Trusting your health to the paymasters will be hazardous to your health

The federal government has taken to trumpeting its “success” enrolling individuals into health plans. Likewise, the state insurance exchanges that at least worked well enough to sign some folks up are bragging about their results.

MNsure, for instance, is proud of the 250,000 individuals who’ve enrolled into coverage through its website. These “insured” people might better be called “voters,” because they will fight like crazy to keep their entitlement in place going forward.

MNsure admits that at least 80 percent of its 250,000 enrollees get their health care paid directly by government programs – Medicaid (called Medical Assistance) and MinnesotaCare. MNsure seems less willing to talk about the 20 percent that purchased commercial insurance on the website – half of which receive taxpayer subsidies to pay their premiums.

Fully 90 percent of enrollees at MNsure will have part or all of their health care paid for by taxpayers – and that’s a lot of voters.

There are more enrollees waiting to be slid into MNsure’s system later this summer. Some 600,000 individuals who were already enrolled in government health plans prior to MNsure’s rollout will be moved into MNsure’s care and keeping very soon – if MNsure’s software can be brought up to speed. Eventually MNsure projects 880,000 Minnesotans will receive health care paid nearly entirely by taxpayers – plus tens of thousands more getting federal tax credits.
Progressives see MNsure’s “success” as proof of the value of the Affordable Care Act, and vindication of its goal of reducing the number of uninsured individuals. Progressives don’t talk about the short and long term effects of their taxpayer largesse.

A recent survey of physicians shows that nearly 54 percent will no longer accept Medicaid patients. Physicians lose money caring for these patients, and though they are motivated to do well for everyone, doing too much care without adequate compensation drives them out of business. Having a government health plan does not mean an individual will get the quality and quantity of health care they need, want, or desire.

Longer term, individuals should consider the day, coming sooner than later, when federal and state governments can no longer afford all the care that individuals want to consume. When, not if, governments began forcing physicians to take patients as a matter of licensure, and when, not if, governments begin to ration care to those on Medicaid and MinnesotaCare, the “voters” enrolled in those plans will be outraged – but at conservatives who refuse to spend the country more quickly into bankruptcy. Progressives, on the other hand, will have a field day scaring the “voters” enrolled in these health plans to steal away their votes.

“Give me liberty, or give me death,” once said American founder Patrick Henry. Being indentured to a government health plan that bankrupts America will lead to slavery and poverty, not liberty. It is a bad solution to what ails us.

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