One of the meatiest moments in the second presidential debate regarded issues of #Health care: who should be covered, who should pay? Demagogues #Hillary Clinton and #Donald Trump each weighed in with an emotional appeal to certain sentiments found in the breasts of many Americans, but ignored the rationale of a more complete truth.
Clinton argued that adding twenty million people to health care and eliminating insurance clauses which preclude persons with existing conditions, such as diabetes, from coverage was a good thing. However, she failed to mention that the burden for these benefits is now squarely upon the backs of everyone who actually works for a living and pays for their own health insurance. Health care, like education, is not a zero-sum game, but to stay in business, insurance companies need to net a certain amount of revenue. Obviously, free insurance for the poor, coverage for persons with existing conditions, and no lifetime cap on insurance give us warm fuzzies, but they are very expensive, and to balance for this loss, insurance companies have increased premiums and deductibles while reducing coverage on everyone else.
Trump made a similar ovation, but to our sentiments of self-preservation and fiscal responsibility. By focusing on the increasing premiums and deductibles, he fanned the flame of disappointment felt by many who have seen their costs skyrocket while coverage declines. As Trump mentioned, “…unless you get hit by a truck, you are never going to be able to use [your health insurance.]” But Trump neglected to mention that his plan to repeal the current health care legislation would mean an end of coverage for millions of poor people – not a warm fuzzy.
What could happen
The Trump argument boiled down to using free market principles to reduce the cost of health care by eliminating regulations that prevent insurance companies from competing freely across state lines for consumers. Clinton’s plan will continue to put the largest burden on the hardest working and the biggest benefit to those who contribute the least to society’s success.
Ultimately, our feelings may decide whether we like the “feel good” plan of everyone having health care (though what is covered is still up in the air) or whether the continued expansion of the welfare state is unsustainable.