Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has decided to voice his political opinion once again. This time, he’s talking about healthcare.
In a recent discussion with PJ Media’s Nicholas Ballasy, Cuban talked about what he thinks the government should do to ensure healthcare for everyone. Cuban is very adamant in his opposition to government-run hospitals, such as those that exist in the U.K., but he does think American citizens should be given free healthcare as a basic right.
Cuban told Ballasy, “I think healthcare should be a right. If there’s a legitimate way to modify the Constitution, I literally think there should be an amendment to the Constitution for healthcare for chronic illnesses and serious injury. We all play the genetic lottery.” He continued, “I think all of the talk about Trumpcare [AHCA] vs. Obamacare [ACA] really just avoids the ultimate question, which is, is health care a right or not? But I’ve had friends who have had cancer, we’ve all had people who have had severe illnesses and if they didn’t have insurance. In a couple cases, I’ve since paid for them because they didn’t have insurance or enough insurance. I think that’s wrong — that’s a cost we all should share.”
As great as Cuban’s theory sounds, especially to liberals who pounce on every word he says, it can’t happen. As it turns out, healthcare can never be a ‘right’ because rights aren’t given to us by our government.
Per the Constitution, rights are provided to us by God, not government. That means that even if everyone was on board with Cuban – which they’re not – our government does not have the power to grant rights to the citizens it serves.
A right is also described as something given to every individual that cannot be taken away by the government. A right is also something an individual can exercise as long as their actions do not infringe upon another person’s rights. If healthcare were a right, that would mean any labor or services provided by doctors, nurses, and other health professionals would be a requirement, not a choice. If we enslaved people to work in the medical field, they would essentially not have the same rights as everyone else. Funny how the left, who stands for equality and liberty, has no issue with literally imprisoning people to provide a service to other citizens.
A few weeks ago, Cuban began offering his expertise (or lack thereof) to fixing healthcare in a blog post. The billionaire spoke as if he were making a proclamation to Congress.
Per Cuban’s blog entry: “Whether it’s Medicaid or a new program, every single person in this country should be covered 100% for chronic physical or mental illness and for any life-threatening injury. The premiums that we are paying to insurance companies as individuals or as company coverage for these significant risks would go from the insurance companies to the IRS. Only the cost of covering what’s left would continue being paid to the insurance companies.”
He goes on to say, “It would not be hard to do the math. Every insurance company does this analysis already. The government does this analysis already. We all would end up paying more in taxes, but less in insurance and healthcare costs over time. There would be no mandates. There would be no individual penalties. No tax credits. No subsidies. No offsets or deductions for buying higher end insurance. This will be single payer (yes I know it’s a dirty phrase in this country) for chronic physical or mental illness and for any life threatening injury. Everything not covered by the above can be covered by insurance sold on the free market, managed by the states, sold across state lines, without government interference.”
He’s right about one thing: “Single payer” is a dirty phrase. A single payer healthcare system would be too much for the United States to handle. By offering such a thing, the government would be creating an unlimited amount of demand, which would then prompt it to set limits on what could be provided.
Because the offer is so open-ended, single payer systems in Canada, the United Kingdom, and other developed countries have to impose strict central planning. Rather than leave healthcare choices up to individual physicians, their patients, and free-market forces that could balance supply with demand, the government sets the rules.
These rules are usually based on large quantities of data—comparing costs against probable outcomes—or on political considerations, such as the need to balance budgets without raising taxes. This approach will inevitably misappropriate services. When central planning allocates care, there will be shortages of some services and overages of others. In particular, those who are in charge of planning will have a difficult time keeping up with cutting-edge technology and improvements in practice patterns.
Such a system would also cause physicians to be underpaid. While we like to hope our doctors and medical professionals decided to work in the field to help others, that’s not always the case. Many of them do it for the potential of earning a substantial income. By taking away competition and implementing “free” healthcare, these professionals wouldn’t make any money.
In a 2011 study, it was revealed that reimbursements to primary care physicians from public payers, such as Medicare and Medicaid, were 27 percent higher than in countries with universal coverage, and their reimbursements from private payers were 70% higher. Meanwhile, reimbursements to specialists were 70 percent higher from public payers and 120 percent higher from private payers.
There is no place for Cuban in politics. With the current political climate, especially around healthcare, he’d be better off picking a side instead of trying to throw more logs into the fire. The current administration is working hard to find a solution to the cracks in our healthcare system, and Cuban’s input is neither needed nor welcome.