by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
[F]or Americans used to a liberal government, it can be hard to envision what a democratic-socialist America would really look like.
But I can. I’ve lived it.
I saw my home country go from prosperity to starvation in less than two decades. All because the people were tricked into voting for a candidate who sought to punish the rich and give everything away for free. Sound familiar?
If America buys into the ideas of the Sanders and Warrens of the world, things will go downhill just as quickly.
Imagine: It’s January 20, 2021. The Democratic base showed up in droves for the 2020 election, and Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, or one of their socialist cohorts has snagged the key to the Oval Office. Within the next four years, they pass their trademark proposals.
Democrats kick everyone off their private insurance and cover them under Medicare. But Medicare-for-all turns out to be Medicare-for-none — older Americans suffer from increased wait times for surgeries and emergency room visits as more people flood the system. The lack of copayments means the number of people who go to the doctor and emergency room without a serious reason skyrocket, crowding out the truly needy. Moreover, Medicare-for-All cuts payments to hospitals by about 40 percent, relative to private insurance. Like in Venezuela, price controls like these force businesses to close. In America’s case, many hospitals in rural and low-income areas can’t make a profit under the new system, so they either go bankrupt or stop accepting Medicare, forcing folks to pay out of pocket or travel to a hospital that does.