Progressives are not Satisfied with the $1.9 Trillion "Rescue" Plan

By ROGER STARK  | 
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Mar 17, 2021

The ink is not even dry on the $1.9 trillion COVID “rescue” plan, yet the political left is demanding a further expansion of the government takeover of the U.S. health care system. (here) To be clear, the overwhelming majority of the $1.9 trillion partisan bill will go to non-pandemic relief causes. (here)

What is included, however, is the largest expansion of Obamacare since it became law in 2010. (here) The plan offers more money to the twelve states that have not expanded Medicaid as allowed under the Affordable Care Act. The law also expands health insurance premium support to people of any income level, not the 400 percent of the federal poverty level ceiling in the original ACA.

But, even this huge Obamacare enhancement is not enough for the progressive left. Some are demanding a federal public option in the ACA exchanges, while others want legislation to move straight to a single-payer, government-controlled “Medicare For All” health care system.  

One of the main arguments now is that countries that have socialized systems seemed to fair so much better in dealing with the pandemic than the U.S. The reality is that once these other countries opened up their economies, they experienced dramatic spikes in positive COVID cases. Great Britain, Germany, Sweden, South Korea, and Japan were all unsuccessful in containing the virus when officials lifted quarantine restrictions.

The critical issue is that except in very rare situations, no one in the U.S. was denied access to emergency care. Regardless of age or severity of disease, patients were treated aggressively and compassionately in U.S. hospitals and facilities.

Using the pandemic and the horrible impact on Americans is a false argument for socializing our heath care system. Instead, we should build on those free market, innovative measures that provide timely access to quality health care in the United States.