By Jacob G. Hornberger
Progressives are an audacious group. Faced with the failure and destructiveness of their socialist programs, their solution is to double down and call for even more socialism. It never occurs to them that if their original socialist program has led to failure and destructiveness, an expansion of that original socialist program is going to lead to even more failure and destructiveness.
A good example of this phenomenon is healthcare. The United States once had the finest healthcare system in the world. Healthcare costs were low. In fact, most people didn’t feel the need for medical insurance except for catastrophic illnesses. Healthcare was so reasonable priced that going to the doctor was treated in much the same way as going to the grocery store.
That all changed with the adoption of Medicare and Medicaid, two socialist programs enacted as part of leftist President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society. Medicare and Medicaid ended up destroying America’s free-market healthcare system.
Progressives decry the ever-increasing costs of healthcare in America. They lament the fact that many Americans cannot afford health insurance to cover such costs. They decry the ever-increasing healthcare crisis in America.
The problem is that they are unable to connect the dots. They fail to understand and realize that Medicare and Medicaid are the very cause of the healthcare conditions they lament. That’s why they are now calling for “Medicare for All.”
Imagine that you go to a doctor for a physical examination. He concludes that you are in good health. But to make you feel even better, he prescribes a tiny dose of arsenic every day.
In a month, you return to him and tell him that you’re not feeling very well. “No problem,” the doctor responds. “We just need to increase the amount of arsenic you’re taking every day.”
That’s the situation with Medicare and Medicaid.
In any malady that afflicts the body politic, it is critically important to get the diagnosis right because that will inevitably affect the prescribed treatment.
Libertarian diagnosis: the body politic is suffering from the socialist programs known as Medicare and Medicaid and other governmental interventions into healthcare.
Libertarian prescribed treatment: Separate healthcare and the state by repealing Medicare and Medicaid and ending all other governmental involvement in healthcare.
This article was originally published at The Future of Freedom Foundation.