Hey…it’s a great campaign slogan…but actually, Medicare For All is a crock…Medicare is an expensive and complicated program that wouldn’t work for the entire populace.

Today Medicare has two basic plans provided by the government. When you sign up for Medicare, Part A, major catastrophic coverage, is touted as free. Well, it isn’t really, you’ve been paying for it your entire working life in your Medicare taxes. The wellness portion, or Plan B, is a charge or premium additional plan. When I enrolled in May, it was $134 per month which they are happily extracting from my Social Security monthly payment. This alone is fairly complicated and not inexpensive…but it barely covers any individuals prospective health care needs. But it is run by the government.

Then comes the Medigap or Medicare supplemental plans. These are run by private insurers based on rules and minimum requirements outlined by the federal government. And there are dozens of these plans…they overlap…they are confusing…and they can cost anywhere from a few dollars a month to hundreds depending on how much you can afford in premiums or how much out of pocket risk you feel you can handle in the future. It is an extremely time consuming and daunting task trying to decide what supplement to select…sheesh. I am not sure I made the right decision and I doubt that anyone else feels much different. And of course it will all depend on your future health needs…and in the short term on what your budget will allow.

But these supplements cover the dreaded prescription drug Part D and provide various amounts of dental and vision coverage, or exposure to co-pays/annual out of pocket costs/deductibles depending on the plan selected. And like most anything to do with health insurance in America, those at most risk are probably least able to afford the coverage they need.

So Medicare For All is a crock…too expensive…too complicated…lacking in comprehensive coverage. So Medicare For All is a crock…unless there is a plan behind the slogan for health care reform that goes far beyond Medicare as we know it.

Like Comprehensive Universal Single Payer Healthcare Coverage. Cradle to Grave, pre-natal to well baby, overall wellness care, flu shots to cancer care, bicycle accident broken arms to bunion surgery, vision care including glasses to cataract surgery, dietary instruction, dental care from baby teeth to braces to implants, mental health care that runs the gamut, physical therapy as needed, diagnostic tests as needed, nursing care from in home to facility, hospice, birth control to fertility care, everything that comes under healthcare to provide each American with an equal chance at life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Everyone gets everything…no difference in coverage.

Yes this will cost money. There should be affordable co-pays for doctor visits and more for hospital visits ($20/$40?). Monthly premiums as a % of income withheld by employers just like now…sliding % tho…those at the bottom with little to no participation…those at the top a bigger amount…no caps. Employers pay a % of their total payroll…nobody excluded…simple, easy, just a line item to pay by the accounts payable department.

Major basic advantage to everyone…one plan…one deductible…no out of pocket otherwise…everyone is covered.

Doctors don’t need excess staff to track dozens of different plans and their rules. They don’t have to track what amount to collect as co-pay. They don’t have to play games with charges so they can give discounts to insurance companies. They don’t have to bill and try to collect deductibles from patients after the insurance companies make their determinations. They don’t have to sign up for HMOs or other plans/organizations.

Employers don’t have to have a room full of staff to review plans and interview insurance companies annually. They don’t have to worry about premium increases or deciding which coverage to change (usually reduce) as costs continue to increase. They don’t have to deal with annual open enrollments. No Cobra. And no worrying that a valuable employee will leave for better medical benefits elsewhere. Costs are fixed based on wages.

The federal and state governments can shut down Medicare and Medicaid and Obamacare. Won’t need them anymore. Too complicated, too expensive, obsolete.

So unless there is a real plan to overhaul how healthcare is paid for in the US…to a true comprehensive universal single payer plan as part of that slogan…Medicare For All is a crock.

Tagged with:
 

3 Responses to Medicare For All is a crock

  1. Edward Susterich says:

    Your description of Universal Comprehensive Single Payer health plan from cradle to grave– to me– is what I would call “Medicare for all– cradle to grave”, single payer….” Call it what you want.
    I’m very happy with Medicare, but let’s add dental and vision care. Pay for it by taxing all income (not just wages)— so investment income (which I enjoy) is also used to fund an essential need that affects everyone. Employers will be happy to unburden their business model with the costs of heakth care for their employees– they can now concentrate on making beer or motorcycles or turnips.

  2. Dennis Byron says:

    I assume you know that the progressive “Medicare for All” proposals (Conyers and Sanders) already calls for all the things that you suggest and that you are just using some rhetorical device? If so, FYI, your rhetorical device doesn’t come across.

    That being said, if you did not know this, your confusion would be handled if Conyers and Sanders had actually called their proposals what they really are: “Medicaid for All.”

    But you’re right that if they did that would kill the idea in a minute. Hence they co-opted the name of a program (which does have all the problems you noted and more) that was nothing like what they were proposing.

    Oh there are no co-pays in the Conyers/Sanders proposal. Everything in health care is free under Conyers/Sanders Medicaid for All. Which kicks in after your free college education. Which comes with your free phone and TV service. And before your interest free mortgage.

    The Kochs and Warren Buffet are going to pay higher taxes to cover the tab

    • Ed Heinzelman says:

      thanks for the additional information…I really appreciate it.

      As for co-pays. I think there needs to be co-pays of some sort. I can see $0 co-pays for visiting your primary care physician…that would encourage wellness visits and visits for simple afflictions. But there should be co-pays for specialists, urgent care facilities and emergency rooms…and they should be incremental to encourage patients from waiting until they are in dire straits and have to use emergency rooms when an earlier trip to a PCP would have been a better option. And I also think people need to pay something so they understand that healthcare is a limited resource that does cost something.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.