Bernie Is Right. We Should Immediately Expand and Improve Medicare.

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    • #417638
      • Total Posts: 8,950

      Should we make the expanded subsidies for purchasing commercial insurance permanent, as Democratic leaders like Nancy Pelosi prefer, or should we lower the eligibility age for Medicare, while covering dental, hearing, and vision and capping all out-of-pocket spending at $2,000 per year, as Bernie Sanders proposes?

      The choice is not wholly satisfactory. In order to achieve the cost savings, eliminate the denials of care, and guarantee health care to all, we really need (an improved) Medicare to cover everybody. Expanding Medicare does not eliminate the profits and waste of the status quo. (The Congressional Budget Office estimates that Medicare for All would save $650 billion per year versus the current system as organized under the Affordable Care Act [ACA].) Most important, an age-based expansion would leave over one hundred million residents of the United States at the mercy of employer-provided health benefits.

      But unfortunately, Medicare for All isn’t yet winnable. Expansion is. And Sanders’s age-based approach would bring in those whose station in life has made them especially vulnerable to the health care industry, while also contesting the commercial insurance alternative and exposing the Democratic Party’s deference to the health care industry. It would get us qualitatively closer to Medicare for All.

      Advocates for expanding the ACA system claim that it is the best way to get more health care for the dollar — an astonishing position given the level of profits that insurers have raked in during the pandemic (including $12.4 billion for UnitedHealth), none of which have gone to a single case of patient care. With Medicare administration outlays at 2 percent and commercial insurance expenditures at least 12 percent (plus profits), it’s clear which is the more efficient way to deliver health care. We need to eliminate the commercial insurers.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

    • #417669
      Bernie Boomer
      • Total Posts: 489


    • #417676
      David the Gnome
      • Total Posts: 3,049

      It will not happen with this administration and Congress though.  It would need every democrat’s support.  Also probably the President – and Joe won’t support it either.

      Maybe if he had won the Presidency.  Maybe.  A UBI would be a good thing.  Including dental care coverage in most insurance plans.  Also world peace, ending hunger, curing cancer, etc.

      Just words at this point.

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