We have the best healthcare system in the world. That is a statement you won’t often hear, but it’s true. For years we have listened to calls for Medicare for all and that the federal government should scrap our broken system. The list goes on and on. Yet these calls have been strangely silent of recent. We are better at treating chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes, but we don’t hear that very often. One glaring example against socialized medicine is the vaccine production and rollout efforts. Because of Operation Warp Speed, the United States successfully facilitated and accelerated the development and distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine and other diagnostics and therapeutics.
Operation Warp Speed was the simultaneous development with large clinical trials and manufacturing ramp-up of the COVID-19 vaccine. The United States produced and distributed the vaccine precisely because of our highly fragmented, highly customizable healthcare system. While not perfect, it can hold its own on the world stage.
The European Union cannot boast the same successes. The EU’s vaccination rollout efforts have failed. Only five countries have met their first vaccination threshold of having 80% of people over the age of 80 vaccinated. Even fewer countries have vaccinated 80% of their healthcare workers. The EU is still working out how to roll out vaccines for the entirety of their adult population months after the United States began to offer vaccines for anyone who wanted one. The EU vaccine rollout has been a massive failure.
The EU has failed because their system sets them up for failure. While the United States still values a limited government approach, the EU relies on a centralized government. Because of our fragmentation and customizability, the American healthcare system succeeds in a large disparate country with high variability throughout, which ultimately allows it to be customizable to any situation. Thus, the success of Operation Warp Speed.
A centralized system will set up our system to fail, just like the failures within the EU. Rising costs and delays in care are a natural consequence of a centralized system. The stagnation of care will become the norm as questions will always have to be referred back to a bureau in Washington for the answer in this system. It will always require more funding to tinker a little bit more to make it better, “if we could only …” will always be the answer. Operation Warp Speed has proven that the American approach to healthcare is what works for such a large nation.
It is good to be back home in Birmingham. Last year, the opportunity to serve our country during this difficult time as a Senior Policy Advisor at Health and Human Services was a blessing. It was the honor of a lifetime to go to our nation’s capital and aid in the work to combat Covid-19.
I look forward to writing about and advocating for policies that preserve free markets, limited government, and strong families both here in the state of Alabama and nationally. These values have proven to work repeatedly, and Alabamians must continue to advocate for these kinds of policies.