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The Sad Anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid

Yesterday, July 30, marked the 55th anniversary of the enactment of Medicare and Medicaid, two socialist programs that ended up destroying what had been the finest healthcare system in history, one based on principles of the free market and voluntary charity.
Prior to the enactment of these two socialist programs, healthcare costs were low and stable. Most people didn’t have major medical insurance because they didn’t need it. Going to the doctor was like going to the grocery store. Who has grocery-store insurance to protect themselves from soaring grocery prices that might bankrupt them?

Today, people need healthcare insurance to protect themselves from ever-soaring healthcare costs. Those who don’t have healthcare insurance face the prospect of financial bankruptcy.

It’s not a coincidence that healthcare costs began soaring with the enactment of Medicare and Medicaid. It was cause and effect. The enactment of these two socialist programs placed such an  enormous demand on America’s healthcare system that soaring healthcare costs were certain to result.

Thus, it was Medicare and Medicaid that gave America it’s ongoing, never-ending healthcare crisis. This is what many of proponents of these two programs simply cannot bring themselves to confront.

Sadly, most Americans today, including even some libertarians, cannot imagine life without these two socialist programs. They treat them as though they have now become a permanent part of American life.

That’s what socialism does. It’s like a narcotic. Once people get a taste of it, they are hooked. Today, proponents of Medicare and Medicaid, and even some libertarians, go into a conniption fit if someone suggests that these two socialist programs be abolished. They have convinced themselves that old people and poor people would be dying in the streets without socialism.

Today, proponents of Medicare and Medicaid, including even some libertarians, spend their lives, money, and energy coming up with plans to reform these two socialist programs. They are just wasting their lives, money, and energy. They’d be better off buying themselves a good set of golf clubs and going out and playing golf.

On the left, reformers got Obamacare enacted. That reform obviously didn’t work because now the left wants a full federal takeover of healthcare.

On the right, health savings accounts have long been the popular reform for both conservatives and some libertarians. Like Obamacare, this rightwing reform will do nothing to resolve America’s healthcare crisis and might even make it worse.

What both leftwing and rightwing healthcare reformers just cannot understand is that socialism is an inherently defective paradigm. That means it simply cannot be made to work, not by liberals conservatives, or libertarians.

The only thing that works is freedom and free markets. There is but one solution to America’s healthcare crisis: The repeal of Medicare and Medicaid and, to a larger sense, the end of all governmental involvement in healthcare. That includes the abolition of the Centers for Disease Control, the DEA, and all other governmental healthcare agencies, departments, programs and laws.

Or to put it another way, the solution to America’s decades-long, ongoing, never-ending healthcare crisis is the separation of healthcare and the state, just as our ancestors separated church and state.

If people want a vibrant, healthy healthcare system, they have to rid American society of governmental involvement in healthcare. I repeat: There is no other solution.

The post The Sad Anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid appeared first on The Future of Freedom Foundation.

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About The Author

Jacob G. Hornberger

The Future of Freedom Foundation was founded in 1989 by FFF president Jacob Hornberger with the aim of establishing an educational foundation that would advance an uncompromising case for libertarianism in the context of both foreign and domestic policy. The mission of The Future of Freedom Foundation is to advance freedom by providing an uncompromising moral and economic case for individual liberty, free markets, private property, and limited government. Visit

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