Sally Pipes: BidenCare would bring socialized medicine and end private health insurance

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When President Trump accused Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden during their debate Thursday of supporting socialized medicine, Biden called the claim “ridiculous.” But in fact, Trump is right.

The former vice president is trying to position himself as a moderate on health care — someone who will lean on ObamaCare. But his plan, which he dubbed BidenCare for the first time during the debate, would absolutely push the United States toward government-run single-payer health insurance.

If the Democrats win control of both houses of Congress and the White House in the current election with an early vote, BidenCare arrives – at the expense of the more than 180 million Americans who now have private health insurance coverage.

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The centerpiece of Biden’s health care agenda, as he has articulated in the debate, is a new public health insurance option that would compete with private insurers on state health insurance exchanges and federal ones created under ObamaCare.

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Leading Democrats are already signaling they will blast the filibuster in the Senate to push through the public option. Biden may not like the tactics employed by his former Senate colleagues. But he will certainly sign the bill they send him to make BidenCare a reality.

Proponents of the public option envision paying doctors and hospitals at rates similar to Medicare, which are considerably lower than those paid by private insurers.

A study released last month by the RAND Corporation found that private insurers pay hospitals 247% of what Medicare pays. It’s almost 2.5 times more.

And as moderate Democrat and former Representative John Delaney of Maryland pointed out before he pulled out of his party’s 2020 presidential nomination race, reimbursing hospitals at the Medicare rate would create a financial crisis for them, in especially rural hospitals.

Delaney said during a Democratic presidential primary debate last year: “If you go to every hospital in this country and ask them one question, which is, ‘How would it have been for you the year last if each of your bills had been paid at Medicare rates?’ Every hospital administrator said it would close.”

This statement has been criticized by many as exaggerated, but it is certain that hospitals would suffer serious financial damage with such a significant reduction in their income and should take measures to compensate for the losses. And some would probably close.

On top of that, the public option would not take enough premiums to cover its costs. This means that your taxes should fill in the gaps in the program’s finances.

According to new research by Lanhee Chen and Daniel Heil of the Hoover Institution, a public option would increase the federal deficit by $800 billion over 10 years. Covering that tab will require massive tax hikes — including on the middle class, despite Biden’s promise not to raise taxes on anyone earning less than $400,000 a year.

Armed with these two major advantages over private health insurance companies – far lower payments to hospitals and hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies – the public option would be able to significantly undervalue health insurance companies. private health insurance and to attract their clients.

Slowly but surely private health insurance companies would exit the market, unable to compete.

A study by FTI Consulting projects that the introduction of a public option would cause 20% of public markets to lose all private health insurance options by 2028. We can expect more to remain in the years to come.

Another step toward government-run single-payer health care is Biden’s plan to lower the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 60.

It doesn’t matter that the Medicare Part A hospital insurance trust fund runs out in four years. Biden’s proposal would add to those financial hardships by bringing an additional 23 million Americans into the program at an estimated cost of $200 billion over the next decade.

Then there’s Biden’s plan to offer billions more in federal grants to people seeking coverage on the ObamaCare health insurance scholarships. No one – not even people with an income above four times the poverty line – would have to pay more than 8.5% of their income for insurance.

Biden would also allow people who can get health insurance coverage through their work to reject that offer and opt for taxpayer-funded health insurance on scholarships.

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Additionally, under BidenCare, low-income people in states that didn’t expand Medicaid under ObamaCare would automatically be enrolled in the public option — and wouldn’t have to pay premiums or deductibles.

Add it all up, and Biden wants to dramatically expand the share of Americans relying on the federal government for their health insurance coverage, moving the nation toward the single-payer system that progressives like Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., have long had. longed for.

Sweeping changes like these could not garner unanimous Democratic support during President Obama’s administration. And yet they are now at the heart of the agenda of the party’s most notorious “moderate” – former Vice President Biden.

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The rhetoric of the Democrats for the presidency is based on the unification of the country. But their proposed government program is a progressive wish list.

BidenCare is ObamaCare on steroids, with a huge price tag funded by steep tax increases and that would eventually lead to the end of private health insurance and other bad consequences as well – no matter how badly Biden denies it.

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