More Free Stuff: Bernie Wants to Cancel $81 Billion of U.S. Medical Debt

Erin Evans

Bernie Sanders has announced his newest plan to reshape American healthcare at the expense of American taxpayers: he wants to eliminate all of America’s medical debt – about $81 billion.

The Democratic presidential candidate’s proposal, released Saturday morning, would not only forgive debt through government negotiation with collectors, but also would reform the means by which debt is collected and upend the system that he says only hurts people seeking protection by filing for bankruptcy.  His plan would also replace credit reporting agencies like Equifax with a public credit registry that ignores medical debt when calculating scores.

Bernie cites the misleading claim that most American bankruptcies are driven by medical debt as the catalyst for his new plan.

I agree that we need major healthcare reform in this country.  But, as I’ve said before, making everything “free” isn’t the answer.  Shifting from private funds to taxpayer money leads to additional bureaucratic waste, irresponsible consumer consumption, lack of price competition, and a lack of incentive for research and development (the U.S. is the world leader on medical research and advancement), among other problems.  We need more capitalism in healthcare, not less.

Oh, Bernie.  First it was a “right to education,” so college should be free.  Then it was a “right to healthcare” so medical costs should be free.  What’s next, mortgages?  We have a “right to housing,” so maybe Bernie will announce the elimination of all mortgages and rent.

How is Bernie’s plan going to work once he makes everything free?  Once everything is “free,” no one will be incentivized to work much.  If there’s no incentive to work, the tax base will decrease, and there will be even less money to pay for Bernie’s agenda.  Then what?

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