Kamala Harris’s healthcare plans are even further to the left than most European economies

Kamala Harris’s healthcare plans are even further to the left than most European economies
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Announcing that, as President, she would “eliminate” private health insurance from the American marketplace puts Harris to the left of the British Labour Party, most French socialists, and even increasing parts of Sweden’s system.

In fact, as Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs noted on Twitter, her plan puts her to the left of Aneurin Bevan, one of the founders of Britain’s National Health Service (NHS).

As someone who grew up with it, I will admit the NHS has benefits: not having to worry about insurance or fluctuating costs; coverage; where and when I might be seen by a doctor; and a pretty standardized level of care across the country.

The problems however, are almost the same.

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As a private individual I can’t look for better prices within the NHS; people abuse it to gain coverage for cosmetic and elective surgeries which all taxpayers then pay for; the waiting list times for appointments and procedures are horrendous; and while the care level is standardized, it is also far worse than the United States.

Throw into that the fact that the U.S. is a country five times larger than the UK, and suddenly Harris’s plans look less idealistic and more imbecilic.

The tax implications of her plans would basically bankrupt the United States overnight, despite the “experts” insisting that the accounting for such policies simply means the money is coming from “elsewhere” rather than requiring new funding.

What they mean is ‘people won’t have to pay for healthcare, we’ll take their money and pay it for them.’

But what this simplistic argument leaves out is that government — like an overeager office manager at a Staples Black Friday sale — massively overestimates the cash it needs to take in, then massively overspends in a bid to prove both “value” and “need” to the taxpayer.

Britain’s National Health Service budget is a prime example of this.

Even under ostensibly conservative governments, health spending has skyrocketed with very little evidence of improvement of service. The original budget for the entire thing was around £460 million, or 3.5 percent of GDP. Today it is around £120 billion, or around 7.1 percent of GDP.

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In other words, government spending in one sector alone accounts for nearly one-tenth of the British economy, and at this rate, the NHS has turned into a religion in the United Kingdom with its staff being the single largest special interest constituency in the country.

And yes, the U.S. currently has a comparable rate of public spending, but it also has the balance of additional private funding for a further 8.8 percent of GDP, compared to 2.7 percent on average for other, comparable Western nations.

Certainly America has healthcare issues — mostly stemming from the pharmaceuticals lobby, ambulance-chasing lawyers, and the country’s national diet of twinkies and Dr. Pepper. But at least your market maintains a competitive balance, and government doesn’t yet have a monopoly.

Juxtapose this with Britain, where the National Health Service claims itself one of the world’s top five employers “together with the U.S. Department of Defense, McDonalds, Walmart and the Chinese People's Liberation Army.”

Can you imagine the sheer size of the government-dependent healthcare lobby if Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisGOP rep to introduce constitutional amendment to limit Supreme Court seats to 9 CNN to host town hall with Cory Booker in South Carolina O'Rourke sees 'a lot of wisdom' in abolishing Electoral College MORE’s extreme socialization plans were realized? It would be over one fifth of the U.S. economy within a matter of years.

And this is really one of the most important reasons to reject socialized healthcare in the United States.

Certainly, it is rather anti-American (in that Americans prefer choice and freedom), and almost definitely morally unsound, as care levels would naturally fall with harmonization across the nation. But to me the idea of creating a national religion for the left is the most compelling reason ordinary Americans must resist such measures. You will never, ever, gain control of this industry back so long as that many people become reliant on it. And believe me, these people are active.

Here in the United Kingdom it seems pro-NHS protests occur about every 8 seconds, with mostly junior staffers demanding more pay, more time off, and more cash for services. Government finds it almost impossible to reject their plans, because the nation looks upon the NHS as some kind of darling. In truth, it is a leech on the national purse, the national conscience, and on individuals.

Kamala Harris knows precisely what she’s doing in trying to create this left-wing church in America. I just hope the Republican Party has the fortitude to stand athwart her path.

Raheem Kassam is a fellow at the Claremont Institute and the Middle East Forum. He is the author of two bestselling books: “No Go Zones” and “Enoch Was Right.” Follow him on Twitter @RaheemKassam.