With struggles still ongoing over how and to what extent to repeal Obamacare, remarkably many Democrats propose an all-or-nothing push to ram through a single-payer, government-run healthcare system. But, even the New Republic, which favors a so-called “Medicare for all” recognizes the perils that such a push places the Democrats in. The article notes the Urban Institute’s analysis that a plan of that nature offered by Sen. Bernie Sanders, would cost an eye-popping $32 trillion over a decade, However, the piece neglects the second argument that should sink Single Payer, that it would place questions of life and death for ordinary Americans in the hands of government bureaucrats.

Charlie Gard, the British baby currently condemned to die by the UK’s National Health Service, comes to mind.

Can the Democrats sell a $32 trillion entitlement?

Democrats are not even bothering to dispute that a government-run health care system will be the most expensive entitlement program in history. However, they do intend to claim that the cost will be offset by “savings” elsewhere. They will argue that a value added tax (VAT) could easily pay for such a system. The Democrats will make the remarkable assertion that a government-run system will be cheaper than one relying on a free market to control costs while encouraging innovation.

When deep blue states such as Vermont and California flirted with single-payer, the efforts collapsed when the costs of instituting such a system became apparent.

California found out that a statewide government Health Care System would cost an extra $400 billion a year, half of which was hoped to be covered by federal subsidies. The state currently spends $200 billion a year on all services. Faced with that kind of bill, the State Assembly withdrew the bill even in the face of death threats by single-payer advocates.

Then there are the death panels

Sarah Palin artfully noted that government-run health care would result in what she termed “death panels.” Advocates of such a system hotly disputed the assertion. However, those who deny that single payer could kill patients need to be introduced to an 11-month-old baby named Charlie Gard. Chatlie was condemned to die by the British National Health Service rather than be allowed to seek treatment in the United States that would be privately paid for.

Even before Charlie Gard, the NHS was rocked by a scandal when a system called the Liverpool Pathway, which featured doctors selecting the old and sick to be “allowed to die” rather than be treated for chronic diseases, was revealed. These decisions were made against the wishes of the patients and their relatives and, on occasion, for people who were not, strictly speaking, terminal.

The Canadian system involves health care rationing. As a recent article in the Huffington Post suggests, shortages of doctors and healthcare facilities force Canadians to wait for procedures far and beyond what is medically reasonable.

And lest anyone should want to fool oneself into believing that an American version of single-payer would operate more efficiently, they should note that the VA healthcare system has used secret wait lists, and veterans are often denied the care they need and earn.

In short, if Democrats want to charge that hill in support of single-payer, then they should be allowed to go for it. If Republicans are worth anything (to be sure something that can be questioned), they should be able to make them pay dearly for that terrible folly.