Our politicians are on the hunt for buyers. Sales Pitch No. 1: a medical care crisis is afoot and only the government can save you. Yes, there is a crisis of rising prices and premiums after the government started meddling in the medical-care market. In 1963, 906 insurance companies wrote health and accident insurance, with 42 offering health insurance exclusively. Now, we have five companies that have cornered the health insurance market. Additionally, politically powerful hospitals continue to merge and gobble up physicians' practices, leading to up to 70% higher prices in geographic areas with minimal competition.
Premiums and out-of-pocket costs rose steeply after the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and show no sign of going back down. In 2018, according to eHealth, the average monthly cost of health insurance premiums was $440 for individuals and $1,168 for families--almost double the cost in 2014. The deductibles--the amount of money that you have to pay out-of-pocket before health insurance starts paying for your covered benefits--similarly rose to $4,328 for individuals and $8,352 for families.
Sales Pitch No. 2: the govemment-to-the rescue plan is fair and free. Well, Medicare for All is neither free nor fair. There is a good political reason the House and Senate Medicare-for-All bills fail to provide a financing mechanism. We would have a collective national heart attack after seeing the price tag.
In 2016, the Federal government spent more than 1.2 trillion dollars on Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Total national health expenditures by all government levels and private entities were 3.3 trillion dollars. A 2018 Mercatus Center analysis concluded that Medicare for All conservatively would add 32.6 to 38.8 trillion dollars to Federal expenditures during its first 10 years. The government predicts that, in 2026, the Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust fund will be depleted and total national health expenditures will be 5.7 trillion dollars. The Federal government collected about $100,000,000,000 in Medicare premiums and a total of 3.32 trillion dollars in taxes last year. Given the projected expenditures and no cost-sharing or premiums, new ways to perform mass wallet biopsies on the populace will emerge. The simplest tool, as Sen...