One of the most popular healthcare topics in the United States revolves around “Medicare for All” and universal healthcare. What would it mean for the American people, patients and healthcare professionals?
Physicians and health care professionals may be split in their support of a single-payer healthcare system. However, you should get an idea of the advantages and disadvantages before making your decision. When it comes to Medicare for All, you need to be aware of the costs, how it would impact you, and what it actually entails. Here are some Medicare For All Pros and Cons that you need to be aware of.
What is Medicare for All?
The Medicare for All Act of 2019 was introduced in April in the U.S. Senate. Since that time there have been many other versions and discussions of the bill. It is a proposed single payor universal healthcare system. It essentially would provide healthcare coverage to anyone living in the United States. Using tax dollars, it would pay for services that are “medically necessary” which would also include prescription drugs, vision, dental and mental health.
This would replace and take over all other types of health insurance (with a few exceptions). What types of insurance would be replaced? Anyone who is covered by:
- Employer health insurance
- Private health insurance
- Affordable Care Act / Obamacare
Replacing Original Medicare
This universal heath care program would be replacing almost all private and public health plan options. Rates for services, medications, and medical equipment would be determined by our government – not by private health insurance companies or employers.
When it comes to the topic of health care reform, Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont) is frequently front and center. Senator Sanders isn’t proposing Medicare for All, but rather a replacement to Original Medicare, our current program. He is wanting to replace Original Medicare with a universal health care program.
This change wouldn’t impact Original Medicare significantly. However, it may eliminate the need for Medigap or Medicare Supplement plans. Under Sander’s program, health care providers and doctors may accept private insurance plans, but only when they didn’t join Medicare for All. Medigap companies would only be able to cover medical services that were not covered. That’s the opposite of how Medicare Supplements currently work. Right now a supplement plan pays for Medicare approved services.
pros and cons of medicare for all
This is a hot button issue for many. There are those who feel it’s the best way to provide coverage to all Americans. However, the critics will express how expensive it will be and how the government isn’t the best at managing systems like healthcare. Let’s take a look at the Pros And Cons:
Pros of Medicare for All
Cons of Medicare for All
Why does this matter?
Based on the details from a current Gallup survey, the availability and costs of health care was the #1 concern of the American people for the fifth consecutive year. This issue is also a frequent political focal point during election time. With so many proposals that appear to contradict each other on how to create an affordable health care system – it’s difficult for the average American voter to make sense of all the information.
Did You Know?
- A Gallup poll shows that 70% of people with employer-sponsored coverage are happy with their health plan.
According to a 2018 report from Fraser Institute, Canada’s universal healthcare has a median wait time was over 4.5 months when trying to see a specialist for a medically necessary treatment, a 113% increase from 1993.
A Kaiser Family Foundation poll reported that 62% of people approved of Medicare for All and 48% of approved of single-payer health care.
- George Mason University estimated that the cost would increase health care spending by $32.6 trillion over a 10 years.
According to Pew Research Center, 6 out of 10 of Americans believe that our government’s responsibility is to make sure all people have health care.
The Commonwealth Fund 2020 study found that approximately 21% of working-age adults (41 million Americans) are underinsured.
Yes. Private health insurers would not be permitted to sell health plans that provided the same coverage as the government's plan. However, private insurance companies may offer supplemental plans for services that are not included in the program. For example, cosmetic surgery.
No. These health care costs would be included in the government's health plan.
No. Private and employer health care plans would no longer be available to the American people.
Yes. The RAND Corporation estimated that federal health care spending would increase by 221% relative to current law, from $1,090.0 billion to just under $3,500.0 billion. Some Americans would pay higher taxes to fund this program.