Does Medicare work? Yes, sort of

Proponents of Medicare-for-All make it sound so simple. Just extend Medicare to all Americans or in the case of Bernie Sanders extend it and eliminate all cost sharing. Really?

Keep in mind three key points among many:

  1. Medicare pays lower than market prices. Continuing this payment level for all Americans has consequences for the availability and access to health care
  2. There is a big difference between paying and processing claims for senior citizens and the entire spectrum of the US population
  3. Medicare does not work by itself. The current program cannot function for most people without the purchase of supplemental coverage. That represents extra costs one way or the other

In other words, it’s not so simple and not so affordable and it’s not health care as usual.


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