Can We Afford Medicare For All?

One very popular, (at least with the voter, not so much with the industry)…I wrote a post a few months ago that got the ire of the health industry demanding that I explain how we will pay for the program……please check out the comments on that post……https://lobotero.com/2019/03/04/medicare-for-all/

So in that vane I have read a piece that will help explain how this can be paid for……

Health care is Americans’ number-one priority, based on recent polls, so it’s no wonder it’s been a hot topic in the Democratic primary.

Every candidate is offering a plan, ranging from Joe Biden’s Affordable Care Act upgrade to Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for all” that would abolish private health insurance. Even the president is joining the bandwagon and unveiled his own Medicare plan.

On the high end, a full-scale single-payer heath care system would come at a steep price: I estimate about US$40 trillion over 10 years.

There is, however, a simpler and less costly path toward single-payer, and it may have a better chance of success: simply strike the words “who are age 65 or over” from the 1965 amendments to the Social Security Act that created Medicare, which would mean virtually everyone would be covered by the existing Medicare program.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/10/07/how-us-could-afford-medicare-all

I say we can and must fund a policy of health care….I do not care what we call it just that it gets done and soon.

There is more….there is the LIE that hospitals will close with Medicare For All…..call this what it is manure (I was being polite)…….this lie was spread by a Dem candidate, Delaney…..

Delaney’s staff told us his talking point came from three sources. First: the fact Medicare pays hospitals on average 87 cents for every dollar of costs. Second: a federal report suggesting that “more than two-thirds of hospitals are losing money on Medicare inpatient services.” Third: Delaney, his staff said, “has been asking this question at the rural hospitals he has visited over the course of the campaign.”

Experts we spoke with offered a different take — mainly, that his evidence is not strong enough to support his claim. In addition, they told us that the potential impact of Medicare for All on hospitals would be much more nuanced — it is not at all clear that “every single hospital” would close, and while some would do worse, some might do better.

Delaney’s Debate Claim That ‘Medicare For All’ Will Shutter Hospitals Goes Overboard

I will be honest (more than the people that would lie this proposal out of existence) this Medicare For All is just a re-name of the old single payer…..and is it for all?

This “is an issue that affects, literally, every single person in this country,” he said. “Even putting the medical issues aside, it’s an economic issue. The way we finance health care promotes economic inequality.”

Medicare-for-all, in the purest sense, largely would replace private health insurance with a single, government-run program covering most everyone. It would be similar to traditional Medicare, the current federal health insurance program for most adults over 65 and young people meeting federal disability requirements, hence the name.

Sounds simple? It’s not.

https://www.propublica.org/article/medicare-for-all-is-not-medicare-and-not-really-for-all-so-what-does-it-actually-mean

Both sides of the issue have put so much stuff out there that this whole issue as become, to use my grandmother’s words, clear as mud.

We need a program that will help the population get the adequate health care they need and at a reasonable price……you will hear and read many versions of this please do some research and get the real story not some sanitized crap we always get.

On an up note—-a health industry insider is telling the tale of the profit system of the industry…..

Eleven years ago, after a moment of reckoning at a country health clinic in Tennessee, Potter left a high-ranking job as head of corporate communications at Cigna to tell the truth about the excesses and abuses of the health insurance industry. Since then, he has worked hard to spread the word, authoring two best-selling books, Nation on the Take (with Nick Penniman) and Deadly Spin, and founding the nonprofit investigative journalism site Tarbell.org, named after muckraking Progressive Era reporter Ida Tarbell.

Now, among all his other efforts, activist Wendell Potter has become president of Business for Medicare for All, the only national business organization working for single payer health insurance. This group of the economically pragmatic lends expertise and credibility to the cause of reform at a time when many, including some of those running for the Democratic presidential nomination, question the viability of single payer.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/09/30/healthcare-reformer-wendell-potter-profit-system-unraveling

You want to know why your medical bills are so high……ask Sen. Moscow Mitch…..

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promised last month that he would block a drug pricing plan introduced in the House, calling it a “socialist” program that would do “damage to the healthcare system.”

Now, new analysis by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has found that drug plan, put forward by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, would in fact save Medicare $345 billion over a decade.

The bulk of this savings would come from allowing the program to negotiate lower prices with pharmaceutical companies — something that is currently banned by law — to save money on the insulin and other expensive medications.

https://shareblue.com/mitch-mcconnell-nancy-pelosi-medicare-prescription-drug-pricing-plan-345-billion-congress/

So please stop blaming Obama for the higher prices and start blaming the slugs that are making the higher charges possible…..Moscow Mitch and his Ilk.

I await the industry hit man to make his presence known.

Until then a bill offered up by Speaker Pelosi to lower drug prices according to the CBO would save Medicare millions….

Democrats quickly touted the projected savings to show that their bill would effectively lower drug prices. 

https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/465491-cbo-pelosi-bill-to-lower-drug-prices-saves-medicare-345-billion

But not to worry a Pharma friendly Dem, Rep. Neal, is crushing the lower drug pricing bill……like he is paid to do…..

Following the lead of pharma-friendly Rep. Richard Neal, Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee this week crushed several progressive amendments to a House drug pricing bill that would have expanded the number of medicines covered by the legislation and extended lower costs to the nation’s tens of millions of uninsured.

The Intercept reported Wednesday that Neal, a Massachusetts Democrat and chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, warned his Democratic colleagues against offering any amendments to the Lower Drug Costs Now Act of 2019 (H.R. 3) during the committee’s markup of the legislation on Tuesday.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/10/24/led-pharma-friendly-rep-richard-neal-democrats-crush-progressive-amendments

Not to worry…..if your meds are expensive then you probably will not get a break….the staus quo remains.

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17 thoughts on “Can We Afford Medicare For All?

  1. Your health care system is a ticking time bomb. If the issue is not addressed very soon, you will have a full-scale medical disaster on your hands over there.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. When I get my monthly Medicare review invoice providers average getting paid only 35% of their actual charges and some things are rejected completely but if provider accepts Medicare it accepts these protocols. My Part D drug company is the one that negotiates drug prices along Medicare guidelines.

      1. I cannot argue with that. But can we afford not to engage in the geopolitical sense and what would happen if we did not ? Would Russia and China take the roll of making the world safe and secure ? On the other hand, I have heard stats like the cost of one aircraft carrier would provide medical care to every citizen for one or two years.

  3. I sometimes wonder how the many countries that already have health care for all can afford it … but they seem to be able to afford it … they just keep ticking along with it year after year. I do not know whether the United States could afford it or not but it seems like we are able to afford an awfully lot of other stuff that seems to me to be less important that the health and welfare of the nation. I think we could afford it is we could get past the greed of big medicine and big pharma .. and if we could get away from kick backs and lobbyists ….something I am not sure we can ever do.

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