Is Donald Trump Right About Single Payer?

By Elizabeth Lee Vliet, MD – http://herplace.com

As an independent physician advocate for patients against restrictions of “establishment medicine,” I greatly admire that both Senator Cruz and Donald Trump have been unafraid to speak the truth about critical issues that affect the very survival of our country.

I applaud Trump and Cruz for boldly stating the obvious: the flood of illegals into America is costing us dearly in lives and social costs. They are right: it must be stopped, and soon.

Trump has also been masterfully successful in business. He understands that the key with countries like Mexico, China, Russia, Iran, and others is negotiation from a position of strength, not concession.

But these two men are at opposite ends of the spectrum on healthcare:

  • Trump admires the “single-payer” system of Canada and Scotland/UK.
  • Cruz is for immediate and total repeal of Obamacare.

“Single payer” is healthcare policy jargon. Most people don’t know what it really means: government control of every aspect of medical care delivery, how many doctors, in what specialties, what treatments are allowed and for whom, and price controls that drive hospitals, doctors, home health agencies, hospices, medical device makers, and pharmaceutical companies out of business. All of the controls implicit in “single-payer” healthcare mean patients lose access to medical care.

Cruz supports a return to the free market, giving patients more control, and portability, more choices of what insurance to buy and what treatments to use. It is freedom that has allowed the innovation making American medicine the best in the world, with the best survival times for critical illnesses.

I have personally experienced being a patient for major medical emergencies and surgeries in two free-market systems (U.S. and Santiago, Chile) plus 3 single-payer systems (UK, Argentina, and Canada). I will tell you unequivocally that for top quality, best outcomes, and survival, the U.S. and Chile lead the world.

“Single-payer” government-run systems everywhere, as I experienced as a patient, have three consistent, systemic, and immutable flaws:

  • Long waits for access to primary medical care, even longer for specialists;
  • Reduced options for state-of-the-art treatment and choice of specialists;
  • Reduced quality of care. Simply look at the VA here in the U.S. to see how the single payer treats our veterans.

To take an approach from business, at which Trump clearly excels: check the bottom line. In every example of single-payer systems, the bottom line is the same: Patients lose.

Some patients lose their lives waiting for care. Some lose critical function unable to get timely treatment. Most lose quality of life.

I doubt that Trump would accept such poor quality outcomes for his business enterprises. Why should we accept these poor results for medical care that affects patients’ lives?

Since Trump’s business success has come from free market opportunities that would have been denied him in a “single payer” buyer’s monopoly (or monopsony), I respectfully recommend that he re-evaluate his position on whether single payer “works well” for patients with serious medical problems.

On the issue of freedom, and thus excellence in medicine, Senator Cruz and Dr. Ben Carson are exactly right: Obamacare must be repealed in its monstrous entirety. The GOP members of Congress, and other Presidential candidates, have been talking about “tweaking” or “fixing” Obamacare rather than repealing it.

Think about it. You would not want to “tweak” or “fix” a bomb under your house! You’d want it dismantled and removed. Obamacare is a bomb already exploding healthcare costs, closing hospitals and doctors’ offices, and reducing patients’ choices of physicians and hospitals.

Mr. Trump’s “single-payer” model of government micro-management, restricted options, and price controls do not work any better in medicine than in business.

The first GOP debate certainly created a firestorm on many issues. I work in Arizona and Texas, so I know the border issues in depth, particularly as they place heavy burdens on the medical system and taxpayers. Cruz and Trump are both right on immigration.

On medicine, Cruz and Carson see the most clearly. Free markets are crucial for business—including the business of medical care.

Medicine, however, is more than a business: it is patients’ lives at stake.

Decisions in medicine belong in the hands of patients and the doctors they choose: not in the hands of third parties, such as insurers under Obamacare dictates, or government as “single-payer.” Cruz and Carson support return to patient-centered medicine. I approve this message.

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For further substantiation, see Forbes link here:  No, Donald Trump, Single-Payer Health Care Doesn’t ‘Work Incredibly Well’ In Canada & Scotland


Elizabeth Lee Vliet, M.D., is Chief Medical Officer of Med Expert Chile, SpA, an international medical consulting company based in Santiago, Chile whose mission is high quality, lower cost medical care focused on preserving medical freedom, privacy, and the Oath of Hippocrates commitment to individual patients. Dr. Vliet is a past Director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS). Dr. Vliet also has an active US medical practice in Tucson AZ and Dallas TX specializing in preventive and climacteric medicine with an integrated approach to evaluation and treatment of women and men with complex medical and hormonal problems. Dr. Vliet received a NECO 2014 Ellis Island Medal of Honor and the Arizona Foundation for Women 2007 Voice of Women award for her pioneering medical and educational advocacy for overlooked hormone connections in women’s health. She received her M.D. degree and internship in Internal Medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School, and completed specialty training at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She earned her B.S. and Master’s degrees from the College of William and Mary in Virginia. Dr. Vliet has appeared on FOX NEWS, Cavuto, Stuart Varney Show, Fox and Friends, Sean Hannity and many nationally syndicated radio shows across the country as well as numerous Healthcare Town Halls addressing the economic and medical impact of the 2010 healthcare law. Dr. Vliet is a past co-host of America’s Fabric radio show. Dr. Vliet’s health books include: It’s My Ovaries, Stupid; Screaming To Be Heard: Hormonal Connections Women Suspect– And Doctors STILL Ignore; Women, Weight and Hormones; The Savvy Woman’s Guide to Great Sex, Strength, and Stamina, and The Savvy Woman’s Guide to PCOS. Dr. Vliet’s websites are http://www.HerPlace.com, and http://www.MedExpertChile.com.

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