‘Constantly hitting the accelerator!’ US rapidly pricing Americans out of healthcare, claims Michael Cannon

‘Constantly hitting the accelerator!’ US rapidly pricing Americans out of healthcare, claims Michael Cannon

WATCH NOW: Michael Cannon says the US 'is rapidly pricing Americans out of healthcare'

Georgia Pearce

By Georgia Pearce

Published: 12/06/2024

- 17:41

Director of health policy studies at the Cato Institute, Michael F. Cannon, joined Bev Turner on GBN America

Director of health policy studies at the Cato Institute, Michael F. Cannon, has hit out at the US Congress for their "intervention" in America's healthcare sector, as he claims they are "constantly hitting the accelerator" on pricing and lobbying.

Joining host Bev Turner on GBN America, Cannon claimed that the health sector has been "spending more than every other sector" of the economy lobbying Congress "for the past 20 years".

The United States carries several healthcare programs for eligible communities, including Medicaid, Medicare, Obamacare and the Veterans Health Administration.

Criticising the US's approach to healthcare, Cannon highlighted that Medicare caters for "66 million people" across the country, and is a "monument to centralised economic planning".

Michael F. Cannon

Michael F. Cannon says the US Congress are 'constantly hitting the accelerator' on healthcare


Detailing the several healthcare programs which are "serving only the healthcare industry", Cannon explained: "We even have our own homegrown version of the NHS. We call it the Veterans Health Administration, which covers about one per cent of the population, for veterans of the US military.

"Then we've got Medicare for about one sixth or seventh of the US population, about 66 million people. A population basically the same size as the United Kingdom. These are elderly and disabled people that the program is covering, with far less decentralisation then even used to be in the NHS.

"And so rather than having a free market in the United States, what we've got is every form of socialised medicine in any country's ever devised."

Stock image of US healthcare

America's Medicare program is a health insurance program for people age 65 or older and younger people with disabilities


When asked by Bev who the programmes are really benefitting, Cannon admitted that it is the healthcare industry, Congress and the pharmaceutical companies rather than the American people who benefit.


Cannon told GBNA: "The one main difference between the United States and all the other countries that have those sorts of systems is that the US Congress does not try to limit spending in any of these market segments.

"Whether it's the compulsory spending in the private sector through employer sponsored insurance, or government programmes like Medicare and Medicaid and Obamacare.

"The US Congress is constantly hitting the accelerator, driving prices up, driving the quantity of care that people consume, making consumers less price sensitive so that everything about the US, the way the government intervenes in the US health sector, seems like Congress is design was to maximise spending and maximise prices."

When discussing US government spending, Cannon also revealed that in comparison to the defence sector, the pharmaceutical companies are spending "almost three times as much" in lobbying Congress.

Michael F Cannon

Cannon claims the US has 'every form of socialised medicine possible'


Cannon said: "The health sector has been spending more than every other sector of the economy lobbying Congress by far for the past 20 years. And they spend six times what the defence industry spends lobbying Congress.

"The pharmaceutical companies alone spend almost three times as much as the entire defence industry spends lobbying Congress. And they're not lobbying for free markets.

"They're lobbying for bigger government subsidies, higher prices, and regulatory protection from competition. And they're getting it. And we can see the results."

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