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Thu Jun 27, 2019, 10:34 AM

Medicare for all: Why not?

Just read a post relating to last night's debate, from Marylandblue who said "I'm not big on Medicare for All".

This isn't meant to be argumentative but, as a Canadian who has enjoyed "medicare for all" since 1963, I'm always wondering why some progressive folks in the U.S. are very leery of it.

Would love to hear your thoughts on this.

18 replies, 1862 views

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Response to luvtheGWN (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2019, 10:42 AM

1. I prefer public option at this time

1. Too many people like and/or will get a better deal with their private insurance if supplied by their employer
2. Lots of people in the US like the freedom to choose.
3. Medicare is not free and does not cover all costs so many are better off with the ACA or other plans
4. Getting rid of private insurance would create lots of unemployed people.
5. Democrats have to realize that not everyone thinks like we do, so to be pragmatic, at least in this election, we need a more
realistic plan

------------
This doesn't mean that we could eventually get total free healthcare.

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Response to OKNancy (Reply #1)

Thu Jun 27, 2019, 10:54 AM

4. Every one of your five points is flawed.

1. "A better deal with their private insurance" for some people means that the entire population as a whole is getting screwed on costs and benefits. Your argument is akin to saying that we should subsidize fancy educations, fancy roads, fancy libraries for only those who can already afford it... and make no mistake about it... these employer-provided plans ARE subsidized by everybody else. Ask yourself why employer-provided healthcare benefits are not taxed as income to the employee AS THEY SHOULD BE.

2. Lots of people have nothing to choose.

3. Medicare is not free? Say what? Is police protection free? Is private insurance free to the public as a whole when much of it is subsidized by everybody and when it costs MORE overall to everybody than would Medicare?

4. Unemployed people? Too bad. Should we keep people employed in other industries that add absolutely nothing of value to the economy?

5. Medicare for all IS realistic, as scores of other countries have proven.

Time for you to rethink.

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Response to luvtheGWN (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2019, 10:43 AM

2. There are millions of people that like their employer based insurance

Taking that away would be political suicide. We need a robust public option.

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Response to redstateblues (Reply #2)

Thu Jun 27, 2019, 12:37 PM

14. One's medical coverage

shouldn't be tied to one's employment. If you lose your job, you are pretty much screwed.

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Response to luvtheGWN (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2019, 10:53 AM

3. i would like to have a hybrid..medicare doesnt pay for crappola now.....and everyone on medicare

knows you need a supplement. So we would have to pay for something anyway.

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Response to luvtheGWN (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2019, 10:55 AM

5. A Public Option will likely get us to Medicare-for-All/Most quicker than

trying to enact a M4A plan.

Too many are opposed, right now. With a Public Option people will get a chance to try it out and will likely gravitate to "Medicare" quickly if the cost is reasonable.

I'm not sure the cost/premium is going to be that much less than commercial insurance, but we'll have to see.

Note: I do believe that whatever is the next step should ensure everyone has coverage and adequate subsidies to afford coverage and any coinsurance/deductibles.

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Response to luvtheGWN (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2019, 11:00 AM

6. In short-trust and vagueness.

I have health care that works for me. It's far from perfect, but it does what I need it to do. My mother had Medicare with a supplemental. It covered almost everything but the cost of the supplemental was high. But without the supplement she would have paid a fortune for expensive treatments.

Bernie's Medicare for all plan is far more generous than current Medicare in that it covers everything Medicare does with no premiums or copays , plus longterm care plus things I don't even want like dental and vision.

I don't trust that Bernie's plan is actually feasible and I think it will raise my taxes higher than my current premiums, plus lead to shortages unacceptable to most Americans.

There are other versions of Medicare 4 All that might make more sense, but they don't seem so fleshed out, so vague.

So I'm for a public option. The government can create something better than what I have now for less money? Let them prove it first.

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #6)

Thu Jun 27, 2019, 11:12 AM

7. We need a system like Britain's NHS.

Itís not perfect, of course, but it works very well. The problem with continuing with private insurance and even Medicare as it works currently is that people still go bankrupt despite being covered. Thatís absolutely unacceptable and has to end.

Iím on Medicare as a primary with expanded Medicaid as a secondary and I pay nothing. I go to the hospital three times a year, two weeks at a time (I have cystic Fibrosis) and have no bill. Same with surgeries, doctor visits and prescription drugs. If I can enjoy these benefits, itís only fair that every American should get this type of healthcare.

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #6)

Thu Jun 27, 2019, 11:59 AM

11. "Let them prove it first".

Well, every other developed country HAS proved it, so that's why I say the U.S. needs (desperately needs!) to examine universal healthcare from all those countries to determine the least costly plan that works for everyone.

The fact that you have corporate-owned healthcare facilities that present you will a bill with absolutely no justification for the charges is probably the first thing that has to be changed.

A little story: a woman from Texas who married a Canadian was a colleague of mine. At the time we had a healthcare discussion (about 20 years ago) her mom was a patient in a hospital in Dallas. She was in the equivalent of a "Presidential Suite" because her insurance paid for it. The menu presented to her for her meals was the equivalent of a 3-star restaurant. Not sure about her actual medical care but I'm betting it was no better than what she would have gotten in Toronto.

Anyhow, I mentioned how fortunate she was to have platinum insurance, and how so many others weren't so fortunate and maybe wouldn't have had any medical care at all -- and that's why universal healthcare is so important. My colleague equated universal healthcare with everyone having to live in the same type of house, driving the same type of car, going to the same type (inferior is what she implied) schools. IOW, the wealthy's standard of living would substantially drop. So why shouldn't the fortunate be rewarded with the type of luxury hospital care her mother was enjoying?

She couldn't seem to understand that health insurance is unlike any other insurance. That you could live the very best life you possibly could, but that your next checkup could uncover a life-threatening illness that could bankrupt you without that platinum insurance. How fair was that? She also couldn't seem to understand the concept of "fair" -- if you're lucky, that's great; if you're unlucky, that's just too bad.

Every time I read an article about people being so against universal healthcare, I think of her. So glad I live in a country that considers healthcare a right, and not a privilege.

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Response to luvtheGWN (Reply #11)

Thu Jun 27, 2019, 12:18 PM

12. Universal health care does not equal Medicare 4 All.

And I'm tired of people being lying about that. Some other countries have mixed public private systems but nobody ever talks about those. I don't, maybe because we think there are only 3 countries in the world? US, UK and Canada?

I'm also tired of personal stories. I don't bother with them because, I have my own story. My family's medical needs are complex, expensive and chronic. It doesn't fit on a blurb. Some of our highly specialized doctors would go out of business rather than be forced to take Medicare payments. Trust me, we don't fit into a one size fits all box.

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #12)

Thu Jun 27, 2019, 12:27 PM

13. Not that it doesn't happen but

I havenít really had problems finding specialists that accept Medicare. Maybe Iíve been lucky, I donít know.

Look, i know people like their employee insurance. I also recognize that we will probably end up with a public option of some sort but eventually we MUST address the issue of people going bankrupt or choosing between food and medicine due to medical problems. Itís nothing short of a national travesty.

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Response to Turin_C3PO (Reply #13)

Thu Jun 27, 2019, 12:50 PM

16. You are not lucky, I am unlucky in health matters.

I agree on Universal Healthcare Nobody should have to go bankrupt due to medical bills. I just don't get why we have go all in on one size fits all.

I am luckier in finances than in medical needs. My income and insurance coverage are good enough that I am unlikely to go bankrupt over healthcare bills. I'd rather the government not try to fix a problem that I don't even have. Let's focus on the people who really need help first, then we can get to my own lesser problems later.

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #16)

Thu Jun 27, 2019, 12:53 PM

17. We agree there.

Incrementalism is, i think, the way to go.

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Response to Turin_C3PO (Reply #13)

Thu Jun 27, 2019, 03:31 PM

18. Don't forget

lose your job, lose your medical insurance. COBRA is very expensive in the meantime.

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Response to luvtheGWN (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2019, 11:14 AM

8. Thank you for all your opinions

and I hope to read many more!

First of all, I shouldn't have used the term "Medicare for All" because our version of it (or let's also call it universal healthcare) bears little resemblance to the U.S. version of medicare.

The public option may well be the better way of getting to universal healthcare.

The island of Taiwan, several years ago, did an in-depth study of universal healthcare in several developed countries. It took the best from each and developed its own unique healthcare system which is, apparently, extremely popular and successful.

I realize that there are many folks who seem to be quite content with their employer-based healthcare plans. However, as I learned over the years from fellow breast cancer patients on a dedicated website forum, many of them still had to fight with their docs (or their docs had to fight with the insurance providers) to ensure they got the treatments and meds that were necessary to their survival. I still have friends from that website who are struggling. Not surprising, when stats show that 67% of American bankruptcies are caused by healthcare expenses.

Some of you have sited "freedom" to choose. Universal healthcare -- where every single taxpayer pays into it -- ensures freedom for everyone. Just imagine having your paycheque increased because your employer isn't deducting what it pays to the insurance company. Just imagine having no lifetime cap, or not having co-pays, or having your insurance company issue a rejection, expecting you'll either accept it, or fight it -- major stress!

For anyone who still thinks that "government" rules your healthcare in a universal system, I can assure you that my doctor and I govern my healthcare. I can go to any doctor I want; I can be referred to any specialist I desire; I can choose which hospital to go to. In my case, living in a town of under 20,000, there are 12 family docs. I wait at most 24 hours for an appt. If I have a life-threatening illness, I move to the head of the line for diagnosis and treatment.

That's what I call the "freedom" that some of you are so afraid of losing.

Why not urge your Reps and Senators to do what Taiwan did, and actually study what works in other countries? This might sound mean, but I can only assume that this won't ever happen, because -- The U.S. is the best country in the world and what could you possibly learn from other countries.....

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Response to luvtheGWN (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2019, 11:19 AM

9. realistically, it won't pass through Congress

they had to take out the public option just to get the ACA passed with big Democratic majorities in each house.

It will have to be an incremental approach - add in a public option, and then add in a Medicare buy-in at age 50 or 55, and then expand from there.

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Response to luvtheGWN (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2019, 11:51 AM

10. unless you are actually on Medicare, you don't know the hoops you have to jump through and

how much you actually have to pay to get coverage.

if we were to do Medicare for all, it would require a pretty massive overhaul and in the end it would probably look like single payer anyway.

Single payer is the only option.

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Response to luvtheGWN (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2019, 12:37 PM

15. What we need is a plan that voters can clearly understand and trust.

The millions of voters who already have health insurance they like aren't going to vote for us if they have any fear at all they are going to lose their health insurance for something not as good. Out of the gate we need to focus on getting health care for those who don't already have it, not those who already do. If we want to win.

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