Bernie Sanders’s Healthcare Plan Could Cause Catastrophic Effects To World Healthcare
The fate of the world’s healthcare rests on the shoulders of American politicians. We’re one of the few remaining countries who have not succumbed to universal healthcare, but it’s no doubt we soon will, seeing as the world views this system as a moral necessity. However good the intentions may be, economics does not agree with this system, and this may be the perfect example of a road to hell paved with good intentions.
In America today, there is a mostly-unrecognized, attributing factor for our overpriced medical goods: the relation of foreign universal healthcare systems. A great percentage of the world today practices socialized healthcare, and pharmaceutical and medical device companies are often forced to deal with governments rather than individuals. These governments administer most medical goods for free to the consumer, meaning that no real market prices for these goods can arise. Governments and medical companies are forced to arrive at arbitrary prices for the purchase of medicine and medical equipment. Usually these governments allow these pharmaceutical and medical device companies to make a set, predetermined profit on the medicine and medical equipment they supply.
In such a system, government is the middle man between the consumer and the producer. Governments have set budgets in which they have specific limits on how much medical equipment they can purchase for all their citizens. This budgeted allowance is not fluid like the costs of production are; their budgets cannot change fast enough to counter the changing costs of the means of production. These companies often suffer losses because of such bureaucracy.
In order to combat these regulated profits, pharmaceutical and medical device companies, (which are mostly based in America, I might add), actually make up the costs here in America by selling their goods at a much higher price. Seeing as America is one of the only places in the world where these companies can still make a real profit, they take full advantage of the opportunity.
In other words, America has quite possibly been paying for the rest of the world’s “free” healthcare. The only other developed nation in the world that doesn’t provide universal healthcare is Belarus, which can hardly be classified as developed. High medical costs in America have been able to slightly offset the rest of the world’s free consumption. If America also chooses “single-payer” healthcare, government would virtually own the world’s means of distribution when it comes to medicine and medical equipment. Government will have the greatest influence on healthcare it has ever had in history, and there will be no safe haven from the problems that will ensue.
If I want to pay for a bottle of medicine, handing this money to the government, in the form of taxes, to buy it for me is not the same as buying the medicine directly. Once my money enters the hand of the politician, 9 times out of 10, this money is immediately spent on some other expenditure; this is especially true in America. This is why our roads are often littered with potholes. The money you pay in taxes, that government claims will go towards the road repairs, is immediately spent on something more nonsensical, such as the F35. It is not until later on in time that the government will divert some resources to such road repairs, and more often than not, they will claim it is not enough- that they need more of your tax dollars if you want to continue enjoying the provisions of government. To understand this in full, look up Washington Monument Syndrome.
The problems of universal care are already apparent. If you ask anyone who lives under a universal healthcare system, it is mostly true that the majority of people will tell you that they love their medical system. They can visit the doctor any time they need, despite, of course, the exceptional wait time of approximately four hours. What they don’t tell you is that this is only for the most common of health problems, stitches, a broken arm, etc. However, the poor bastard who needs an MRI, or a transplant of sorts, will be put on a waiting list for years.
They fail to tell you that there are major shortages for practically all medical resources of higher order. This has become such a problem, that public discussions are held about the use of “death panels,” These long waiting lists are often purposely instituted so that a percentage of patients in need of care, may actually die out, before having to be treated- thus saving resources.
Canada found a solution to this problem, that being, coming to America if they needed special medical treatment, but if America is no longer a safe-haven, where in the world will these resources be available?
There is no earthly way that medical companies would be able to provide enough goods for a world that would consume at no immediate cost to them. The main purchaser of medical goods would be government, and medical companies would have to charge private healthcare facilities exorbitant prices in an attempt to make up for these losses. Private healthcare could possibly survive, but the cost of care would be so abnormally high that the quality of care may not be comparably better. Add to this the fact that government budgets could never be fluid enough to account for the fluctuating costs of the means of production and we find that this kind of system is an economic disaster.