Socialist Bernie Sanders is lying about the crushing cost of his quixotic government-run universal health care scheme because he can.
Sanders and the true-believers who surround him claim implausibly that BernieCare will save America $6 trillion over a decade. Forbes, on the other hand, asserts that BernieCare could lead to an astonishing $44 trillion in new federal spending over a decade.
Of course, facts are malleable things to the Left.
The insurgent candidate for the Democrats' presidential nomination will never admit just how damaging his totalitarian approach to health care delivery would be to America. That's because Sanders is a Marxist ideologue to whom money isn't something real. Sanders and the other small-c communists who dominate today's Democratic Party regard people as playthings, and they don't care about the laws of economics, which they regard as obstacles to be overcome in the furtherance of social progress. And the mainstream media, for the most part, is in no hurry to hold the Independent senator from Vermont to account.
To some, single-payer health care seemed like a good idea around World War Two.
As Holman W. Jenkins Jr. explains in the Wall Street Journal, single-payer systems spread throughout industrialized nations in the 1940s "as a way to expand access to the relatively few things medical care at the time could do for patients." In many countries it was an easy sell because it could be argued it benefited both consumers and providers of health care.
No longer, Jenkins writes.
"We live in a different time. If the U.S. were to embark on a single-payer system today, as Bernie Sanders proposes, it would not be doing so to expand access—though that slogan would still be used—but for a very different reason: to deny and limit care in order to control spending.
"This agenda would be popular with neither patients nor providers, and therefore would be dead in the water—as liberal authorities, from the New York Times’s Paul Krugman to Henry J. Aaron of the Brookings Institution, have suddenly discovered an urgency to point out to Democratic voters infatuated with Bernie Sanders.
"Mr. Sanders knows it too. His socialism is farcical in a country that can’t afford the entitlements it already has."
Although the media swoons when Sanders calls himself a socialist, the abrasive senator isn't all that radical in Democrat circles. He's just more honest and blunt in his rhetoric than other radicals like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
Sure, he lies just as all American socialists lie to sell despotism to the public, but unlike Hillary he at least admits what he is proposing is actually socialist. President Obama prefers to hide behind words like fairness when justifying his un-American socioeconomic leveling.
The lie that socialism provides benefits to citizens without cost often works because people don't understand economics. What economics they are taught in school tends to be of the Keynesian or socialist variety.
So smug economic illiterates like academic Gerard F. Anderson can get away with the topsy-turvy assertion that consumer choice and competition are market factors that make health care more -- not less -- expensive.
"We're paying quite a high amount for having a lot of choice among different health insurance systems," he said, ignoring the role that regulations and government mandates play in artificially boosting health care costs.
"So Americans like choice; we just have to pay for it," said Anderson, a professor of health policy at Johns Hopkins University who is also on the payroll of the radical Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, one of the biggest funders of left-wing activism in America.
In today's reality-averse political environment, Sanders has unleashed a blizzard of lies, half-truths, and cherry-picked statistics to defend his plans. He makes the staggeringly ridiculous argument that his socialist "Medicare for All" health care system that would supplant Obamacare would somehow end up saving patients and governments money, as if the sclerotic federal leviathan were no different than Priceline.com.
In reality, BernieCare would set America on course to Third World nation status.
His campaign says BernieCare "will cost over $6 trillion less than the current health care system over the next ten years." The typical middle class family, the campaign claims, would save over $5,000 under this plan, and businesses would save over $9,400 annually in health care costs for the average employee.
The plan will cost $1.38 trillion per year and be paid for with new taxes, the campaign claims. This includes a 6.2 percent income-based health care "premium" paid by employers and a 2.2 percent income-based "premium" paid by households. It would stick the knife into working families, beginning with a 37 percent marginal income tax rate on income between $250,000 and $500,000 that would rise to 52 percent in the top bracket.
The Sanders plan would hike the hated death tax and drop a multi-megaton nuclear bomb on the stock market and financial sector by taxing capital gains and dividends the same as employment income.
The only way BernieCare can accomplish its cost-containment goals is by killing Americans on a scale beyond that envisioned by Obamacare. The bureaucratic death squads empaneled by Obamacare to decide who gets care and who doesn't would of necessity become more aggressive in denying medical care to patients.
It's not that Sanders dislikes Obamacare. He calls it a "modest" step towards forcing the U.S. to "join the rest of the industrialized world and guarantee health care to all as a right." Obama too calls health care a human right and not surprisingly, the constitution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics also treated health care as a basic right.
Obamacare, as former left-wing radical David Horowitz has said, lays the groundwork for a single-payer system which amounts to communism.
"What is Obamacare? And single payer? Why do we call it single payer? It's communism. If the government controls your access to health care which is what this is about, as to what you can have and to what you can't have, how is that different from -- that is communism."
Obamacare is a wealth-redistributing socialist half-measure that Obama and its architects know is destined to collapse, at which point they are gambling the American people will demand a single-payer system to fix the alleged failures of capitalist medicine.
Obama, Clinton, and Sanders all want the same thing: total government control over your health care and all that entails. Obama and Clinton are willing to go through the motions and pretend that the so-called reforms mandated by Obamacare are being undertaken in good faith; Sanders skips all that political posturing and sends insurers straight to the guillotine.
In other words, BernieCare is just Obamacare in a big hurry.
What Sanders is doing isn't something radical, according to Jenkins. He has merely perfected "what Democrats have offered since the Clinton era, namely denial."
These leftist machine politicians ignore the problem. When forced to address it, they say there is no reason to worry because the rich will be forced to pay for it.
Sticking it to "the rich" is Bernie's solution to every problem.
It's also the solution to every problem in today's radicalized Democratic Party.