Before 1965, hospital room and board costs were $24 per day. Blue Cross Major Medical policies were less than $100 per year. Charities contributed $millions to caring for the poor. Doctors had charity practices for the poor. Defensive medicine and overregulation didn’t exist. So what happened?
Before the Federal government passed Medicare in 1965, healthcare was very affordable, but several events contributed to government’s unconstitutional foray into paying for healthcare.
Throughout the industrial revolution, workers were carping at their employers to “take care of them”. Most employers thought that giving jobs to them was enough. Some employers did attempt to help the poor and working poor. Charities, Churches, Benevolent Societies and other “associations” arose to raise charitable contributions to take care of the poor.
When Marx suggested that the poor needed to join in a “political struggle”, Communists encouraged the poor to be aggressive and demand “rights”. There were lots of things the “elites” could have done to dissuade the poor from starting a revolution, but they didn’t do them. The US was the model of a free market economy and was booming. A serious examination of the dangers of Communism should have been done, but it wasn’t. Political leaders should have followed the US Constitution (as written), but they didn’t. The federal government had no authority to adopt socialism and they still don’t. No Amendments have been ratified that would allow the federal government the authority to expand its “enumerated powers”.
In the 1940s, the federal government froze wages, but allowed companies to offer health insurance. This answered the plea workers had demanded for 100 years.
In 1962, the Catholic Church called the Second Vatican Council and after that they sold their hospitals to for-profit corporations. Nuns used to run those hospitals and were tight-fisted managers. When the Nuns left, costs started to climb.
Prior to 1965, corporations wanted to end their responsibility for retiree medical coverage, so they gave it to the federal government with the passage of Medicare. Poor people also wanted medical coverage, so the government gave them Medicaid. Veterans wanted coverage, so they got Veterans Hospitals.
In 2009, Obama created Obamacare to give coverage to the sick, but costs had increased to the point where he ran out of other peoples’ money to pay for it.
Healthcare providers, hospitals and big pharma have increased their costs beyond inflation because the government and corporations are paying the bills. There is fraud and overcharging and high malpractice costs and regulations that are driving costs higher.
The cost of healthcare in the US has increased to $3.15 trillion a year. If the US federal government really wants to reduce healthcare costs, they would announce that they would begin reducing all tax subsidies for healthcare by 5%per year. Healthcare costs would drop like a rock.
Governments must have limits and must be held to those limits. One of those limits is to not disobey the laws of economics.
Norb Leahy, Dunwoody GA Tea Party Leader