|You might favor this bill if:
► You believe a single-payer, Medicare-for-All, Universal Medicare program is the most beneficial and inexpensive health program option for most Americans. At a price tag of $32 trillion over the next decade, it would still save the American tax payer $2 trillion.
|You might oppose this bill if:
► You believe that a one-size-fits-all approach to the country’s medicine program is not only the wrong plan to implement, but it is an expensive option for the American taxpayer.
The Mercatus study is being critiqued due to the Koch brothers, known for their heavy conservative lobbying efforts in Washington D.C., being one of the main funders behind the Mercatus Center.
Although the study has been used by conservatives to demonstrate how expensive the program is, the study revealed that the American tax payer would actually save $2.054 trillion over the same 10 year period.
"Let me thank the Koch Brothers of all people for sponsoring a study that shows that Medicare for All would save the American people $2 trillion over a 10-year period. I suspect this is not what the Koch brothers intended to do but that is what is in the study of the Mercatus Center, an organization significantly funded by the Koch brothers" said Senator Sanders. "At a time when the United States spends far more per capita on health care that any other country on earth, almost 18% of our GDP, a medicare for all health care system would save the average family significant sums of money. It will do that by substantially reducing the administrative costs now taking place as a result of the billing, bureaucracy and insatiably greed within the insurance industry, whose main function in life is not to make people well but to make stockholders incredibly rich."
The Mercatus study showed two possible ranges of outcomes. Senator Sanders is being criticized for choosing the lower end and less expensive of the ranges of the study in his comments.
The sum of $2 trillion being saved would mainly be derived from how the program is administered, since it allows for prescription drugs to be negotiated, it would do away with copays, deductibles and out of pocket expenses, and "in-network" benefits would no longer change the pricing of coverage.
Conservatives argue that an universal healthcare system would "ration" services and wait times would be higher than those in the U.S., comparing the program to the Canadian health care system. Dr. Danielle Martin, from the Women's College Hospital in Toronto testified in Congress stating the contrary.
"Sometimes people have the perception, I believe actually this is fueled by the media discourse, that going to where you pay more for something that that necessarily makes it better but it's actually not borne out by the evidence on outcomes", said Dr. Martin while testifying in a congress hearing. "It's not about the amount of resources that you have but rather about how you organize people in order to use your queues most effectively and thats what [Canada] is working to do because when you try to address wait times you should do it in a way that it benefits everyone not just people who can afford to pay."
Fox & friends, via twitter, asked the American public whether the benefits of "Bernie Sanders' 'Medicare for all bill' bill estimated to cost $32.6 trillion" would "outweigh the costs. The poll showed that 73% of respondents agreed.
Bernie Sanders' 'Medicare for all' bill estimated to cost $32.6 trillion, new study says. Would the benefits outweigh the costs?— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) July 31, 2018
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D), co-chair of the Medicare for All Caucus in the House, expressed to her supporters that simply expressing support for the idea is not enough.
“When we have that majority, we need to make sure that we put it to use,” said Rep. Jayapal.
This is an issue Democrats are divided upon and could affect Pelosi's bid for Speaker of the House. 16 Democrats have signed a letter opposing her bid to become Speaker of the House. On the letter, Pelosi is recognized as a "historic figure" who led Democrats through some great achievements but argue that the majority came to Democrats "on the backs of candidates who said they would support new leadership."
Pelosi opposed the idea of Medicare for All back in 2017, saying that “the comfort level with a broader base of the American people is not there yet.” Pelosi continued saying that Medicare For all needs to be “evaluated in terms of the access that they give, the affordability of it and how we would pay for it.”
Republicans ran their campaigns attacking Medicare For All. Some argued that the single-payer plan would come at a $32 trillion dollar price tag, over a ten year period, an expense too high for the tax payer. Others attacked it as an experiment on the current medical system.
"If you want to protect Medicare, vote Republican. If you want a socialist experiment with Medicare, by all means vote Democrat," said Governor of Florida and now Senator elect Rick Scott while campaigning for his Senate bid.
"They're going to ruin your Medicare. Watch. They want to turn America into Venezuela. I don't think so," Trump told a crowd of supporters in one of his rallies.
The Medicare-for-all Act would establish a federally administered Medicare-for-all national health insurance program that would be implemented over a four-year period, creating the Universal Health Insurance Trust Fund, and transitioning the country into Universal Medicare.
If enacted, the bill would begin by immediately providing Medicare for everyone under 18, improving dental, vision, and hearing aids coverage for Seniors and people with disabilities, which are not covered by current law.
A medical transition plan would be established during the first year to provide affordable coverage for all Americans and to prevent anybody from losing coverage in the process. During the first year of transition, long-term coverage for seniors and people with disabilities would continue as it is currently covered under Medicaid. No one receiving benefits through Medicaid or any other federal or state health program would lose coverage.
During the second year of implementation, the Medicare eligibility age would be reduced to 45. During the third year, the eligibility age would be lowered to 35. By the fourth year, every individual who is a resident of the United States would be entitled to benefits for comprehensive health care services and would receive a “Universal Medicare” card that could be used to receive any health care needed.
Patients would still have the freedom to choose their own doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers wanted without having to worry about having an “in-network” provider. Health care would be provided without the need of deductibles, coinsurances, copays, or out-of-pocket costs. The Secretary of the Health Department could impose limited copayments for prescription drugs in order to encourage the use of lower-cost generic drugs.
Employers could benefit from the measure as well. Employers would be free from providing health insurance to their employees and they would have the freedom to separate health insurance from their employment. Under the measure, every American, regardless of chronic illnesses or any preexisting conditions, would have comprehensive coverage and be able to afford the appropriate medications without the fear of possible financial ruin.
Providers would be required to sign a participation agreement, which could be terminated for any reason. This agreement would put these providers on a "considered to be qualified" status if they are properly licensed and certified under State and federal guidelines. Therefore, the bill would allow providers to opt out of the system on an annual basis. States would still able to provide any additional benefits at their own expense.
The act would mandate the creation of an annual health care budget, which would include the cost of:
· Covered health services, quality assessment activities and health professional education expenditures;
· Administrative costs, innovation, operating and other expenditures;
· Capital expenditures; and
· Public health activities.
For the first five years following the date of enactment, the budget may also provide transition assistance to health insurance administration workers who could be possibly displaced because of the implementation of the measure. Nothing in the legislation would impact the eligibility of veterans for their medical benefits and services provided under the VA, or of Native Americans for their medical benefits and services provided by or through the Indian Health Service. Both these benefits would be kept intact.
The bill does not include exact language for how the legislation is to be financed but instead Sen. Sanders, sponsor of the bill, released a paper entitled “Options to Finance Medicare for All” on which Sanders’ opens the conversation of financing by covering in detail what our current spending is and citing several cases where different individuals would benefit from. The paper cites instances where businesses, employers, households, and individuals can all save money while accruing funds for the Medicare-forAll program as well as options to make the wealthy, wall street, and large corporations “pay their fair share”.
Sponsored by: Sen. Bernie Sanders [I-VT]
Cosponsored by: 0 Rep / 16 Dem.