Single-payer health care is a dividing line in the race, separating Democrats who want to replace the private insurance system from those who favor improving it. Some candidates — like Bernie Sanders and Michael Bennet — picked a clear side. Others, like Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris, took a middle path.

Rising support for socialism in the United States comes at a time when politicians like Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., promise a great many “free” services, to be provided or guaranteed by the government.

Supporters often point to nations with large social programs, such as Canada, the United Kingdom, and the Scandinavian states, particularly when it comes to health care.

Never mind that these are not true socialist countries, but highly taxed market economies with large welfare states. That aside, they do offer a government-guaranteed health service that many in America wish to emulate.

Medicare for All has become a litmus test in the Democratic Party, but some leaders — including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and former vice president and current presidential candidate Joe Biden — are wary of the political consequences of stripping private insurance from the 180 million people enrolled in job-based coverage. They are pushing a “public option” as a less threatening alternative.

A public option is sold as less disruptive than Medicare for All but it would have similar results, and a similar destination. If enacted, private insurance would wither, competition would decline, innovation would slow, and the costs of health coverage would be hidden inside ever-rising tax bills.

The most recent KFF Health Tracking Poll finds majorities across partisans think taxes for most people would increase under a national health plan, sometimes called Medicare-for-all (78 percent), and about half (53 percent) think private health insurance companies would no longer be the primary way Americans would get health coverage under such a plan.

Wednesday in Congress, the Democrat Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee is holding a hearing titled “Pathways to Universal Healthcare Coverage.” Democrats on the Committee will no doubt fill the committee room with lofty promises but don’t be deceived: in reality, Democrat slogans like “Medicare-for-all” come with a bitter pill to swallow: socialized medicine in America.

Enacting punitive patient access restrictions, economy-crushing taxes, and massive deficit spending has never improved patients ability to get a timely diagnosis and effective treatments in moments of need.

In one case, an insurer prevented a woman from getting a CT scan her doctor ordered. In another, a mother couldn’t afford the full regimen of special bags needed to clear her cancer-stricken daughter’s lungs. In a third case, a woman lost her health insurance and could not afford end-of-life chemotherapy.

These examples come from National Nurses United, the country’s largest nurses’ union. To prevent further incidents like these, the union favors a universal, government-run health care system. A lead editorial in the New York Times last week appeared to endorse their thinking.

A recent study published in Health Affairs reached a controversial conclusion, that the United States should adopt socialist price schemes to reduce drug prices.

The study, “Using External Reference Pricing In Medicare Part D To Reduce Drug Price Differentials With Other Countries” argues that by matching prices with those in other countries, the United States can reduce spending in Medicare.

The proposal is not new, but it is dangerous.

Last year I published a study with the Mercatus Center projecting that enacting Medicare for All (M4A) would add at least $32.6 trillion to federal budget costs over the first 10 years. After the study was published, some advocates misattributed a finding to it, specifically that M4A would lower national healthcare costs by $2 trillion over that same time period. This misattribution has since been repeated in various press reports. Multiple fact-checking sites have pointed out that the study contains no such finding, as did a follow-up piece I published with e21 last year. However, because the mistake continues to appear occasionally, this article provides additional detail about how and why it is wrong.

Hospitals in Lithuania are to start advertising cheap operations to patients in the UK because of a surge in demand on the back of the NHS crisis. Health Tourism Lithuania claims it has been inundated with enquiries from Britons frustrated at having to wait months for routine treatment.

The body has now revealed that, from next month, it will target patients across the home nations with Facebook and Google adverts. NHS data revealed a total of 4.23million people in England were waiting for hospital treatment in March – the longest the waiting list has ever been.

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont and fellow Democratic lawmakers reached an agreement Thursday to create a public option that will allow individuals and small businesses to purchase health insurance through the state. The proposal also calls for re-establishing the individual mandate—a centerpiece of the ACA that required people to have health insurance or pay a penalty—that has since been eliminated at the federal level by Congress. The bill would also have the state seek permission from the federal government to buy prescription drugs from Canada and calls for taxing opioid manufacturers. [As if Connecticut didn’t have enough problems with crippling taxes and regulations, now this…]