In socialized Venezuela, you pay for all that 'free' single-payer health care — with your vote

Most left-leaning Democratic presidential candidates are touting "single payer" health care insurance, which, as candidate Kamala Harris has admitted, does mean giving up one's private insurance, whether you like it or not, and having the government take over.  It's billed as the new solution.

Here's the problem with having the government make all of your health care decisions for you, based on a New York Times report from socialist Venezuela:

In interviews, 16 members of Cuba's medical missions to Venezuela — a signature element of relations between the two countries — described a system of deliberate political manipulation in which their services were wielded to secure votes for the governing Socialist Party, often through coercion.

Many tactics were used, they said, from simple reminders to vote for the government to denying treatment for opposition supporters with life-threatening ailments.

The Cuban doctors said they were ordered to go door-to-door in impoverished neighborhoods, offering medicine and warning residents that they would be cut off from medical services if they did not vote for Mr. Maduro or his candidates.

Many said their superiors directed them to issue the same threats during closed-door consultations with patients seeking treatment for chronic diseases.

One former Cuban supervisor said that she and other foreign medical workers were given counterfeit identification cards to vote in an election.  Another doctor said she and others were told to give precise voting instructions to elderly patients, whose infirmities made them particularly easy to manipulate.

Hear that?  Once the government has a monopoly on health care, it can do whatever it wants with how it doles that care out.  The patient becomes powerless.  Venezuela does have a private health care system, or at least did, payable via market rates (and some charity care), but the vast majority of the people were condemned to the public system, and from that pre-Chávez public system, the Cuban doctors become the super-public version, with then-strongman Hugo Chávez's constitution decreeing "health care a right." 

In an age like ours, where political dissidents are being singled out and censored with impunity on monopolistic platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, it wouldn't take long for a government monopoly on health care to kick in, with political picking and choosing on who gets what health care and, eventually, who gets health care at all.  In Venezuela, it took only 20 years for the full hell to become evident.

Single-payer health care is billed as a panacea by Democrats now, because Obamacare, with its arbitrary one-size-fits-all mandates, is such a failure, and people loathe it.  Wouldn't it be great to get the government to do everything instead?  Like Denmark?  Like Cuba?  Well, in Denmark, you do have to pay.  In Cuba — and Venezuela — you get what you pay for, and with no money in the country, your vote becomes the way you pay.  Seriously: your vote.

So now we return to the U.S., and all the fermenty talk by Democrats about ripping out the current health care system, which, with Obamacare, involves high costs for getting quality care.  Obamacare was sold to voters as an improvement over the existing private system, and now single-payer is the new panoply of promises.  Obamacare is bad but the one thing that would make it even worse would be to have the government choose the care we get.  Bureaucrats would be hired, the government apparatus would replace the private one, and costs would skyrocket.  Then, as shortages follow, rationing kicks in, and money runs out, the whole government care thing will eventually be premised on how we vote, with some creepily vague rationale such as "terms of service."

Image credit: José Alfaro via Wikimedia CommonsCC BY-SA 4.0.

Most left-leaning Democratic presidential candidates are touting "single payer" health care insurance, which, as candidate Kamala Harris has admitted, does mean giving up one's private insurance, whether you like it or not, and having the government take over.  It's billed as the new solution.

Here's the problem with having the government make all of your health care decisions for you, based on a New York Times report from socialist Venezuela:

In interviews, 16 members of Cuba's medical missions to Venezuela — a signature element of relations between the two countries — described a system of deliberate political manipulation in which their services were wielded to secure votes for the governing Socialist Party, often through coercion.

Many tactics were used, they said, from simple reminders to vote for the government to denying treatment for opposition supporters with life-threatening ailments.

The Cuban doctors said they were ordered to go door-to-door in impoverished neighborhoods, offering medicine and warning residents that they would be cut off from medical services if they did not vote for Mr. Maduro or his candidates.

Many said their superiors directed them to issue the same threats during closed-door consultations with patients seeking treatment for chronic diseases.

One former Cuban supervisor said that she and other foreign medical workers were given counterfeit identification cards to vote in an election.  Another doctor said she and others were told to give precise voting instructions to elderly patients, whose infirmities made them particularly easy to manipulate.

Hear that?  Once the government has a monopoly on health care, it can do whatever it wants with how it doles that care out.  The patient becomes powerless.  Venezuela does have a private health care system, or at least did, payable via market rates (and some charity care), but the vast majority of the people were condemned to the public system, and from that pre-Chávez public system, the Cuban doctors become the super-public version, with then-strongman Hugo Chávez's constitution decreeing "health care a right." 

In an age like ours, where political dissidents are being singled out and censored with impunity on monopolistic platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, it wouldn't take long for a government monopoly on health care to kick in, with political picking and choosing on who gets what health care and, eventually, who gets health care at all.  In Venezuela, it took only 20 years for the full hell to become evident.

Single-payer health care is billed as a panacea by Democrats now, because Obamacare, with its arbitrary one-size-fits-all mandates, is such a failure, and people loathe it.  Wouldn't it be great to get the government to do everything instead?  Like Denmark?  Like Cuba?  Well, in Denmark, you do have to pay.  In Cuba — and Venezuela — you get what you pay for, and with no money in the country, your vote becomes the way you pay.  Seriously: your vote.

So now we return to the U.S., and all the fermenty talk by Democrats about ripping out the current health care system, which, with Obamacare, involves high costs for getting quality care.  Obamacare was sold to voters as an improvement over the existing private system, and now single-payer is the new panoply of promises.  Obamacare is bad but the one thing that would make it even worse would be to have the government choose the care we get.  Bureaucrats would be hired, the government apparatus would replace the private one, and costs would skyrocket.  Then, as shortages follow, rationing kicks in, and money runs out, the whole government care thing will eventually be premised on how we vote, with some creepily vague rationale such as "terms of service."

Image credit: José Alfaro via Wikimedia CommonsCC BY-SA 4.0.