Politics & Policy

Democratic Presidential Contenders Prescribe Big Government Snake Oil

Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at Iowa Wesleyan University in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, June 11, 2019. (Jordan Gale/Reuters)
‘Free’ health care for all, including illegal aliens, will cost trillions.

When it comes to health care, the Democratic presidential candidates offer the same cure: Big Government. Their chief prescriptions are almost stereotypically statist. Their “remedies” include destruction of private property, huge tax hikes, and “freebies” — even to people who break into this country. This would be underwritten by the Democrats’ go-to source for funding their zany schemes: the beleaguered American taxpayer.

Decrying White House efforts to scuttle Obamacare, Senator Bernie Sanders (Socialist, Vt.) said at the June 27 Democratic debate in Miami: “President Trump, you’re not standing up for working families when you try to throw 32 million people off the health care that they have.”

What chutzpah.

As Medicare for All’s chief sponsor, Sanders would terminate, with extreme prejudice, the private health plans of roughly 180 million Americans — nearly six times as many cancellations as Sanders claims Trump wants.

“I’m with Bernie on Medicare for All,” Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts chirped in her debate. Bill de Blasio, New York City’s breathtakingly inept mayor, gleefully concurred. California senator Kamala Harris raised her hand when NBC’s Lester Holt asked, “Who here would abolish their private health insurance in favor of a government-run plan?” She later reversed herself and said that she misheard the question. Regardless, she is a Senate co-sponsor of Sanders’s bill, as are New Jersey’s Cory Booker and New York’s Kirsten Gillibrand, also White House wannabes.

And what would Medicare for All cost? The Mercatus Center’s 10-year forecast: $32.6 trillion.

For his part, former vice president Joe Biden, the swiftly sliding Democratic front-runner, recommends — what else? — a tax increase. “I’d bring back the individual mandate,” Biden told CNN’s Chris Cuomo.

Thanks to Obamacare, this tax penalty cost an uncovered individual up to $3,264 in 2017 alone. Between 2016 and 2026, this tax was projected to vacuum $43.3 billion from the pockets of mainly modest-income Americans. President Trump denounced this “especially cruel tax that fell mostly on Americans making less than $50,000 a year.”

The Trump/GOP tax cuts repealed this sadistic levy. Biden now wants to give it mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

It would be bad enough if Democrats planned to hand out health-care goodies only to U.S. citizens and, perhaps, legal immigrants.

No such luck.

“Raise your hand if your government plan would provide coverage for undocumented immigrants,” NBC’s Savannah Guthrie asked in the June 27 debate.

All ten Democrats shot their arms into the air.

The next morning’s New York Post showed these politicians, unanimously eager to ply illegal aliens with health care. The headline: “Who Wants to Lose the Election?”

These Democrats were not betraying party dogma. They were extolling it.

“This is not a handout,” Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez told Fox News Channel’s Chris Wallace. “Immigrants, including undocumented immigrants, pay billions of dollars in taxes,” he claimed. “Democrats believe that you should be able to buy into a health-insurance system.”

If this is not a handout, I am a chunk of border wall.

“If the entire illegal immigrant population were enrolled in Medicaid, the tab would range from a whopping $84 billion a year (10.5 million times $8,015 per-person Medicaid cost) to more than double that, $176 billion,” health-policy scholar and former New York lieutenant governor Betsy McCaughey recently calculated. “But that estimate needs to be pared to reflect the millions of illegals who work and already get insurance through an employer. Covering uninsured illegal immigrants, then, is likely to cost $40 billion to $80 billion a year.”

So, to recap: The Medicare-for-All Democrats want a $33 trillion program that prohibits the private plans that 180 million Americans now enjoy. Some 30 million others without health insurance are supposed to pay $43 billion in taxes for the honor of finding coverage unaffordable. Then Democrats would force these 210 million people to finance, through their hard-earned tax dollars, free health care for — Yale researchers have concluded — up to 22 million illegal aliens who did not ask permission to enter America but invaded anyway.

This is today’s Democratic party.

— Michael Malarkey contributed research to this opinion piece.

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research.