Seniors and people with disabilities have, on average, the highest medical costs. Administering a means-tested program like Medicaid presents administrative challenges. That is why it is so striking that Medicare and Medicaid are more efficient and more cost-effective than private health insurance. It would save money to expand Medicare to cover everyone.
Now, as the COVID-19 pandemic rages across our country, it’s long past time to improve Medicare and expand its coverage to everyone. Imagine how much worse off we would be right now if Medicare and Medicaid did not exist. And imagine how much better off and better prepared to cope with the pandemic we would be if everyone were covered automatically by an improved Medicare—if people knew that if they felt sick, they could get checked without any copays or deductibles. Imagine if losing employment did not also mean losing health care.
Unfortunately, Republicans, aided by a small fringe group of Democrats, want to go in the opposite direction. The latest Republican COVID-19 proposal, the so-called HEALS Act, includes a bill called the TRUST Act.
The TRUST Act is a devious ploy to dismantle Medicare as we know it, by creating a closed-door process to fast-track benefit cuts. Using the COVID-19 crisis to sneak it through is the worst possible way to say “happy birthday” to Medicare and Medicaid.
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