We have the best health care system in the world. It’s a statement you won’t hear often, but it’s true. For years we have listened to the calls for Medicare for All and for the federal government to abandon our broken system. The list is lengthened increasingly. Yet those calls have been eerily silent in recent times. We treat chronic diseases like hypertension and diabetes better, but we don’t hear that very often. A glaring example against socialized medicine is vaccine production and deployment efforts. Through Operation Warp Speed, the United States has successfully facilitated and accelerated the development and distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine and other diagnostic and therapeutic products.
Operation Warp Speed was the concurrent development with large clinical trials and a ramp-up in the manufacture of the COVID-19 vaccine. The United States produced and distributed the vaccine precisely because of our highly fragmented and highly customizable healthcare system. Although he is not perfect, he can hold his place on the world stage.
The European Union cannot boast of the same successes. EU vaccination roll-out efforts have failed. Only five countries have reached their first vaccination threshold of vaccinating 80% of people over 80 years of age. Even fewer countries have vaccinated 80% of their health workers. The EU is still working on how to roll out vaccines to its entire adult population months after the US started offering vaccines to anyone who wanted one. the EU vaccine rollout has been a massive failure.
The EU has failed because its system puts them in place to failure. While the United States still appreciates a limited government approach, the EU relies on a centralized government. Due to our fragmentation and customability, the US healthcare system succeeds in a large, disparate country with high end-to-end variability, which ultimately allows it to be customizable to any situation. Thus, the success of Operation Warp Speed.
A centralized system will break our system, just like failures in the EU. Rising costs and delays in care are a natural consequence of a centralized system. Stagnation of care will become the norm as questions will always have to be referred to an office in Washington to be answered in this system. It will always take more funding to tinker a little more to improve it, “if only we could…” will always be the answer. Operation Warp Speed proved that the American approach to health care is what works for such a great nation.
It’s good to be back in Birmingham. Last year, the opportunity to serve our country during this difficult time as Senior Policy Advisor in Health and Social Services has been a blessing. It was the honor of a lifetime to go to our country’s capital and help fight Covid-19.
I look forward to writing and advocating for policies that preserve free markets, limited government, and strong families here in Alabama and nationwide. These values have proven to be effective time and time again, and Alabamians must continue to advocate for these types of policies.
Dr. Chad mathis is a former senior policy adviser to the Trump administration, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and a distinguished fellow of the Alabama Policy Institute.