Far from radically changing the world, the healthcare bill the House passed yesterday is just the latest step in our evolution toward a single-payer nationalized healthcare system, says Daniel Gross, Economics Editor at Newsweek and a columnist at Slate.
If you look at long-term health spending trends, the government’s share of health expenditures has consistently risen over time, Gross says. Insurance companies can’t profitably insure seniors, so Medicare has taken over that role. Insurance companies can’t profitably insure poor people, so Medicaid covers that pool. As our companies struggle to remain competitive in a world with skyrocketing healthcare expenses, the government will increasingly be forced to pay for those who were once insured by their employers. And so on.
And is this a horrible, socialist future that will mean the end of the world as we know it?
No, says Gross.
Take Sarah Palin’s “death panels,” for instance. We recoil in horror at the thought that the government might ration healthcare…while ignoring that today’s insurance companies ration it all day long.
Healthcare will always be rationed, Gross says, no matter who is paying the bill. And those who have means will always have the wherewithal to go outside the system.
So we shouldn’t fear our nationalized-healthcare, single-payer future, Gross says.
And that’s where we’re headed.
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