… but do they understand what he is saying?
Medicare for all seems appealing to many and there are some valid arguments for such a strategy. However, before jumping on that bandwagon it may pay to think it through and understand the consequences.
Here are a few things to consider:
😷 Medicare does not control costs, and poorly controls fraud; a reflection of the bureaucracy and political desire to not apply strict claim controls.
😷 Despite its high and growing costs, Medicare as currently designed does not provide adequate coverage as defined by most Americans. For example, there are no out-of-pocket limits and to have full protection beneficiaries buy supplement coverage at a cost of around $500 per month, per couple.
😷 To provide Medicare for all would cost between 8-10% of payroll divided in some manner between employer and employee through direct taxes plus general federal revenue (in addition to the cost of current Medicare).
😷 To provide any semblance of affordability the system would apply various forms of rationing as do such systems around the world. This may be in the form of waiting times, restricting payment for drugs and applying cost/benefit evaluations to certain medical procedures, etc. This may not be all bad, but it needs to be understood by Americans.
😷 American’s health care would be under direct control of politicians and special interest groups raising costs when benefits are added for some and lowering benefits when there is a need to manage budgets.
😷 Physician incomes would drop significantly.
😷 The geographic convenience of obtaining health care would be diminished. Such a system could not support all the facilities and convenience most Americans enjoy and expect.
😷 Overall, unless Americans accept major changes in the delivery and accessibility of health care, a Medicare for all plan will be no less expensive than our current system and quite likely more expensive; we merely trade the small portion of premium represented by profit for the inefficiency of a bureaucracy.
😷 There will still be the need to buy supplemental coverage and higher income people will seek health care outside the limits of Medicare-for-all as they do in Europe.
😷 Some Americans will still be subsidizing other Americans as they do now.
😷 The ability to manage ones health care will be limited and to select ones level of coverage lost.
😷 Millions of Americans in the health care and insurance industries would see their jobs at risk or disappear.
So, before you hit the “Like” button or sign Old Bernie’s petition, at least understand the consequences and impact of his quest. Why not ask Old Bernie some questions too?
Remember all the promises for Obamacare? Only one has been partially achieved, ten million more Americans have insurance (I didn’t say affordable) and oh yes, birth control is “free.”