Rising health care costs due to a failing system and worries about those under the poverty level have prompted some to look for a more radical solution to the problem.
One proposed solution is made up of democratic socialist policies that some believe to be the ultimate solution to the problem, pointing to countries like Norway and Sweden as proof that the systems work.
However, the Council of Economic Advisers recently released a detailed report that explained the concerns with socialist policies.
The 72-page report focuses on comparing and contrasting various countries to the U.S. and what could potentially happen if the policies were adopted.
Here is a breakdown of the report and why it matters:
According to the report, at one point in time, one-third of all people were under the rule of socialism. This form of socialism caused the destruction of economies and millions of people to starve.
Yet this traditional form of socialism is different from what the Democratic Socialists of America claim to believe.
Instead of publicly controlling the entire economy, supporters of democratic socialism suggest government control over certain facets of the economy. One example is the support for Medicare for All.
Medicare for All:
Those who support Medicare for All believe that every American has the right to free health care. However, there are different definitions of free, depending on who you ask.
According to New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), this would mean raising taxes for Americans and largely increasing taxes on the wealthy. Others propose to cut other government-funded programs to absorb the cost and not raise taxes.
These supporters list multiple countries where single-payer health insurance has supposedly worked, such as Nordic countries, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
However, some of these countries are not even strictly single-payer, and those that are are suffering from long wait times and doctor shortages.
Here’s the Cost:
The ultimate costs of adopting the system have been largely avoided by supporters of democratic socialism. They claim that the price will be absorbed by higher taxes for the rich and eliminating the private sector.
According to the report, that would be one of the worst ideas possible.
At best, the GDP would decrease by 9 percent, which translates to a projected average of $7,000 per year. If it was funded completely by the government, half the budget would have to be cut.
While these are only projections, these are based on past history when socialism was implemented in other markets such as agriculture. Examples such as the USSR, Cuba, China, and Venezuela all tried and failed when it came to government-controlled markets.
Additionally, no matter how many lawmakers point to Nordic health care as the solution, the report shows that citizens still have a lower standard of living, higher taxes and longer wait times to see specialists.
The report attempted to show that a socialist health care system will not yield any different results than what has already been observed and that implementing such a system in the U.S. could yield more harm than good.