Many older members of our community remember a New York City from long ago, where healthcare was the best in the world and affordable. When they didn’t have to worry about whether Medicare or Medicaid covered a certain procedure. When patients could pick the doctor they liked, not the doctor some government bureaucrat or HMO forces on them. About 35 years ago, the state and city of New York decided to help what was the greatest system of hospitals and healthcare this country had ever seen, and turned it into a complete mess. They took money out of our paychecks to help, and the only help they’ve given is the only help government ever gives, which is help for the politically connected and powerful. Instead of rewarding the efficient hospitals and punishing the wasteful institutions, the way the free market had always done, the state-regulated and state-owned hospitals turned everything upside down. They starved the efficient hospitals for capital and rewarded the wasteful but politically connected institutions wish lavish subsidies. This drove up the cost of healthcare across the board.
At about the same time, Medicare and Medicaid arrived on the scene. The government took even more money out of our paychecks to pay for those schemes. New York State took as much of that Medicare money and Medicaid money as it could grab, and it pumped that money into the city’s now politically connected hospitals. It was okay, the bureaucrats told us, because government would use that money (which was really our money, after all) to take care of us. But when New Yorkers reach a point in their lives when they need Medicare or Medicaid, they learn that all those government goodies come with strings attached, and those strings are used to tie patients down. Even with HMOs, patients and doctors no longer call the shots on treatment; some bureaucrat does.HMOs, which are inefficient in providing health services to customers, only exist because of regulations and tax incentives which steer doctors and medical providers towards HMOs.Patients can’t go outside the system, because government has made everything unaffordable through regulations and mandates that drive the cost of ordinary medical insurance through the roof.Mandates force insurers to cover treatments regardless of whether or not the person purchasing the insurance wants coverage for said treatment.Is it a coincidence that New York has both the highest insurance rates in the country and the most insurance mandates in the country?
Manhattan Libertarian Party calls for the return of our city’s world-class health care system through the separation of state and medicine.