There have been months of discussion and debate going around America about the “Medicare for All” plan and introduced b Senator Bernie Sanders. The majority of Americans place it under the hot topic in the government and have been closely monitoring each update and reports from Congress.
Since then, a lot of questions arising from people such as:
- “Is America ready for Medicare for All?”
- “Will the said bill, able to support essential medical assistance and healthcare needs?”
- “How will it impact differently with the different social classes in the country?”
- “Will it be a sustainable act for America’s economy?”
Now let us sink into the profound reality of Medicare for All.
What is Medicare for All, and How Will it Work?
Medicare for all is a single-payer health insurance plan for all the people in America. This would mean that part of the collection from the taxpayers will fund the health expenses for the whole population. The key idea is to have a centralized funded health system like those of first world countries such as the United Kingdom and Canada. The private health insurance companies and employers who pay for their employees’ health care will be put into risk because the bill will eliminate their role. There are pros and cons to every bill. And here are a quick look for the pros and cons of ‘Medicare for All’ in America.
Pros: Virtually no out-of-pocket costs as the bill will prohibit most charges. This will include co-insurance, deductibles, co-pays, and any other healthcare-expenses. However, there’s an upper limit to this, and that’s at $200 per year for prescription medication. The exception to this are people whose income is less than 200% of the federal poverty level. Cons: It could probably increase taxes. In the said bill, they were pushing to offset tax increase to healthcare savings. In a nutshell, this would mean that lower-income individuals pay less for their healthcare insurance.
Choice of Doctors and Healthcare Quality
Pros: Since the bill sticks to the current provider system, you can keep your doctors and the choice of hospital or your private healthcare provider. Cons: You can’t stick to your chosen doctor if the healthcare providers want not to participate in the program. However, this has not yet clarified with the bill. Another concern raised was the doctor’s professional fee. Since the program will be coming from a single-funded pay, this would probably decrease their payment rate and fear to lessen care quality.
Availability of Other Private Health Insurance
Pros: It will still be available, provided that their policies won’t cause redundancy with the policies provided under the ‘Medicare for All’ bill. Cons: Limited policies offered by various private healthcare insurance.
Employer-Sponsored Insurance Eliminated
Pros: A cheaper alternative because the bill will cut admin and processing costs. Taxes will go up, but there would be tax exemption from the payroll amounting to the first $2 million payrolls. Cons: The bill will eliminate all of the companies that pay for their employees’ insurance. Employers will have new taxes to pay.
Drug Cost in Pharmaceutical Companies
Pros: Provides for cheaper drugs. The bill will seek drug alternatives, which is way less expensive, even those coming from importation in neighboring countries like Canada. This will gives an estimated savings of $200 billion and $300 billion a year on healthcare spending budget. Cons: Pharmaceutical companies will be significantly affected because the government will decrease the generic and branded medication by 30% and 70%, respectively.
New Healthcare System and Hospital Funding
Pros: The bill will be most beneficial to rural populations. Also, the healthcare cost savings through the new health record systems. Since the country will be transitioning into a uniform health record systems, it can now easily detect and correct any fraudulent services. Cons: Transitioning to uniform health record systems is a very ambitious move. It requires a lot. Also, there would be an estimate of $800 billion cut from the funding across all hospitals in a decade. The Federation of American Hospitals and the American Hospital Association strongly oppose the plan.
The major transition of Medicare for All in America will take years. Observation of research and studies will help develop a better understanding. It will test different angles and perceptions. Taking these things into consideration, ask yourself these questions, “Will America ever get ready for a single-payer health insurance plan?” or “Is the time for Medicare for All ever come to the United States of America?”