Op/Ed: Government run healthcare won’t improve care and won’t save money

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By Guy Ciarrocchi, President & CEO of the Chester County Chamber of Business & Industry

Guy Ciarrocchi

Healthcare for the overwhelming majority of Americans is very good.  However, some costs are too high and for some healthcare is not accessible.

So, this is the challenge for thoughtful policy-makers.  The question is how to make good healthcare accessible to everyone.  The answer must not make matters worse.  The answer must not stop medical advancements.  The answer must not increase costs or must not decrease access.  The “answer” must be guided by the Doctors’ Oath: Do No Harm.

Therefore, the answer is not government-run healthcare.  Whatever these new programs are called –Single-Payer, Medicare for All, Public Option or Government-Run Healthcare—common sense, experience and basic math tells us that the these programs not only won’t work; but also, they will likely ruin the health insurance programs on which most Americans now rely.

No one serious about a sustainable, fair solution says to her/himself: “You know, things would run much better, if Washington, D.C. government agencies managed healthcare for all 329 million Americans.”

Instead of radically altering the current landscape and putting government in charge, federal lawmakers should focus on making improvements to the private insurance market, which most residents rely on and like; and, strengthening and shore-up Medicare for those who must depend on it.

Every single sponsor of government-run healthcare admits that higher taxes—much higher taxes—are necessary to pay for these new programs.  These new, higher taxes would sink many small businesses in Chester County.  In addition to lowering local economic growth and increasing the unemployment rate, these new DC-run programs will raise costs and erode the level of care for most people.

Another problem: a government-run health system could lead to massive layoffs—less nurses, technicians or even doctors. According to the Philadelphia-based management consulting firm, Navigant, we could see up to two dozen hospitals close here in Pennsylvania.

The Medicare system already is in dire straits. Instead of putting this important program at risk by adding to its burden, lawmakers must fix it so it can continue to serve the millions of senior citizens who really need it.

And, most sponsors of “Medicare for all” admit that it would eliminate private insurance coverage, and maybe companies. Since government bureaucrats will have to keep costs low, the range of treatments and options for patients will decline.  It would bring every man, woman and child into a government system that takes away choice and provides worse care.

We do not have to go down this path.

We do not have to create the largest government program, ever.  We do not have to turn-over healthcare to DC bureaucrats.  We do not have to raise trillions of dollars in taxes. We do not have to bankrupt Medicare.

Do no harm.  Let’s use common-sense.  The focus should be on supporting and expanding private healthcare access; and, strengthening Medicare.

Guy Ciarrocchi is the President & CEO of the Chester County Chamber of Business & Industry. Learn more at CCCBI.org

 

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