Larry Anderson

Truth can be an ornery rascal. Sometimes politicians say things believing they are true only to have them negated a week later by shifting circumstances, ruptured statistics, or a changing world. We have to offer some latitude when that happens. Things do evolve along unpredictable paths.

I am untroubled by normal corrections in reality, but I am bothered by a staccato of lies done with deliberation for no purpose greater than political gain. People willing to bend the truth allegedly for a greater good are liars nevertheless and should be held accountable. The squirm denotes their fabrications; the cover underscores their intent.

You may recall Barack Obama’s declaration that each American family would save a couple grand per year under Obamacare which helped solidify it within our collective economic conscience. Nothing could have been further from the truth. The cost of health care exploded, especially for those responsible for their own insurance. Premiums skyrocketed; deductibles went up and gaps widened. Coverage and a sense of security lessened due to these factors. 

We were told Obamacare would cover everyone fairly. It didn’t. A recent Commonwealth Fund report placed the underinsured in America at 44 million in 2018; in 2010, the underinsured stood at 29 million. Isn’t that the wrong direction? 

Obama knew these things would happen. How could he not? His claims were specious, irresponsible and wrong, but by the time many Americans were on to him and his cohorts it was too late. Obamacare was law.

Obamacare wasn’t even about health care exclusively. It was a massive redistribution plan designed to extract resources from the productive and hand them over to those less so. It was socialistic in its intent, and, like socialism, was built on lies. It never came close to fulfilling its promise. Politicians supported it anyway because it moved the socialism meter. 

Now Democrat wannabes like Bernie Sanders are selling Medicare for All as an alternative to Obamacare. Here’s a quote from an AP article dated July 28: “…the Vermont senator’s ‘Medicare for All’ plan would solve both the coverage and cost problems for individual Americans. Medical care would be provided with no deductibles or co-pays. No one would be uninsured or underinsured.” 

Well, folks, that’s just single-payer, the liberal dream and the left’s original, long-term intent. The implication one extracts from the aforementioned is that somehow all these benefits would be cost effective, that the strain would end, that equality and justice would finally reign. Can we have a hallelujah?

The lie is within the disguise.

If the Democrats succeed in their single-payer goal, their agenda for decades, the government will essentially take over health care. Government will decide the quality and amount of service received. 

If single payer prevails, Medicare for old people will be diluted to help cover the enormous cost of adding tens of millions to government-directed health care. Bernie may claim there will be no deductibles or co-pays, but, even if there isn’t, there will be a huge increase in taxes to cover the enormous cost. It is safe to say there will be deductibles and co-pays and they will be high initially and higher progressively and quickly.

High deductibles and co-pays can be financially and medically destructive as we have learned from Obamacare. They also cause people to hesitate before seeking care if initial expenses are too great to cover out of pocket. 

There is another incredible lie of omission. What liberals like Bernie won’t discuss honestly is socialized medicine leads to rationing, long waits for care, and a system clogged by numbers, bureaucracy, and resentment. 

Columnist Mona Charon pointed out the following recently concerning Canada’s socialized medical system: “A 2018 report from the Fraser Institute…found that wait times between seeing a general practitioner and a specialist average 19.8 weeks….Canadians must wait more than a month for a CT scan, more than 10 weeks for an MRI, and almost a month for an ultrasound.”

Time lapsed waiting for medical care can be critical in terms of pain, treatment and survival. 

Liberals love to talk about benefits galore, but become reticent on cost and performance. It would be easy to dismiss their gab as election chatter or the false promises that come with political greed, but it would be a mistake to underestimate the left’s intent. They can control much socially through health care, and control is their endgame. 

Think twice before buying into Bernie and others’ proposal which will be center mass during the election run up.

Larry W. Anderson is a retired educator.

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