Someone once asked George Will how on earth he could come up with something new to write for his newspaper columns three times a week, year after year.
“Something new makes me mad at least three times a week,” he said.
Ha! So what makes me mad this week is that liberals absolutely will not give up in pushing for a government-run, single-payer health care system—despite the evidence of the failures of centralized control, most recently during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Scott Atlas, in his book “A Plague on our House,” chronicles in detail failure after failure of government experts to get it right. The costs of the lockdowns alone in lost lives and livelihoods, damage to families, and lost education for children are almost incalculable.
And yet the House Oversight and Reform Committee is holding a hearing on Tuesday, to which I have been invited to testify, on “Examining Pathways to Universal Health Coverage.” I’ll give you a report on how it goes next week. Committee Republicans get to call just one witness, and I’m it.
We can be sure that most witnesses will advocate for Medicare for All, single-payer, or some other form of a government-centric programs. I will point out the abundant evidence that pouring more taxpayer money into our health sector and burying it in more and more rules and regulation can never be the solution. The vulnerable are harmed the most.
And the evidence shows we are as close as we have ever been to universal coverage. The chart you see above shows that, out of 332 million Americans, all but about 6 million either have private or public health coverage or are eligible for plans but just aren’t enrolled.
How on earth is that justification to turn our entire $4 trillion health sector over to the federal government? We need targeted solutions, not an overhaul. Do they really think that having the government run it all is going to make care less expensive when, for example, an estimated $100 billion a year is wasted on Medicaid alone?
The best and most recent example of a successful program initiated by the federal government was Operation Warp Speed which maximized the power and resources of the private sector, with the federal government as a partner to facilitate their work.
Paul Mango, the author of “Warp Speed” who led the effort, has a new piece in Newsweek worth a read about how the Biden administration failed to build on the successful effort, to the country’s detriment. And Paul’s book is out in digital form so you can order it now!
The battles over who controls our health sector are going to continue for a long time, though.
I gave a virtual presentation last week to a group of physician residents studying health policy, and it was as though I had come from another planet. Kudos to the organizer for inviting me. Several said they never had spoken with anyone who thought like I did—that choice and competition, innovation and free markets could actually be the solution to many of the problems in our health sector.
More to come. These hearings usually are broadcast live so you can tune in on the Oversight Committee website. It begins at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, and I expect to be on the third panel.