Wyoming senator and former surgeon John Barrasso says it is seniors relying on Medicare who will be hurt the most if Sen. Bernie Sanders-style “Medicare for All” is adopted.
“There will be fewer choices, less control, and for people on Medicare, it is the greatest threat to them of all,” Barrasso said on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” on Thursday.
The Republican senator, who was an orthopedic surgeon for 24 years, said Canada serves as a good example of what Medicare for All would be like in the United States.
“As a doctor in Wyoming, I operated on people [from] Canada, where they have that one size fits all approach because even though the care was free the people couldn’t afford to wait long enough for the free operation and they came to me in Wyoming.”
According to a Fraser Institute study, the average wait time between a general practitioner referral and orthopedic surgery in Canada is 39 weeks.
See part of Barrasso’s interview in the tweet below.
The Democrats’ one-size-fits-all health care proposal would cause Americans to:
❌ PAY MORE
❌ To WAIT LONGER
❌ For WORSE CARE
— Senate Republicans (@SenateGOP) May 9, 2019
Hadley Heath Manning — policy director with the Independent Women’s Forum — noted that the wait time, just over nine months, is the length of a pregnancy. “Imagine being in pain that long, waiting for surgery. And that’s just the average. Some patients wait years,” she told The Western Journal.
Sally Pipes — president and CEO of the Pacific Research Institute, as well as a Thomas W. Smith Fellow in Health Care Policy at the center — immigrated to the U.S. from Canada and warned Americans that seniors will be among those most negatively impacted through denied health care under “Medicare for All.”
Pipes explained on Fox News’ “Life, Liberty and Levin” on Sunday that the single-payer system Sanders is proposing would mean private health care insurance would be banned, and the government take over and decide what care is provided based on what is “medically necessary for the population.”
Medicare, Medicaid and other government programs would be rolled up into a new government health care system, like that found in Canada or the United Kingdom.
“When people think something is free, they are going to demand a lot more of it,” Pipes said. So, the government will have wait lists and ration care, and “it is the elderly that will be most harmed by rationed care.”
In Canada, according to the medical care expert, the average wait time from a primary care referral to see a specialist is approximately 20 weeks, five months.
To get an MRI, Canadians must wait on average 11 weeks — nearly 3 months.
Pipes told Levin 200,000 Canadians a year seek health care abroad, paying out of their own pocket, because they do not want to or cannot afford to wait to see a physician in their own country.
The subject of wait times hits close to home for Pipes, whose mother died of colon cancer in 2005 while she was a patient in the Canadian health care system.
According to Pipes, after going to her doctor and expressing her concern that she might have colon cancer, she was told “As a senior, we have too many younger people on the waiting list to get colonoscopies — people are waiting eight months to a year.”
“So she didn’t get her colonoscopy. Six months later she was hemorrhaging, she went to the hospital in an ambulance,” Pipes said. “Two days in the emergency room, two days in a transit lounge waiting to get a bed in a ward. She got her colonoscopy, but she passed away two weeks later from metastasized colon cancer. This is rationing of care and you reduce costs by denying care to people. It’s very, very sad.”
Pipes affirmed Barrasso’s warnings about diminished access to health care for the elderly, telling The Western Journal, “Medicare for All will be a disaster for our seniors.”
“Their care will be rationed just as it is for seniors in Canada and the U.K. because a government system has to control the funds for health care,” Pipes told The Western Journal. “Demand will outpace supply so the administrators will want to treat younger people first.”
In a speech from the Senate floor on Wednesday, Barrasso pointed out that Sanders’ Medical for All plan, which has been endorsed by nearly all of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, has been rejected by numerous newspaper editorial boards, including those at USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.
All three pointed to a recently released study by the Congressional Budget Office as evidence of the detrimental effects of Medicare for All.
“The combination of generous benefits and lower payments to health care providers could create ‘a shortage of providers, longer wait times and changes in the quality of care,’ CBO warned,” the USA Today editors highlighted.
Barrasso noted, “The [Wall Street] Journal says that any savings would have to come from where the money is, which is cutting payments to doctors and restricting care.”
The Washington Post editorial board observed, “Paying doctors and hospitals less could drive down national health-care spending, making the reform relatively affordable.
“But doing so could also shutter smaller or regional facilities whose margins are already low. It could also discourage talented people from entering the medical profession and result in long wait times for care.”
Barrasso contended creating Medicare for All would result in “Medicare for none.”
“Ending Medicare as we know it would not solve our healthcare problems, it simply makes them much worse, and certainly for the 60 million Americans currently on Medicare,” the lawmaker said.
Near the end of his remarks, Barrasso quoted the Wall Street Journal editorial board: “Voters should know Mr. Sanders is promising miracles when what he’ll deliver is poorer care for everyone.”
The senator concluded, “Americans will pay a high price for Democrats one-size-fits-all health care scheme, and I actually think seniors may suffer the most.”
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