Norquist: Coronavirus is Not an Argument for Medicare for All
Would more government control of heath care have protected us better against the Coronavirus?
A recent poll showed that Americans disagree by nearly two to one. 38% of Americans believe that a socialized health care system like Britain or Canada has would have responded less well to COVID-19. Only 22% believe a government monopoly would have performed better than our present health care system.
Who is right?
This is an important question as Medicare-for-All would, according to conventional estimates, raise taxes by $29 Trillion to $35 Trillion over the next decade. How can we judge if this tax increase would be worthwhile?
We could start by looking at how those nations that have socialized health care have fared in the wake of COVID-19.
The pandemic has created a surge in health care demand that has tested every nation’s ability to meet the needs of their patients.
Even before the virus, other developed nations with government-run health care systems had understaffed hospitals and long waiting lines for even basic treatment.
In 2019, The United Kingdom had a shortage of 10,000 doctors and 43,000 nurses, with 9 in 10 managers in the National Health Service saying that too few doctors and nurses presented a danger to patients. At any one time, 4.5 million patients were waiting for hospitalization.
Closer to home, in Canada, the typical patient had to wait a record 21.2 weeks – or five months – to receive treatment from a specialist after being referred by their general practitioner in 2017.