If you dig up the old tweets of self-help author Marianne Williamson, who stood in her now-familiar place way out in left field during Tuesday’s first night of CNN’s Democrat debates, you’ll know her as the candidate representing Xanadu.
Crime policy? “A gray sky is actually a blue sky covered up by gray clouds. A guilty person is actually an innocent soul covered up by mistaken behavior.”
Health care? “God is BIG, swine flu SMALL … Pour God’s love on our immune systems.”
Energy policy? “Visualize the oil spill plugged. Close your eyes for 5 minutes and see angels coming over it, filling it with sane and sacred thoughts.”
And here’s a great nuclear weapons negotiation strategy versus Iran’s mullahs or Kim Jong-un: “In chaotic times, seek peace within. You then become a harmonizer of external forces and a midwife to peace on earth.”
But the other leading candidates for the 2020 Democratic nomination who took part in the first night showed America they’re just as loopy as Marianne.
What Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, as well as Mayor Pete Buttigieg, had to say would make you think there’s no one left in America who remembers the bleak, bereft economy of the Soviet Union, whose Communist Party constitution painted a picture of paradise where citizens of the U.S.S.R. “are guaranteed the right to employment” plus “the elimination of the possibility of economic crises, and the abolition of unemployment.”
The evening’s first topic was health care, and as in Soviet Russia under communism, where “free medical service for the working people” was every citizen’s right, so it shall be if Bernie, Pete or ex-Harvard Law professor Warren are allowed into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
The Realities of Canada’s Single-Payer Healthcare
“Five minutes away from here,” Sanders said, “is a country. It’s called Canada. They guarantee health care to every man, woman and child as a human right. They spend half of what we spend. And by the way, when you end up in a hospital in Canada, you come out with no bill at all.”
Bernie forgot to mention that in Canada, as Sioux City Journal columnist Linda Holub noted last month, more than 1 million Canadians are on long waiting lists just to get examined by primary care doctors. Meanwhile, “dogs get a hip replacement in under a week, but for humans it can take two to three years.”
Belying the myth of free health care, Canadians pay approximately $13,000 in hidden taxes and fees every year, are rationed treatment, and unlike Americans enjoy precious little access to advanced procedures.
What’s more, the doctor shortage in America will worsen if we adopt a Canadian-style system; the liberal Urban Institute estimates a $32 trillion price tag over 10 years — a substantial underestimate if past projections of government entitlements, e.g. Medicare, are a guide.
Warren supports Medicare For All just as much as Bernie. Her take? “We are the Democrats. We are not about trying to take away health care from anyone. That’s what the Republicans are trying to do.”
Never mind memories of the Soviet Union 30 years ago; Warren is depending on voters forgetting that from 2009 through 2013 her fellow Democrat, President Obama, pledged dozens of times that “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.” But when ObamaCare took effect it turned out to be a lie. Democrats are indeed “about trying to take away health care” — and now that ObamaCare turned out to be a quite predictable disaster, they seek to take it away from everyone.
Buttigieg, meanwhile, was selling his “Medicare For All Who Want It,” with its “public option,” whose artificially low pricing will eradicate private insurance.
Both Warren and Sanders blasted any reservations about their socialized medicine schemes, whether they came from the less extreme candidates sharing the stage, such as John Delaney, John Hickenlooper, or Tim Ryan, or CNN’s questioners, as “Republican talking points.”
The Inmates Taking Over The Treasury
The dangerous nuttiness extended to much else. “The point is not about criminalization,” Warren said as she embraced decriminalizing illegal border crossings. Asked about extending his free health care to illegals, Sanders remarked: “We’ve got to ask ourselves, why are people walking 2,000 miles to a strange country where they don’t know the language? So what we will do, the first week we are in the White House, is bring the entire hemisphere together to talk about how we rebuild Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador so people do not have to flee their own countries.” How many trillions will that cost American taxpayers?
“We need to expand legal immigration” on top of amnesty for illegals already here, Warren declared.
But perhaps most insane of all were the proposed policies against racial friction. Excusing decades of failure by big-spending Democratic city politicians, Buttigieg claimed, “mayors have hit the limits on what you can do unless there is national action.” Warren accused President Trump of both “environmental racism” and “health care racism,” whatever those terms could mean, and her plan against racial disharmony is, among other checks to be signed by taxpayers, injecting “$50 billion into historically black colleges and universities.” Sanders would “make sure that teachers in this country earned at least $60,000 a year.”
Williamson labored to underplay her New Age flakiness, but near the end of the three hours it turned out to be a losing battle. Asked if taxpayers should pay for free college for welfare recipients, Williamson said, “I think that all domestic and international policy should be based on the idea that anything we do to help people thrive is a stimulation to our economy … That is how we shall have peace and that is how we shall have prosperity.”
What separates the wacky New Ager from the three conventional leftist politicians who stood center stage Tuesday night is that at least Williamson admits she believes the moon is made of green cheese.
— Written by Thomas McArdle
Issues & Insights is a new site formed by the seasoned journalists behind the legendary IBD Editorials page. We’re just getting started, and we’ll be adding new features as time permits. We’re doing this on a voluntary basis because we believe the nation needs the kind of cogent, rational, data-driven, fact-based commentary that we can provide.
Be sure to tell all your friends! And if you’d like to make a contribution to support our effort, feel free to click the Tip Jar over on the right sidebar.
It would seem that Canadian free health care is not unlike that on USS Caine, provided by an overworked E-5 Hospital Corpsman.
This made me laugh…except that that it’s too serious a matter to be funny. Who ever thought Obama would look like a moderate?
I have actually received health care in Canada and in the US and happen to know about the relative financials. The Canadian system does expend a much smaller part of their GDP than the US. They spend about half as much per person (circa $5800 in Canada compared to circa 12,000 in US. This is mostly covered in taxes. Private healthcare is largely illegal except for certain indications.
The healthcare system in Canada is basically an 80/20 system – Canada is efficient in paying for the 20% of common problems that cause 80% of the complaints. Routine management of BP, heart issues, respiratory issues etc is reasonably well done with an element of
“rationing by waiting in line” so people with trivial complaints are better by the time they are seen but serious complaints are seened in a usually reasonable timeframe. The care provided for a common problem like chest pain is pretty much the same as the US but with less use of advanced technologies like MRI. The weakness of the system is that for anything that is uncommon the system is slow to respond, wait times are long, and you do not have access to best in the world care. For example, suppose you tear a muscle or a tendon in your shoulder – in the US you would see a specialist in a few days and it would be surgically fixed within a week or two (assuming you have insurance) with any delay resulting from the insurer while in Canada it will be months to see a specialist, there will be trials of less effective but cheaper therapies like physical therapy and your chance of getting a definitive fix is well <100%. You will not die or it – things you would die for are taken care of – but you will not be thrilled. Similarly if you come up with a cancer in Canada the treatment would be similar to the US but you will very likely not get the newest and best drugs. Overall mortality will be somewhat worse once all the other factors are taken care of (the US has a huge third world population within it the inflates our mortality and morbidity numbers – when you compare apples to apples middle class people for example the US does better in Oncology but we spend much more to get several percent of benefit.
Living under the Canadian system is a lot like getting your care from the VA system – bureaucratic, decent but not best in the world care, little paperwork, much waiting, but serious stuff will be taken care of. I prefer the US system by far personally as I want first-rate care efficiently delivered. But if I was under the Canadian system I expect that for half the cost my lifespan would probably be similar and my function would be similar, just a little less.
Doubtless leftists would seek to defuse the difference and will complain that morbidity and mortality numbers favor Canada. But that is because they look at whole population numbers in a situation where the US has a much larger underclass, ill-educated, drug abusing endogenous population and millions of immigrants with problems that were never treated in their own country and are far advanced when they get here. If you compare apples to apples, the US does better.