Rep. Mark Green: I'm an ER doctor, here's why socialized medicine would be a total disaster for America

I’m an emergency room physician, a cancer survivor, the father of a cancer survivor, and founder of a health care company. I’ve held a scalpel, been under the scalpel and hired scalpel-wielding doctors.

So, believe me when I tell you that socialized medicine will be a total disaster. Long lines, rationed care, late detection mean people will die.

Let me tell you a few personal experiences that taught me that government-controlled medicine isn’t the answer.

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One time, near the end of my shift, I cared for a woman just a few days post-chemo. She was febrile, as the chemotherapy had lowered her immunity to a point that even small infections threatened her life.

She was there with her two small children and a very worried husband. The woman was only 35-years-old. As we stabilized her, I realized early detection had saved this young woman’s life. If she hadn’t had the access she enjoyed, those two small children would have lost their mother.

Another time, I was working at an ER in Springfield, Tenn. There, I met a patient who was a CEO of a major corporation in Canada. He had a laceration. He hopped on his personal jet, flew to Nashville and came to my ER because he could be seen faster flying to the U.S. than waiting at a government run health care system in Canada.

You see, in Canada, you can get an MRI on your dog immediately because there is a free market in veterinarian care. But if you want one on grandma’s knee, you’re going to wait six months. Even with all the problems in America’s health care system, the average wait time is less than two weeks.

If those stories don’t convince you, the data might.

After extensive research, an authoritative study out of Oregon shows that government-controlled Medicaid ‘generated no significant improvement in measured physical outcomes’ vs. being uninsured altogether. That certainly calls into question the $450 billion a year taxpayers spend on Medicaid.

It also reveals what’ll happen if Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for All” passes – we’ll pay a whole lot for nothing. It will be $32 trillion over the next 10 years, to be exact. That’s enough to double taxes for every living American.

Of course, we’re not in an Orwellian nightmare quite yet. Sixty-three percent of Americans oppose “Medicare for All” when they learn it will eliminate private insurance and force Americans to get coverage through the federal government. That’s because most people like their health insurance plans. In fact, the House Oversight Committee heard from 6 individuals this week who really like their insurance-based plans.

In the United States we currently offer health care to some Americans through the Affordable Care Act, better known as ObamaCare. The ACA is not socialized medicine. But by either intention or accident the ACA creates pressures on the healthcare system that crash the system so many Americans depend on today, leading us down a road towards socialized medicine.

It works like this: Because of cost-shifting, small businesses can’t afford to offer their employees insurance, and more people are shifted to government systems. To make sure they’re insured, we expand Medicaid, Medicare, etc. As more and more subscribe to government care, the system crashes and we need socialized medicine to catch everyone.

Soon, we’re going to wake up in a world where we have VA-style health care. I’m a veteran, so let me tell you – you don’t want VA-style healthcare. Ask a veteran you know, they’ll say the same.

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The government is not the answer. We need solutions to help health care that reintroduce the free market into our system. I have a plan to create a health care swipe card that would fix the problem and allow us to provide help to more people.

Solutions like these are the future. Not socialism.