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“House Approval Of Health Care Bill Represents Major Victory For Trump,” ran the headline on a National Public Radio story, and the Washington Post said the new bill was a “major victory” for Republicans. Whether the measure, yet to face the Senate, is a victory for the people is dubious at best.
The Affordable Care Act, which the Republicans say they want to repeal and replace, was a statist coup disguised in a white coat. Under this plan, the people don’t get the health care they want. Instead they get only the care the government wants them to have. The ACA was responsible for “widespread consumer misery,” and prompted victims to wonder if the ACA was just laying groundwork for what Hillary Clinton calls the “public option” or “single payer.” Both mean government monopoly health care, what some politicians persist in calling “socialized medicine.”
Hillary Clinton failed to win the election but the effort to repeal the ACA is really a victory for the 44th president, who understood the dynamic of the bipartisan ruling class. Liberal and left-wing Democrats take the lead in the expansion of government, as in the FDR’s New Deal and Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, with its vaunted “War on Poverty” that proved particularly destructive. Republicans have been in a position to scale back or eliminate these statist programs but declined to do so. Instead they do their best to “fix” or “repair” them, to “make them work,” and so on.
Like the ACA, you have to pass the Republican bill to find out what’s in it. Like the ACA, it shapes up as government giving people the health care it wants them to have. On the other hand, for the people got the health care they want and need, competition is the best mechanism. Television ads for health insurance should be common as ads for car insurance, but don’t look for that anytime soon.
Meanwhile, the socialist Bernie Sanders is pushing for California to adopt “single payer,” the kind of system they had in the USSR, where Sanders spent his honeymoon. The prime beneficiary of government monopoly health care would be government employee unions. True to form, appearing with Sanders was RoseAnn DeMoro of the national nurses union. Sanders claims health care is a “right” but as John Graham has noted, there is no right to health care even in Canada’s government monopoly system.