minimal healthcare expenses himself want to potentially “share” in the outrageously large medical bills of others?” It just seemed like an odd advertising strategy, even if the basic concept is essentially what the insurance industry is all about. You pay monthly premiums, which often add up to a large amount of money over time, and you might not use your benefits at all or you may hit the benefit lottery, so to speak, if you have the misfortune of needing expensive medical care.
What bothered me about the commercial is the same thing that bothers me whenever I hear Democrats’ ideas for “fixing” the healthcare crisis, namely the absence of appropriate outrage for the fact that routine procedures now cost thousands of dollars and often tens of thousands, and more complicated procedures can easily get into the hundreds of thousands even if we’re only talking about a week’s hospital stay or an illness that isn’t chronic.
Democrats’ great solutions for ‘solving’ the healthcare crisis never address the real problem of spiraling costs. Instead their plans focus solely on transferring the cost to someone else using the muscle of the federal government to extort the money. Make your wealthy neighbor pay for it, that’s the ticket. Nice, eh?
Putting aside how morally corrupt this great plan is and how inconsistent it is with the concept of individual liberty upon which America was founded, their plan has zero chance of “working” long term because it does nothing to address the systemic problem of price inflation. Margaret Thatcher famously quipped that the trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other peoples’ money, but even she probably could not have envisioned how fast the money could be sucked away when routine care starts costing thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands and then millions. If the socialists truly believe that those who’ve spent their lives building their wealth are going to sit quietly by while it’s siphoned away for the benefit of freeloading strangers, better think again. The scam might “work” for a little while, but eventually it will blow up in our faces like the scams of the socialists running Venezuela. The socialists will do what they always do (it’s instinctive) and propose to solve the problem of runaway costs by imposing price controls, but we’ve seen how well such schemes work. No thank you.
Republicans, at least the free-market conservatives, have a different idea for fixing the healthcare crisis in America and that idea is to bring prices back to sanity naturally through competition and reduced government interference. That would make healthcare and insurance affordable, so that people could pay for their own healthcare. With everyone sharing the burden (as it should be), each person’s share is light, and there is no need for the class warfare that socialists like Bernie Sanders are so desperately trying to gin up, and that can’t possibly end well even if a few can profit in the short term. Voters, especially those who care about the futures of their children, would be well-advised to embrace the inarguable truth of the famous idiom: There’s no such thing as a free lunch. Really, there isn’t. What terrible price will you or your children pay for the lure of trying to get something for nothing?
If healthcare truly matters to you, vote “R” this election.