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Having watched the Democratic debates a few weeks ago, there is one thing I cannot understand. There was a lot of talk about Medicare For All, and most of the candidates want some version of this. Although I disagree with people who want MFA, I can understand the motivation for it. A low-income Democrat – or even Republican – might say, “If the plan necessitates an approximate doubling of federal income taxes and I’m currently only paying $2500 a year in said taxes, who cares if those taxes double? I’ll be paying an extra $2500 a year, but saving $5-12K per year by not having to buy health insurance. Yeah, it stinks for the people who are already paying $100K in income tax and will see that double, but that’s not my problem.” If they are a hardcore leftist, they may see that as a feature, not a bug.
I don’t condone this kind of selfishness, but I understand that a lot of people will be motivated by it. Here’s what I don’t understand. Why do politicians like Bernie Sanders and Bill DeBlasio insist that we also outlaw private insurance? What harm would be done to the public if a small percentage of Americans decided that they want to keep and pay for their current health insurance policies? Either way, they’re still paying the taxes for MFA. And if they are using private insurance they’re not costing the government any money at all, like those who are signed up for MFA would be. I should think that such people would be applauded.
Of course, the emotionally satisfying answer is to simply declare that socialists are just stupid, but there’s got to be more of an answer than that. There must be some semi-logical reason for wanting to go beyond providing everyone with “free” healthcare, and also outlawing private health insurance. What am I missing?