Medicare For All a.k.a. Promises, Promises
Medicare for all is in the news, again. With every Democratic politician promising to have such a program in force during their presidential administration. That is easier said than done. Keep in mind, tinkering with these resources for seniors isn’t as easy as what sounds good.
The obvious stumbling block is one of those candidates has to first be elected. But, whether they are or are not is not the focus of this article.
The second most obvious stumbling block is the definition of Medicare for all. A person would not think there could be more than one definition. They would be wrong. After all, this isn’t really about seniors and their health.
A look at the proposals says there isn’t one, two or three, there are multiple definitions. The candidates are on record stating their position. The easiest way to learn the multiple definitions is to google each candidate. Their platform is laid out on their website.
For example, one proposal calls for the elimination of private health insurance companies. This sounds good and may even look good on paper but the reality is exactly the opposite.
The private health insurance companies are the providers of record for Medicare Advantage contracts, Prescription Drug Coverage and much of the bill processing for the entire program. This means just the claims processing portion of Medicare would be severely impacted.
No one has anything to say about rectifying all the errors that would arise with the private health insurance companies completely eliminated from the Medicare landscape. Neither has the denial of service aspect been addressed with the removal of the private sector.
Couple this scrambled egg proposal with the single payer concept. The government would be responsible to pay for all of the health care. However the doctors, hospitals and other health care providers would remain private. Imagine the Mardi Gras atmosphere under that scenario.
Throw in the public option system and another set of holy cows enters the picture. Would this option be open only to people over a certain age? Would it be open to all consumers buying coverage through a public exchange? Is there be a cap on premiums?
You do not have to be a rocket scientist to conclude the Medicare for all suggestion is still a suggestion designed to get votes and campaign contributions. Should this concept be taken seriously?
The answer is probably yes given the rapid advancements being made in medicine. Unfortunately the how to pay for this program still has way too many bugs. Medicare for all may indeed be the solution to the health insurance coverage in the United States. But the bottom line is It needs serious committed minds to flesh it out.
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