Government

Overstating the not so obvious

The following opinion quote is inaccurate, misleading and biased.

Take all these expenses and then substrate 100% of what is not needed in a M4A system and the impact on health care spending (actually premiums) is insignificant.

M4A would need a massive bureaucracy either by hiring new government workers or contracting with claim processors (insurance companies). Compensation for federal workers far exceeds private insurance workers.

Executive salaries are irrelevant in the scheme of costs, especially considering 2/3 are stock awards. Referencing this as an issue is the first clue this is not an objective analysis.

Imagine the marketing and advertising the government would need to pull this off.

Commercial insurance companies are nothing more than middle men. They add no value to our system, but they do drive up costs with their bloated claims departments, marketing and advertising budgets and executive salaries. We pay for all of these things before a single dollar is spent on the delivery of care.  GERALD FRIEDMAN | USA Today “Take it from an economist, Medicare for All is the most sensible way to fix health care.” 4-8-19

But let’s assume eliminating all the costs of private insurance is achieved upon implementation of M4A, then what?

How do we keep costs low, how do we manage growing costs, how do we achieve the promised better health care outcomes? None of that is magically achieved because the federal government pays our bills with tax money.

The answer to those questions can be found in the experience of other national systems if you care to look. (hint, they manage access to care, they limit some services, they apply cost/benefit analysis to care and they control the supply of health care providers).

And then there is this:

We all recognize that the status quo isn’t working. We spend more per person than any other country on health care, but we aren’t getting any bang for our buck. We have lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality rates and more preventable deaths, and too many personal bankruptcies are due at least in part to medical bills.

M4A isn’t going to correct our health ills because we already know that most of the issues we face are caused by our eating habits and our lifestyles, not the quality of our health care.

Now we are left with universal coverage, making sure every American has access to health care services. M4A does that, so the question becomes, is turning over the management of America’s health care to a federal bureaucracy the best or only way to achieve coverage for all?

Oh yes, one other thing. Commentators such as this fellow seem to forget that most Americans already receive their health care coverage through a government program or an employer-based plan that is self-funded, i.e. no insurance involved.

4 replies »

    • We have medicare now. It works very well and is VERY efficient. No new bureaucracy is needed at all, no new relationships etc.. That is the beauty of it we already have it in place and it works very well. All we have to do is lower the age limit for registering for medicare. This can be done in stages if one is afraid of major change.

      Right now certain categories of disabled people of ALL ages are on medicare. I and everyone I know on it thinks medicare is the best system they have ever had. What you are all writing about makes no sense as the system is already in place.

      Just make it a public option and all will flock to it and the insurance industry will die from neglect. No one wants it as it adds no value. No need to replace anything the current system will just wither away.

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      • I disagree. It is not efficient at all. It loses 10% or more to fraud and it would not be sustainable to pay all doctors and hospitals at Medicare rates. In addition, on a stand alone basis it doesn’t work; for one reason because there is no out of pocket limit on individual spending. To have adequate coverage a couple needs to spend another $400 or so a month for Medigap plus about $60 more for Rx coverage. That’s about $700 a month in premiums in addition to taxes already paid. 30% of seniors aren’t even enrolled in basic Medicare for those reasons. AND, the Part A Trust fund is going broke because of inadequate tax revenue.

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  1. Healthcare is a very large complex system. Mr. Friedman is correct that they are middlemen in a sense. Imagine living in a New York city and you are trying to buy fresh fruit in January. The supermarkets, the trucking companies, the warehouse, and the food distributors are middlemen. You are not driving to the farms in southern California to buy your produce directly from the farmer. In healthcare, every hospital, pharmacy, labs, and shipping company are just some of the middlemen between your doctor and you. The insurance company is your agent who ensures that they all get paid. You can get rid of the insurance company and what does it save you? Nothing. You’ll have to hire people to figure out who to pay for treatment or submit claims to Medicare without getting them rejected. Plus the cash still comes out of your pocket one way or another.

    Between Mr. Friedman and AOC, I am starting to really doubt economist. What are they teaching them?

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