Gotta love this January 23, 2019 poll of Americans surveyed by the Kaiser Family Health Foundation. A large majority of Americans favors by 56-42 percent a public policy extending universal health care to everyone in the country, “national Medicare-for-all where all Americans would get their insurance from a single government plan.” Americans not only are sui generis, but also are so very sweet and generous. People love that the plan will eliminate medical insurance premiums — Yay! And reduce all out-of-pocket costs — Zowie! And it would guarantee everyone full medical care as a fundamental right — Ding! Ding! Ding!
Before popping the champagne cork on our slide to French decadence, though, here’s what Americans say when they find out that, uh, socialism costs money. And it doesn’t just cost the other guy, but it costs them, too. When the pollsters ask them about the increased delays in getting medical appointments to see doctors for treatment and in getting diagnostic exams that such a system necessarily will entail, their gleam and glow fade as they lose the Ocasio in their Cortez. When they further are polled about their sentiments over losing the Medicare they now have, towards which they paid in part throughout the decades of their labor years, they feel less fuzzy about Uncle Red Boiney of Vermont. And when they are asked about the massive increased taxes they will have to pay to fund the universal health care that makes them feel so warm and fuzzy, they feel less enthused about the bactrian Kamala’s humps. Here are some of the poll results, translated into the vernacular:
Questions to and Answers from the Sui Generis Sweet & Generous:
Q: Would you favor or oppose a national Medicare-for-all plan if you heard that it would guarantee health insurance as a right for all Americans?
Yay! 71 percent.
Nope: 27 percent.
Q: … And if it eliminates all health insurance premiums and reduces all out-of-pocket costs?
Kamala! Kamala! Kamala! (And thank you, too, Willie Brown, for setting her up as a political star after she cavorted with you in the media throughout that blatantly open extramarital affair that embarrassed your wife so terribly for so long!) 67 percent.
Nope: 30 percent.
Q: …Which of course means eliminating all private health insurance…
Huh? Universal Health Care means no more private insurance? Send The Hyphen to Venezuela: 58 percent.
Big deal, to heck with private insurance — like, uh, you have to work to get that, right? 37 percent.
Q: … Which of course will cost you a whole bunch more in taxes? Still good?
Line up Boinie, Kamala, and The Hyphen, and tar-and-feather them all: 60 percent.
Big deal — who pays taxes anyway? What do I look like, Romney? 37 percent.
Q: … And of course threatens the current Medicare system as we know it?
Make America Great Again — Trump in 2020! 60 percent.
Who cares about —what’s it called again? That’s the thing for old people, right? 32 percent.
Q: … And obviously will lead to delays in getting medical tests and treatments?
Build the Wall! Drain the Swamp! Lock Her Up! 70 percent.
So what? Nancy Pelosi will get me to the front of the line anyway if I promise to bring my relatives here: 26 percent.
Interesting poll. Go look at it yourself to appreciate the innate wisdom of the American People. In favor of universal health care by as much as 71-27, until they find out that it will raise their taxes through the roof, end their access to private insurance and real Medicare, and dramatically delay their appointments and blood tests, MRIs, CT scans, X-rays, swallow tests, bone-density exams, breathing tests, colonoscopies, dialysis, vaccinations, and whatever else they thought they could rely on.
1. Everything Comes with a Price, and Every Compromise Entails a Trade-Off.
Ice cream tastes so much better when it has no calories, no fat, only vitamins and minerals, yet tastes exactly like the fully loaded stuff with exactly the same texture. Isn’t that true? Well, no one knows — because they don’t make healthy ice cream that tastes and feels exactly the same as rich high-fat high-sugar ice cream. Instead, you buy the ice cream without the fat, without the sugar — with or without that locust bean gum — and somehow the texture is not exactly the same, and the taste is not identical. Maybe that’s why people still buy the version that has the saturated fats, high cholesterol, and all that sugar. The innate wisdom of the American People.
Life comes with compromises and sacrifices. People with diabetes will sacrifice high-sugar ice cream for greater life blessings Lactase-deficient consumers will buy the non-dairy frozen dessert made with the almond or soy milk. (Pssst! Almonds and soy beans have no teats, which is why that is not really milk or cream, no matter what they call it on the label.) Still, if they cannot digest lactose they will buy the substitutes, rueing the day they had to give up the real stuff but knowing that the pay-off in digestive health is worth the trade. People with artery blockages will give up their high-cholesterol saturated fats for fat-free alternatives, missing what they once had but grateful for the opportunity to enjoy what lies ahead. Trade-offs.
That is what universal health care really is all about. It all comes down to personal choices, cost-benefit balances, choices, trade-offs, and ice cream. You can’t have it all — except for the national debt and an armed SWAT team arresting you at 3 in the morning if you know someone who voted for Trump.
There are tens of millions of interlopers here illegally, and there are millions others legally here who are completely able, healthy enough, and strong enough to work for a living but who are unwilling to do so as long as you are willing to step in and cover their living expenses. So you have to ask yourself: Do you feel lucky today? Is it important enough to you to provide universal coverage to all of them— to every person in this country, no matter how Illegal, no matter how lazy, no matter what, as a Bill of Rights-type guaranteed right — to the extent that you are willing to have your family, your loved ones and you, compromise your own lives and health care by having to wait longer to see a doctor, encountering longer delays in getting diagnostics and treatments, having to pay a Venezuelan Boatload of more taxes, and losing your private insurance and your Medicare? Because if you are OK with giving all that up, a fair and balanced compromise, then you are qualified to virtue-signal to Western Europe that you are as virtuous as they are.
2. So Who’s Gonna Pay for Universal Health Care and Medicare for All — The Hyphens? The Rich? Or the Usual Suckers?
Of course their decades of West European virtue now sees them rioting in yellow vests in the streets of Paris, Brexiting London out of the European Union, and watching other countries among them teeter in national bankruptucy. PIGS— Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain. (In high school history, we learned that these used to be the greatest powers in the world.) As a result, they cannot even afford to pay the actual cost of defending themselves adequately, and that is why, as always, they turn to us American capitalists to pay their bills and defend them, even as they have imposed cheating tariffs against us for decades. The interesting question to ask is: once we undertake to become the next France and Italy and Greece and Denmark and Belgium— who’s gonna pay our defense bills? The hyphens?
a. Not the Hyphens or Socialists Who Know How to Game the System to Get Rich, Too
Well, in addition to The Hyphen, there’s Brest-Litovsk. Serbia-Croatia. Bosnia-Herzegovina. Minneapolis-St. Paul. Dallas-Ft. Worth. Alsace-Lorraine. Austria-Hungary. Profumo-Keeler. Haight-Ashbury. And of course Ocasio-Cortez herself. Most of those hyphens now are gone. The others have no bucks left except for the American cities that will be broke just like the Europeans once socialism reigns. That will leave Señorita Cortez, who will be the only richer one in the group, as she learns how to leverage socialism and political position in The Swamp for fun and millions, as Bernie Sanders so cleverly has done. (According to The Street, Uncle Red Boinie was woith two million dolluhs two yeahs ago. His wife, Jane O’Meara Sanders, is estimated to be worth between a million bucks and $1.5 million. Ah, shades of Stendahl’s Le Rouge et le Noir (The Red and the Black): the two Reds… four million bucks in the black.) And don’t expect The Hyphen to pay. Gee, she would not even pay her campaign staff’s Workers Comp coverage.
b. Not the Billionaires Who Have Figured out How to Buy off Democrat Pols to Assure Them Their Loopholes
This is the truth that the fawning Left Medicracy refuse to share: Socialism is enormously expensive. As Margaret Thatcher perspicaciously observed: “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” For The Rich, the fabulously rich, the billionaires whose very life existence The Hyphen attacks as immoral, exorbitantly higher taxes spiraling out of control are not a problem. There are truly brilliant tax attorneys and investment advisors who can conceptualize precisely how to circumnavigate any tax code. Billions can be moved offshore legally. Investments can be moved overseas. Gains can be liquidated later or converted. Cash deposited in the Cayman Islands. Tax write-offs. The Rich do not get bitten by tax increases; notice that Wall Street and Silicon Valley now predominantly support the Democrats. Gates, Zuckerberg, Bezos, Steyer — the richer they are, the more aligned they tend to be with Democrats. Thus, the political censorship by Google, Twitter, and Facebook that targets conservatives.
It makes sense that The Rich back the Dems, in the same way it makes sense why Democrats used to back a border Wall as a religious sacrament but now oppose it as “immoral.” Initially, Democrats felt obliged to protect lower-economic-class Blacks and Latinos; therefore, they were determined to keep out Illegals who were taking their constituents’ jobs and driving down their salaries. Then one day the Democrats figured out that they have Blacks and Latinos securely “in their pockets” anyway, as long as they keep selling Identity Politics, so no need to protect or advocate for them anymore. Instead, as California demonstrated, new vistas existed for transmogrifying the national electorate by importing millions more voters who would need welfare, food stamps, free education, and free healthcare — and thus would vote Democrat to get it.
The Rich grasp how the game works. Wall Street, Silicon Valley, The Rich are economically smarter than others — that’s how they got to be The Rich. They know their billions are safe with the GOP in power: lower taxes, less government interference with private enterprise. So, to avoid stumbling into the same colossal catastrophe bungled by other demographic groups who have lost all political influence and condemned themselves to the economic underclass by putting all eggs in one basket, leaving them taken for granted, The Rich give their millions to the Democrats to be sure that, during the political cycles when the Dems are in power, The Rich still will be protected with the necessary loopholes. They cover all their bases — Deplorables invested in both basketfuls. That is why Warren Buffett always will pay less in taxes than does his secretary. And the likes of Hillary always will be paid huge “honoraria” like the $675,000 that Goldman Sachs passed along to her for three closed-door schmoozes. Eggs in all baskets. No matter who reigns, the money rains. They ain’t gonna pay for universal coverage.
c. So Guess Who’s Paying?
So who will pay for socialized medicine, single-payer universal healthcare, a national Medicare-for-all? Certainly not the poor, the unemployed, who by definition benefit from the one-way income distributions towards which they do not and cannot contribute. And that leaves the suckers in the Middle Class. The suckers who tell pollsters that they support universal health care, free college education for all, free this for all, free that for all. It is the Middle Class suckers who fail to understand that there is no such thing as a free lunch, that everything costs money, and that socialism is more expensive than Armani outfits on the couture floor in Neiman-Marcus. The Middle Class will pay, and to some degree it is just because they wield the balance of power at election time. If they do not wise up soon, the Middle Class will end up giving free health care to everyone, exactly as California now proposes to do even for Illegals, and they will wake up one morning with a tax bill so onerous that many will decide that it no longer pays for them to work either when they instead can stay home, too, and “get it for free like everyone else.” Venezuela wasn’t bilked in a day. The remaining Middle Class suckers who comprise the working class will get hit with headaches and nausea so intense, but they will have to wait six months for their next free medical appointments, with no alternatives for affordable private care.
As Prof. Grant S. Nelson, one of my dearest law school educators, used to say: You can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip. To which one might add: Keep the change.