Medicare for All?

I wanted to weigh in on Elizabeth Warren’s statement.

Elizabeth Warren on September 21st:

There is something fundamentally wrong when one of the richest and most powerful countries on the planet can’t make sure that a person can afford to see a doctor when they’re sick. That’s why I’m co-sponsoring Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All bill. The American people have made it clear that they believe health care is a basic human right–
but it will be a tough fight. Add your name to join me and show your support.

Just a few of my thoughts:

I am concerned that a single payer healthcare plan through Medicare may not be the best idea in solving the nations healthcare crisis.

First off, Medicare is a fairly well run bureaucracy in our country.  The coverage is good and fairly inexpensive.  Premiums typically run around $120 per month.  You can add a optional supplemental coverage plan and drug plan at a reasonable price.

My fear is that adding 180 million people will tax the system to the point where the non-social security members will not receive the health care that Medicare provides now.  Healthcare providers as it stands now need the revenue from private insurance companies in order to honor the discounts they must extend to participate in Medicare.

There may also be an increase in the amount participants pay for co-insurance.  This is the charge by providers that reflects the difference between what Medicare pays and the provider charges.

Socialized healthcare does exist in most countries.  What is not being reported is the fact that these programs tax these countries economies.  Also, these plans are  inherently inefficient causing it’s citizens to often face unreasonable delays in being able to see their provider.  This would be a significant reason why we should not have socialized healthcare or in my opinion, socialized anything.

Another thing to consider is that the United States economy identifies with a free market system with few government controls.  There are four different types of economies in our world, our system by far is the strongest.  Medicare, defense, national parks, justice, and infrastructure are just a few examples of the limited government controls within our economy.  A market economy relies on private citizens and private companies in order to provide the wealth and tax revenue that run the country.  Our economy also allows for its citizens to have ownership of property, business and even a free press.  Capitalism, free enterprise and our constitution are the keys.

In our two party government system, the republican party principles are based on fiscal balance through the relaxation of regulations and controlled spending.  The democrats principles reflect a more liberal, inclusive and entitling platform.  This is why it is so important that the two parties work towards compromise in order to ensure a balance.  This is also why in the Trump era neither party’s values are being applied.  The programs including healthcare have no thought out plan to fit in to either parties culture.  You can’t be supporting the values of the right if every significant piece of proposed legislation costs a ton without a plan to pay for them.  Conversely, you can’t legislate entitlement programs without a plan to pay for them either.  What is happening now is that we are legislatively functioning with every program based on political agendas.  This practice is what perpetuates the compounding struggles of programs like the ACA.

Here are Just a few thoughts on how I see healthcare for Americans:

First off I would repeal any programs that provide coverage for government employees.  This would level the playing field for the rest of America.  This would also provide a larger pool of insureds.

We would need to allow for insurance companies to provide policies over state lines.  As it stands, most larger providers operate in multi-state regions. If they can’t, I am afraid the costs for coverage would be unstable and non-competitive being subjected to coverage loss in some areas.

The mandate needs to stay in place. No matter whether the system is socialized or not, everyone’s participation is important.  If we allow the mandate to be repealed,  some insurers will fail and be forced to pull out of certain markets or go out of business which  doesn’t help anyone.  The thought that the healthy would only be paying for the unhealthy is narrow minded.  I’ve never met anyone who planned on getting sick, but most of us and our families do at some point in our lives.

Given the fact that almost all of us will need medical attention at some point, what  would not covering existing conditions accomplish?  It doesn’t make sense to me that a congress and President who want to nurture job growth and middle class opportunities would even consider programs that could bankrupt millions.  For instance, why would you allow the financial demise of a family that should celebrate the birth of a child, not go broke doing so.

Block grants are a stupid idea.  We are not naïve enough to think that states that are struggling financially wouldn’t pick pocket funds from the grant for other state expenses.  The effect would mean unreasonable cuts to the healthcare provided to their citizens.

It may make sense to expand Medicare to allow for healthcare for those that can’t afford it.  Before we just started pumping more into this program, I strongly believe that we need welfare reform.  I am sure that there is millions if not billions of dollars in Medicaid provided to those who commit fraud or for those who don’t really need the coverage.

Prescription drug coverage is out of control.  We need to hold the drug companies to agreements that reflect the lowest possible drug costs.  We also need to stop brand name manufacturers from paying the generic manufactures not to produce lower priced drugs.  We also need to provide low cost drug coverage plans that eliminate coverage gaps or the doughnut hole.  This is when the drug insurers stop providing coverage for the balance of the year when a person reaches a predetermined dollar amount of drug coverage.  This can leave Medicare patients for instance, from being able to afford the drugs they still will need.

We also need to consider the idea of streamlining a drugs approval process.  There are countries that seem to approve drugs much faster than the FDA.  One challenge for the US is the sheer number of drugs in the approval pipeline.  This particular bureaucracy could use some rehab.

If you take out the politics, it is very possible that the existing ACA program can be tweaked and modified to meet all of the goals that the government needs to achieve.

Anyway, I am no expert,  I just suspect that we are going to get a plan shoved down our throat that will probably not meet America’s healthcare needs.  Isn’t our government supposed to look out for us?




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