‘Healthcare Is a Human Right’ – The Case for Medicare for All
Do you support Medicare For All?
by If You Can Keep It | 2.18.20
This is our first piece in a series on Medicare For All, explaining the healthcare program and its anticipated benefits. We’ll follow up with an entry on the arguments against it. Whether you're pro or con, join the conversation below.
What is Medicare For All?
There are multiple proposals out there, but we’re going to focus on the most far-reaching proposals, which are outlined in bills sponsored by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA).
Medicare For All would...
Create a national, single-payer health insurance program
- Currently, multiple groups pay for healthcare—private insurers, employers, and the government through programs like Medicare and Medicaid. In Medicare For All, a single-payer - the government - would pay for healthcare.
Provide everyone in America with comprehensive healthcare coverage, with no out-of-pocket costs
Medicare coverage would be expanded to include dental, hearing, and vision care
- It would also include home- and community-based long-term care, inpatient and outpatient services, reproductive and maternity care, and mental health and substance abuse treatment.
There would be no networks, no premiums, no deductibles, no copays, no surprise medical billing
Cap prescription drug costs at $200 a year for each American
Replace all private health insurance and the current Medicare program
What about the cost?
- YES, a study published last year found that if Sanders’ Medicare For All proposal was enacted, it would cost $32 trillion in new federal revenue over 10 years.
- BUT we’re already currently spending $3.6 trillion a year on healthcare. Which translates to $36 trillion over a decade.
- That’s $2 trillion more than the projected cost of Sanders’ plan.
- And the government estimates that national healthcare spending will total $48 trillion over the next decade as costs continue to rise.
- According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, by 2027 the U.S. will be spending around $6 trillion annually on healthcare.
Researchers find Medicare For All would cost less and work better
- A recent analysis from a team of epidemiologists in the medical journal the Lancet found Medicare For All would save Americans $450 billion and prevent 68,000 unnecessary deaths every year.
- Rand Corp. analysts studied a single-payer proposal for New York state and found that “the majority of New Yorkers would pay less” under such a system, “while the highest-income residents would pay more.”
- Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst concluded that a nationwide Medicare For All system would result in about $5 trillion in savings over 10 years.
- Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst found that a nationwide Medicare For All system would result in about $5 trillion in savings over a decade.
In their own words
We say to the private health insurance companies: whether you like it or not, the United States will join every other major country on earth and guarantee healthcare to all people as a right. All Americans are entitled to go to the doctor when they're sick and not go bankrupt after staying in the hospital. -Bernie Sanders, on his Medicare For All website
“The average worker in America, their family makes $60,000 a year. That family is now paying $12,000 a year for health care, 20 percent of their income,” Sanders argued at December’s Democratic debate.
“Under Medicare-for-all, that family will be paying $1,200 a year, because we’re eliminating the profiteering of the drug companies and the insurance companies and ending this byzantine and complex administration of thousands of separate health care plans."
“Today in America, 30 million people are uninsured. 40 million are underinsured. We have the most expensive healthcare system in the world and yet our outcomes are the worst of all industrialized countries,” Jayapal said in a statement when introducing her bill.
“I and the more than 100 co-sponsors of this bill refuse to allow this to continue. It’s time to put people’s health over profit. Our bill will cover everyone. Not just those who are fortunate enough to have employer-sponsored insurance. Not just children. Not just seniors. Not just those who are healthy. Everyone. Because healthcare is a human right… It is time to ensure that healthcare is a right and not a privilege, guaranteed to every single person in our country. It is time for Medicare for All.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren released an outline of her single-payer "Medicare for All" plan, pledging not to raise middle-class taxes to fund it.
“A key step in winning the public debate over Medicare for all will be explaining what this plan costs — and how to pay for it,” Warren wrote in her plan. To accomplish that, she promised “[w]e don’t need to raise taxes on the middle class by one penny.”
What do you think?
Do you support Medicare For All? Do you support one of its spin-offs? Take action above, then join the conversation below.
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