Bernie Sanders’ Plot to Expand Government-Run Healthcare Under the Guise of Infrastructure
Sen. Bernie Sanders calls his $3.5 trillion federal budget proposal “the most consequential piece of legislation. . .since Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the New Deal.”
While correct regarding the unprecedented costs, the benefits will not be what he suggests.
The budget bill, presented to the public under a blatantly misleading guise of infrastructure, will spend $1.2 trillion on the expansion of government-run healthcare through programs like Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). However, the figures released by Sanders significantly downplay the already staggering costs of this expansion that will undermine the ability of companies to provide competitive health coverage to their employees.
According to the non-partisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, the true cost of the expansion of government-run healthcare will be $1.355 trillion. This includes $165 billion to expand Obamacare, growing government-run healthcare that competes with private insurers. This would threaten the employer-sponsored health insurance that hundreds of millions of American depend on and enjoy, as employers will no longer be able to compete with subsidized government-run programs. Instead, employers will be forced to ask their employees to rely on government programs like Medicaid and Obamacare—resulting in over 20 million more Americans relying on government-controlled healthcare.
Also included in the “Infrastructure” bill is $120 billion in subsidies for prescription drugs, reducing the necessity for drug companies to innovate and drive down overall costs. These subsidies will allow drug companies to increase prices while simultaneously reducing their spending on research and development of new life-saving drugs.
The procedural technique that Washington lawmakers will use to pass this proposal while hiding a large portion of the costs from the public is often used by Washington insiders to push through partisan policies. By writing legislation that expands programs temporarily, the Congressional Budget Office’s standard ten-year cost analysis reflects a lower cost than will truly be the case if the newly expanded programs are extended prior to their expiration date. This is often done intentionally. Lawmakers pass bills that temporarily expand programs, while fully intending to extend the new programs before the legislation expires, effectively making the policy permanent while shielding the reported costs from public scrutiny.
Sanders’ infrastructure plan is nothing more than a false flag attempt to expand government control of American institutions, most notably our healthcare system. If passed, the United States will be one step closer to a single-payer system under which Americans no longer have any control over their own healthcare. All authority over their healthcare will be granted to government, resulting in lower quality care and higher overall costs manifested through higher taxes and trillions of dollars in debt for future generations.
Congress should roundly reject the senator from Vermont’s push to seize control over their constituents’ healthcare. We need more transparency – and less government.
Shella Farooki, M.D., M.P.H. practicing in Dublin, OH