The myth of ‘free’ health care
In June, President Obama said, “[Insurance companies] are required to provide free preventive care like checkups and mammograms …” The law also subsidizes care for people who pay more than 8 percent of their income for health insurance.
But Obamacare isn’t “free.” The money must come from somewhere. Even if patients don’t pay for their health care directly, Americans face higher taxes to fund the facilities, doctors and services.
When consumers perceive health care to be “free,” they use more medical services and create an overwhelming demand for them – which will eventually exceed supply. Then government will be faced with a limited number of options: 1) ration health services, 2) increase the cost of your health care or 3) ignore the issue as patients’ access to health care is severely restricted.
We see these issues arise in other countries with national health care. Patients in Britain and Canada often face long wait times – even in emergency rooms – to receive basic care that’s so accessible here in the U.S. In fact, Europeans and Canadians are known to travel to the U.S. rather than wait for their own health services.
My wife, Gena, and I have been to other countries that have socialized medicine, and it doesn’t work out well for people. When we visited Russia some 15 years ago, a young lady in her twenties suffered from a toothache. When asked why she didn’t see a dentist, the woman said the care is too expensive and even seeing a doctor could mean waiting eight months to a year.
To make matters worse, Obamacare calls for establishment of an Independent Payment Advisory Board, made up of 15 unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats who make a wide range of health care decisions – including the ability to approve or deny medical treatments recommended by your doctors.