Ben Carson’s Quiet Health Care Revelation

A huge chunk of the U.S. economy is tied up in health care ($3.8 trillion annually). Presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson doesn’t stray far from big government’s role, and suggests taking the money that’s already there and redistributing it into new programs.

What is Carson’s health reform plan? The presidential candidate’s position pivots on four main points:  health savings accounts, catastrophic insurance, keeping Medicare and removing the middleman, aka bureaucrats and/or insurance companies.

If you listen to Carson, you soon find his overall ideas haven’t changed much from many years ago, but he has fine-tuned details over time.  For example, in the past he called for a $2,000 per person per year infusion of cash collected by the government into health savings accounts so Americans can take control of their own healthcare needs. Carson held that HSA’s would get rid of the need for Medicare because an individual’s health insurance would no longer be tied to his employer. But now he says Medicare and HSAs can coexist, with both programs simultaneously feeding off the public trough.

Despite his evolving positions on healthcare, Carson remains steady in his contention that HSAs would eliminate the “middle-man” in the patient-doctor relationship. In the past, Carson singled out “for profit insurance companies” as the culprit, stating unequivocally in 2010, “the first thing we need to do is get rid of” them; now he simply defines middle-men as “bureaucrats.”

In 2010, 14 years after his 1996 proposal that we needed a government-run catastrophic fund supported by a mandatory contribution of 10 to 15 percent of the profits of each health insurance company, Carson ratcheted up his radical approach with an even more radical suggestion.

In a Megadiversities interview, the future candidate stated, “The entire thing is completely out of control. The entire concept of profits for  insurance  companies makes absolutely no sense…the first thing we need to do is get rid of for profit insurance companies…we need to make the government responsible for catastrophic health care.” Carson’s plan also hinges on sending potential emergency room patients to clinics. “The government needs to find a way to make people go to those [neighborhood] clinics,” he said in the same 2010 exchange.

In 2012, a year before his famous speech, Carson again called for government-run catastrophic care. How did he suggest we pay for this? In America the Beautiful, he writes insurance companies will be “allowed 15% annual profit, 5% of which would go to the government’s national catastrophic health care fund.”