Medicare For All-Pros and Cons
Medicare for All would mean a single-payer health plan for everyone that’s run by the government. Currently, Medicare is a federal program that provides health coverage to those 65 years and older.
Pros and Cons of Medicare for All
The biggest benefit to Medicare for All is that the government covers the expense for healthcare while ensuring doctors provide reasonably affordable quality care.
However, the biggest downside is that healthy people pay for the medical care of unhealthy people.
In theory, universal healthcare leads to a healthier society and workforce.
Pros of Medicare for All:
- Coverage for all
- Providers receive equal pay
- Spending leverage for lower rates
- Medicare and Medicaid are single-payer systems
Cons of Medicare for All:
- Providers can choose only private pay options unless mandated differently
- Doesn’t solve the shortage of doctors
- Health insurance costs may not totally disappear
- Requires a tax increase
- Shifts costs of employer coverage
How Does Single-Payer Healthcare Work
Single-payer healthcare is a form of universal healthcare that is financed through taxes. This coverage would cover essential healthcare for all, and costs would be covered by a single public paying system.
Canada uses a single-payer system to contract healthcare services from private organizations. Whereas the United Kingdom owns and employs healthcare resources and personnel.
Single-payer only means the healthcare is being paid by a single public authority. This kind of system pays for all healthcare-related services if covered.
How Much Would Medicare for All Cost
Most of us can agree that a single-payer healthcare system would cost the government a tremendous amount.
According to the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, Medicare for All would cost $32.6 trillion from 2022-2031.
Medicare for All would be paid for by:
- 6.2% income-based health care tax paid by employers
- 2.2% income-based tax paid by households
- The progressive income tax rate
The Marginal income tax rates would become:
- 52% on incomes above $10 Million
- 48% between $2 Mil and $10 Mil
- 43% on income between $500,000 and $2 Mil
- 37% between $250,000 and $500,000
Medicare for all would replace the Affordable Care Act and provide everyone with healthcare.
Funding for this program would come from public funding much like Medicare as well as Medicaid.
How Medicaid Would Be Directly Impacted by Medicare For All Proposals
Medicare for All would eliminate Medicaid; Medicaid is the largest health insurance program in the U.S. Medicaid is larger than Medicare or the ACA, covering over 73 million Americans.
These beneficiaries would lose their coverage with Medicaid or CHIP and obtain Medicare for All coverage. Although, the needs for those that are on disability, and those who have recently been incarcerated, or have low income, are still issues to be addressed.
Current Medicare for All Bills
The further we get in the Presidential debate of 2020, the more it looks like Bernie is a frontrunner. Anyone following the Democratic debates knows that Sanders is pushing Medicare For All.
The bill Bernie is proposing will allow patients and physicians to negotiate contracts. In the most recent Democratic debate, Bernie made mention of a Yale University study. According to the Yale analysis, Bernie’s Medicare for All plan could save $450 billion.
Under Sanders’ plan, Americans would enroll in a national health insurance program. The federal government would run the program, and it and taxpayers would pay for it.
According to the bill, anyone residing within the U.S. will be eligible. The Medicare For All bill will cover any necessary services. It will also include all primary health care services. Sanders estimates the transition to take place over a 4-year timespan. In the first year, Sanders wants to add Dental, Vision, and Hearing Benefits to Medicare. The next several years will include reducing the Medicare age for America.
A significant talking point right now is Sander’s talk on tax rates. One of his proposals includes raising the taxes to 52% on any earnings over $10 million. Another one of Sander’s plans is that the first $29,000 of an employee’s earnings will be tax-exempt. People will see a 4% premium applied to anything over $29,000.
Senator Elizabeth Warren
Funding for Medicare For All proves to be a priority for voters. How will our country afford this? Warren’s Medicare For All proposal claims not to hike taxes on the middle class.
Warren’s proposal aims to expand public health coverage and reduce health care costs. Her goal is to complete her promise within her first term as President.
Rather than raising the taxes on the middle class, she plans on inflating the wealth tax on the rich in America. The inflation on the wealth tax would increase from 3% to 6%. She plans on having employers pay more taxes.
Congresswomen Jan Schakowsky
Congresswoman Schakowsky brought forth the Medicare for America bill. The Act would provide universal health care at an affordable price and includes the expansion of benefits. It also offers the addition of dental, hearing, and vision benefits. The Act vows to preserve employer-covered health care as well.
Medicare for America wouldn’t include deductibles. Americans will pay a $3,500 maximum out of pocket cost. Anyone making less than 200% of the FPL won’t pay a premium.
According to Schawkowsky, “I am working with my colleagues to improve health equity and access this Congress, and Medicare for America is a proposal that gets us there. As a member of the Medicare for All Caucus, I believe that every person in America deserves high quality, affordable, and comprehensive health care.
Medicare for America achieves that goal by including coverage for all reproductive health care, allowing for transparency and negotiation on prescription drug costs, improving long-term services and supports for seniors and Americans living with disabilities, and strengthening our health care workforce.
Most importantly, Medicare for America provides universal coverage, covering each and every American.”
Senator Debbie Stabenow
Senator Debbie Stabenow’s bill would allow people to buy-in to Medicare. The buy-in option would begin at age 50. To buy into Medicare, people would have to pay a premium. If people choose, they can continue receiving insurance coverage through their employer. People could also purchase coverage on exchanges through the ACA.
By buying into Medicare, you could take any subsidies you’ve gotten through Obamacare. You can then contribute them towards to cost of the Medicare premiums. The Senator has tried before to push similar legislation. But it didn’t go anywhere.
Congressman Tom Malinowski
Malinowski’s bill would allow first responders over 50 to buy into Medicare coverage. In most cases, first responders retire earlier than other types of workers. The law would enable first responders to receive full Medicare coverage before 65.
Those who retire would qualify for subsidies and tax credits from their pension plan. The bill aims to prevent negative impacts on the current federal insurance program. It also prevents adverse effects on current Medicare beneficiaries.
According to Congressman Malinowski, “First responders always come when we need them. This bill would ensure that when they retire, they have access to quality and reliable health coverage they have earned and deserve.”
Public Opinion and Medicare for All
Sanders is a driving force behind the Medicare For All proposals. Some of the more moderate candidates like the public option. In theory, a public option plan could be more affordable for Americans.
According to a recent KFF poll, around 56% of citizens support a Medicare For All plan. About 68% like a public option where a government plan competes with private insurance and be accessible to all Americans.
Most Americans feel that taxes for most would increase under a Medicare For All plan. Many people think that more people would have coverage with a Medicare For All system.
Medicare for Everyone
With 32 out of 33 developed countries having some form of universal healthcare, it’s not surprising the United States is pushing for Medicare for All.
There was a time when people were going to the emergency room for basic care because they didn’t have coverage and other places would turn away.
Universal health coverage could offer every American with affordable, reasonable care.
The biggest tax is on those making more than 10 Million dollars a year. The average American; however, will see lower copays and better coverage.
In addition to better coverage, the program is more efficient. With only one public agency run by regional boards, there will be higher job satisfaction for doctors.
When doctors are happy, patients can be happier and healthier. More students will want to be doctors.
People currently receiving free-market healthcare in other countries pay less than half the cost, they get quality healthcare their entire lives and they have peace of mind knowing they’re covered.