There’s an old adage that goes “don’t steal, the government hates competition.” As another old adage advises, “truer words were never spoken,” especially the “government hates competition” part, and more expansively true than a mere “don’t take taxpayers money, because we have first dibs to it” interpretation.

We see this sordid truth arise yet again in Bernie Sanders’ deceptively labeled “Medicare for All” health care proposal. Buried therein is a provision that essentially bans private health insurance, by prohibiting employers or private insurers from selling or providing “health insurance coverage that duplicates the benefits provided under this Act.”

We’ve been told that America should socialize medicine because the “rest of the First World” has, but the systems in the “rest of the First World,” even Denmark, that paragon the Left so loves and so misunderstands, have private insurers. Furthermore, Medicare today allows for secondary, private insurance to be layered on top, putting the phrase “Medicare for All” in conflict with its structure.

Why do this?

The Left tells us we need government to protect us from monopolies, because monopolies are Bad. Why are they Bad? Because, absent competition, the monopoly provider can raise prices and degrade quality. Free markets resolve monopolies, but that’s not good enough for the Left, because it takes control away from them. Ironically, when monopolies arise and persist, it’s because the government protected them from competition. See this essay’s first sentence. Government, when wrought too large, picks favorites, and it gets sniffly when those favorites don’t perform well against competitors. So, it quashes the competitors.

And, when it can, it decides to run monopolies itself, typically to lousy outcomes. Public education is a monopoly that’s threatened by charters and other forms of school choice (read: competition). So, in places where big government tendencies reign supreme, like New York City, the Left fights against school competition, tooth-and-nail.

Why is government so bad at running stuff? Because the normal forces that drive quality aren’t there. The naive and starry-eyed expect that selfless public servants will have a better motivation than ugly “greed” that drives private-sector success, but for some reason (cough, cough, human nature) it never works out that way. And, since they’re working with other people’s money (taken by force, no less), those public servants have less motivation to be efficient. Remember, the government managed to lose money running a monopoly gambling operation.

The point of monopolizing health care multifold, but all the reasons trace back to “the government hates competition.”

If health care is a government monopoly, then health care workers will have nowhere else to look for work. Want to be a doctor? You’re now a public sector employee. Ditto for nurses, physicians’ assistants, and other care givers, plus all the staff that support them. You’ll have no choice but to look to politicians for your livelihood, and your livelihood will be inextricably tied to Big Government.

If health care is a government monopoly, people won’t have any points of reference, other than their memories, to compare the quality of service provided. That includes quality of doctor, waiting times, quality of facility, and the process itself. Think DMV, if you will. Sure, we can complain, but those complaints can be waved off as mere grousing, rather than illuminated by a better outcome (see: charter schools). Over time, memories fade, and people will simply tolerate the inevitable decline in quality.

If health care is a government monopoly, politicians’ power grows. There’ll be many more public sector unions at play, with much larger memberships, and the politicians who promise the most largesse (taxpayers’ money, taken by force) will draw the biggest campaign contributions. Moreso, there won’t be any private-sector hospital systems or insurers to fund those politicians’ opponents. The government hates competition.

If health care is a government monopoly, then it controls what gets treated, when it gets treated, and how much money/effort gets put into particular treatments. Yes, this sounds like the Death Panels the Right warned us about when ObamaCare was being debated, but that’s because it is. There is always rationing in any system with scarce resources. Market dynamics have proven, throughout history, that they’re better at rationing than central planners, and health care would be no exception. But, if competition doesn’t exist, people won’t be able to seek alternate treatment (other than by flying out of the country) if the government says “this is what we can do for you,” and many won’t ever even know if there were other options. In a monopoly, you don’t get to shop around. The government hates competition.

Ironically, the complaint that “the rich” get better health care won’t be resolved. It’ll just be narrowed. This system will make the medical tourism industry explode, with those who can afford to buy high-end health care outside the country doing so.

It should astound us that the Democratic Party has been taken over by the leftists and socialists, especially since the latter constitute only eight percent of the populace, but the viciousness of the social justice crowd, the relentless abetting by the press, and the ugly reality that “the loudest gets heard” in todays social media have stomped the moderates in the Democratic Party into the mud. The “too far” lurch leftward under Obama that cost the party 1000+ elections has been ignored, and instead the party has doubled down in its progressive mania. This, even as the “socialist” countries they fetishize continue to shift back towards capitalism and free markets, and the genuinely socialist countries like Venezuela follow in the death-spiral footsteps of their predecessors.

“Medicare for All” is a lie, just as “you can keep your insurance” and “you can keep your doctor” were lies. The Dems feel they have to lie to us to get their agenda enacted. What does that tell us?

Their defense is “everyone lies, all politicians lie, and no one lies more than Trump!” Aside from the whataboutism fallacy and the Trump Derangement Syndrome aspect of this response (socialized medicine onanism long pre-dated Trump, as did Obama’s lies), Trump lies like crazy, but is, ironically, proving to be the most honest promise keeper in recent history. Funny thing about that – this is a jarring anomaly to our leftists. They seem to expect and welcome politicians lying in order to get into office and/or pass legislation, because they somehow know that those lies are told for a higher purpose. Their liars are going to do Good Things, so if they have to lie to the idiot masses, that’s not only acceptable but laudable.

If you’re a Democrat, if you lean left, if you hear the siren-song of progressivism, ask yourself – is this what you want? Does this make any sense to you? Will this end in anything other than disaster? Your party has been co-opted by leftist nutters. You should take it back from them.

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.

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