The nonsensical nature of “Medicare-for-All”

The nonsensical nature of “Medicare-for-All”

The Jimmy Barrett Show continues on KPRC 950.
[Jimmy Barret] It is 4:33 now in the am – 950 KPRC. Yeah, we talked a little bit about this this
morning, but there’s just so much information to dispense. I’m glad he
could come back on this afternoon when we have a little more time to play with
it. Robert Charles is with the Association of Mature American Citizens – that’s
the conservative version of AARP. Although I think they’re probably better
in every aspect, of everything, than AARP. He probably doesn’t want to be compared
to AARP, in any way shape or form. And one thing, of course, that they are
keeping an eye on is the quest by Democrats to socialize medicine. You know,
“Medicare-for-All?” Under what circumstances, in what world, is
government-run health care better than the private sector? Other than perceived
price – and I’ll put the emphasis on perceived – because socialized medicine
cost every bit as much if not more than privatized medicine. The difference is
is people under the delusion that they’re not paying for it when in
reality they are. Robert, welcome to the afternoon show here on AM 950 KPRC. We
start again- [Robert Charles] Thank you very much, Jimmy. [Jimmy] Yeah, we
started getting into it a little bit this morning, but there are some things,
and we’ll get into those in just a second about this, that are in the
Medicare for all bill that people don’t even realize are there that are almost
Darwinian in nature. But is there, in your mind – and I’m trying to be fair about
this – is there a case anywhere in the world of a socialized medicine
program that is anything close to being as good as the private sector? [Robert] Well, I
mean the obvious objective answer to that question is, no, whether you’re
talking about Canada or you pick your poison, but the government is not
incentivized to provide the kind of care that the private sector is. And that’s
why, frankly, everyone from dictators to you know Communist Party members come to
the United States for their care when the going really gets
tough, because ours is the best in the world.
You know, you point out – first, I want to thank you for mentioning AMAC, and I am
their national spokesperson and I feel very privileged to be that
simply because this is a group that truly defends things like the First
Amendment, the Second Amendment, the Fourth, the Sixth and the rest. A
solvent government, very Reaganesc I guess I would describe them as they are,
they’re the folks who really represent older Americans that have kind of a
true-blue mentality, and they’re fast growing. They’ve got more than two
million members and to get on board you just have to go to and and you
get a lot of benefits in the process. To your question, you know the main
point I think, Jimmy, is that most people do not realize what people are talking
about when they say “Medicare-for-All.” And there really are two bills – any American
can access them. One is S1129. That’s Senator Bernie Sanders in the Senate. And
the other is HR 1384, which was put forward by a number of real
left-leaning members of the House. The sad thing is that virtually every
Democratic presidential candidate seems to be behind these bills, and if you look
at them, even someone who’s not a lawyer, even someone who really has no interest
in this area, comes away just shaking their heads. And I think knowing the
provisions in these bills is absolutely critical. You know, just reading from
their texts – and they are companion bills – one thing it says, and I’m quoting is, “it
shall be unlawful for a private health care insurer to sell health insurance
coverage.” So, all of those employees that currently have insurance coverage, and
your doc who you have through that, they all go away. 180 million Americans
immediately lose their private health care plans. If you go deeper into this it
gets, I mean, that means they lose their doctors, their offices, their hospitals,
their nurses, their in-home care. Everything. And the notion is that you’re
going to replace this with a kind of Nirvana, or, you know, whatever it is that
the US government can somehow magically dispense. But look at the provisions in
this bill, under Title 1, they give what’s called a universal Medicare program – a
one-size-fits-all, wait your turn, get whatever they have to offer. The
irony in this is that it actually allows- it forces everyone, by the way, to
register from birth with a card and the federal government knows where you are
and everything about you at that moment. But
then go a step further. It allows the federal government to decide what care
you will and will not get. It will decide – one singular office – will decide, which is
obviously operationally impossible, but will decide what is medically necessary
or appropriate. They will, by the way, cover comprehensive reproductive. In
other words everybody who wants abortions gets them. There will be cost
sharing, which means it’s sort of a sleight of hand. That means that you’ll
still pay your prescription drug prices over a level they decide they’re not
going to pay for. Doctors are, in the provisions of this bill, doctors are
actually ominously encouraged to testify against each other if they see anybody
accidentally working in the private sector. [*call drops*]
[Robert]…if the federal government, you know, failes, but you
can’t do that at a time when you actually need it. You have to do it at
some other time. The whole bill makes no sense and the sad part is it is
incredibly costly. I can get into that if you want to? [Jimmy] Yeah, we’ll give that, just
saying, I’m you know… I’m still stuck back at the idea that
instantaneously 186 million Americans lose their health care. Can you imagine
the chaos alone of trying to sign up that many people to go into a
government health care system? That would take years! [Robert] And do you know, and by the way,
every single procedure and every single clinical engagement has to be
pre-approved or approved for payment within 30 days by the federal government.
There’s no way that would happen. I have a family with some kids, and we have
medical issues all the time. The notion that I would no longer be able to do a
yes/no, right/wrong with my own doctor, but now have to, you know, basically take
a risk on everything I do as to whether or not the federal government will
support it. And by the way, when you end up in those situations, whether it’s a
communist country, a socialist country, the Canadian system, the British system,
what ends up happening to greater and lesser extent is that you get bad care
delayed at high cost. So, because actually at the end of it, the taxpayer has to pay
for all this, right? Money isn’t invented. It doesn’t grow on
trees. The taxpayer, the middle-class taxpayer, ends up paying for bad
soviet-style medicine for which they have to wait. It makes absolutely no
sense whatsoever. [Jimmy] I’m guessing, too, that not only do you
have to pay for it, but you’re gonna pay as much, if not greater rates, than what
you’re paying now for far far less. [Robert] Well, I mean it’s exactly like the
Obamacare promise, right? You know, your premiums will go down. Actually, that
wasn’t true at all. People’s premiums went up, and their
deductibles went up, and their value went down. This is even worse than that, in a
way, because it’s a knowing deception, in my view. There is no one in
their right mind who truley believes that, the way these bills are structured,
you could ever get a workable healthcare system. But what they’re doing, just like
promising free education and promising free you-name-it, free, you know,
modification of the weather, and free everything, we’re going to give you now
free health care. The problem is, you know, things are often worth what you pay for.
And, you know, in this particular instance all the incentives are wiped
out. You end up with, you know, Venezuelan-style medicine and, what do you get
from that? At the end of the day you get the promise that it was going to be done
for free. But what about that promise? You know, this bill, by the admission of all
of the democrats running for president – and only 20% of democrats actually
support this program, that is to say 20% of voters – democrat affiliated registered
voters – yet, every single presidential candidate is for this ridiculous program
and they seem to be trumpeting it as if it’s, you know, it’s the best thing since
sliced bread. But it costs 32 trillion dollars over ten years. That’s their
numbers. So, think about that for a minute with me, Jimmy. 32 trillion
dollars is thirty-two-thousand times a billion dollars. It’s one-and-a-half
times America’s gross domestic product or two-thirds of all the money in the world
central banks. That’s a fifth more than the entire combined value of all the fortune
500 companies or ten times the cost of both the Iraq and Afghan Wars. It is
inconceivably expensive, even on their numbers. So, if you want bad medicine that,
you know, shortens your life, makes quality of care go down dramatically, and
costs you through the roof, this would be your your option. [Jimmy] Sounds
like a lot of fun. I guess if you’re Canadian, you don’t know
any better. I guess if you’re British, you don’t know any better because the system
has been that way for so long. But… [Robert] I think I would put it exactly as you put
it, but in kind of the converse. We in this country are used to good quality
medical care. We can’t truly conceive how bad it gets.
I’ll give you an example in the medical side, with Canada. Not only do their
ambulances end up going round and around the hospitals, waiting for slots, but
people wait months and months for what are, in fact, life and death operations
ranging from, I mean, I could give you the list, but there’s a long list and, in fact,
if you look at places like New Brunswick so – just north of the eastern seaboard in
Canada you have this province of New Brunswick. In the entire province of New
Brunswick there is one working MRI machine. Now,
think about that when you kid- [Jimmy] Can you hold that thought for me, sir?
Hold that thought, I’m up against a hard-break, but I want to get into that
example. And I want to get into a little bit with you if you could take the time
to kind of explain to us what would happen to the American medical
profession under that sort of a business model. Back with more in a moment, we’re
visiting with Robert Charles – Association of Mature American Citizens. Back with him
in just a moment on AM 950 KPRC. [*break*] Back to the Jimmy Barrett Show on KPRC
950. [Jimmy] We’re talking about medicare-for-all. We’re talking about socialized medicine. We’re
talking about it with Robert Charles. He’s with the Association of Mature American Citizens –
that’s the alternative to AARP. He’s also a former Assistant Secretary of
State for President George W Bush, and when we got so rudely interrupted by
making money, Robert, you were talking about a case in
Canada where there’s, I forget which part of Canada, where they have, like,
one MRI machine for the entire area? [Robert] Yeah, so that was just an example of how lucky
we are in the United States because, when you need an MRI or x-ray your GP
generally has access to one nearby. In the entire province of New Brunswick, you
know, one recent report indicated there was just one MRI machine. So – and of
course the queue for that, the lineup for that, is long. I, you know, I think when you
think about Medicare-for-all it, you know, the phraseology – this is the trick
of politics. They pick a good name, you know, the “Save America Bill” and you know
Medicare-for-all sounds like it’s providing medical care for all. It’s
actually the exact reverse. It not only is so costly that it would bankrupt – I
mean, if we’re talking about the government taking over 20% of the entire
United States economy – it would not only bankrupt the middle class, and
provide poor quality care, but you have to remember that, you know, we fall
into the trap of kind of believing what the media
tells us, as a general matter, and I think it’s important to go back to the data
points, not just in these two bills which we’ve discussed, you know, a moment ago
but just just the basic facts. Look, medicine is created by the private
sector. The government does not create anything. It moves a lot of paper around
it allocates and appropriates and ultimately apportions money for things.
But it does not create anything. Medicine and the quality of American medical care
is based on the incentives that are attached to creating good medicine by
everyone from small to large businesses and the provision of that medicine to
people in a personal way. That is why people all over the world come to the
United States for their medical care. You know where I grew up, in rural
America, we had a phrase – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And, you know, that’s
sort of where we are right now. I, as an Assistant Secretary of State, I had the
good fortune of being in a lot of countries. I’ve probably been in 50
countries in my life and there is not one of those countries that provides the
kind of responsive, effective, high-quality, lowest-possible-cost medical
care that you get in the United States. Everything else is a fiction. It’s the
idea that, you know, we can somehow lump it all together, centralize the
distribution process, and everybody will be happy. One size will fit all. And
what we know empirically is it simply doesn’t work that way. [Jimmy] I don’t know what
it does, specifically, to the medical profession itself, but here’s what I do
know. My cardiologist is from Brazil. I think the best other countries have to
offer, when it comes to the field of medicine, end up here in the United
States. I’m sure there’s a reason why they end up here. [Robert] Absolutely. So,
you know, I tend to believe that the best possible system for the allocation
of high-quality goods and services is capitalism. And that’s because the
producer of those goods and services responds to the demands of the people.
And if there is a need for high-quality flu vaccinations at a low cost,
then the markets clear because people say, I will pay this amount of
money for that. When you get the government, which is an
artificial setter-of-prices, and of standards of care, involved in
this what you’ve really done is you’ve taken something that’s done well in the
private sector and just for the purposes of aggregating power around a central
few, you’ve given that authority to the federal government. And that is – it
just doesn’t work. I mean, I understand that there are people who need care that
don’t have it, and that’s why we have something called Medicare and that’s why
we have something called Medicaid. And those are essentially a safety net for
those that cannot afford high-quality care, and we take care of the poor in
this country for that exact reason. But that’s not a good argument
and, you know, you used, I think, earlier today, the VA as
an example of care that is very disparate. In some parts of the country
it’s good, in other parts of the country it’s terrible, and ultimately the
bureaucracy – all kinds of errors and omissions and, sadly, life and death
mistakes that get made as a result of having it all be centralized. So,
the bottom line is, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And the medical profession
in this country not only attracts people from around the world to serve in it, but
actually attracts patients from all over the world because the smartest and the
wealthiest people in the world know that if you want to get good quality medical
care the place to go is the United States of America. [Jimmy] Alright, Robert,
before we let you go tell us how to get a hold of the Association of Mature
American Citizens. [Robert] Yes, sir. Again, as you said, it is the
conservative version of AARP. They’ve got all the benefits that come with that
kind of a membership, but they also give you a great magazine every month. It’s
better, in my view, than Time magazine. It’s a true news that you’re not going
to get anywhere else, and other benefits. And you just, literally, Google AMAC- A-M-A-C,
or, and they are also, frankly, defending some of our constitutional
rights and the solvency of the government and other really, I’ll call
them all-american principles – a strong defense, a strong southern border. They do
that every day in Washington and I think the good news about that kind of an
organization is, in a world where a lot of Americans don’t think they have a
voice, AMAC gives them a voice. [Jimmy] Robert, thank you so much for taking all the
time with us today. Appreciate it so much. Take care, sir. We’ll talk again. [Robert] Yes, sir.


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