Hillary Clinton’s release of her healthcare plan has received lots of media attention. Most of the stories are quick to echo her campaign’s primary talking point – that this isn’t a government takeover of the healthcare system. While it certainly isn’t as ambitious as the Hillarycare of the 1990s, it nevertheless envisions a big increase in government’s role in this arena.
Individuals would have to buy health insurance, big companies would have to offer health insurance to their employees, and insurance companies would have to offer insurance to everyone who applies. That’s a lot of have tos. And of course taxpayers would also have to pay for this whole new program, which has an estimated price tag of $110 billion, but if we have learned anything about government healthcare budgeting, doubling that estimate to be more accurate.
The timing of Senator Clinton’s announcements is interesting in that it comes on the heels of a fantastic investigative report by ABC’s John Stossel. His program “Whose Body Is It Anyway: Sick in America” debunks the idea that Canada’s single payer system offers better service. He shows the long lines that leave many desperately ill patients waiting for treatment and attempting to escape to the United States or to illegal private treatment centers that are cropping up outside of the government system. Stossel persuasively makes the case that the best way to improve our healthcare system is to make individuals more responsible for their own care, so that they shop for doctors, consider costs, and have a financial incentive to take care of themselves and get preventative treatments.
Clearly Hillary wasn’t watching or she’d know that her plan would move in the opposite direction by making individuals less responsible for their own health decisions. You can read more about the program here.