“If you think health care is expensive today,” humorist P.J. O’Rourke once opined, “just wait until it’s free.”
History has repeatedly demonstrated the undeniable truth of O’Rourke’s dictum, but that hasn’t stopped politicians from promising that the next time really will be different. The latest to promote this version of hope over experience is Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is promoting his plan for “Medicare for All” as a key part of his presidential campaign.
Given that Medicare is running some $40 trillion in the red, that might not be the best model, but Bernie’s undeterred. In fact, Sanders’ plan would actually cover more services than Medicare.
And, it would do away with all of Medicare’s modest cost-sharing components like co-payments, deductibles and premiums. When Sanders promises free health care, he means it.