Sunday, February 17, 2019

On the Sanders Medicare for All Proposal and the Problem of Health Care in the USA

(Old business; I'm cleaning out my backlog of "To be writtens.")

"Medicare for All," as advocated by the social democrats and democratic socialists, means universal coverage without out-of-pocket expenses. The Sanders proposal can be read at https://live-berniesanders-com.pantheonsite.io/issues/medicare-for-all/. What would be covered and how the system would be funded is spelled out.

"A method to stop price gouging by insurers and providers with market power." But this is why the insurance companies were brought on board; without guarantees that their profits would be maintained, even increased, they would have made the plan impossible to pass; it barely passed as it was.

As of 2017, the CDC found that 28.9 million Americans had no health plan. Full report: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhis/earlyrelease/insur201805.pdf.

The ACA has huge coverage gaps (one of the largest is due to the Roberts Court.) Once people have enough income for the system to require insurance, the expenses fall mostly on working poor and lower middle-income people. This could, of course, be changed, but it would require either price regulation or higher taxes, both of which are going to be difficult.

The health insurance companies used to have full-time employees devoted to finding reasons to deny care to cancer patients, and other high-cost insureds. I see no reason beyond expediency to give those businesses anything – they've made their pile. Capitalism-worship is the only reason they still exist.

Considering pragmatic politics, I don't see good solutions to any of this. We need to fight to keep what we have, however poor it is. I don't want to lose the ACA trying to get something better. And the fight divides the opposition to the fascists.

2 comments:

JACKIESUE said...

I just want him to get out of the way and let someone younger and better not be fucked over by him and the Russians

The Blog Fodder said...

Government funded health care will put all the insurers out of their main business but there is room for add ons that the government need not cover. Dental, optical, pharmacy, ambulance, private rooms etc. Hospitals need to be put on a non-profit basis again.