Some of the strongest resistance to a nationalized health care system came from physicians who feared that it would interfere with their profits. Teddy's cousin President Franklin Roosevelt would try to pass a universal national health insurance program as part of the Social Security Act in , as part of the New Deal. President Harry Truman continued to push for it during his time in office.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation , fear of socialism and a panic by Southern Democrats that a nationalized health care system would require desegregation ultimately thwarted the health care efforts. It came back to prominence when Sanders included it as part of his presidential platform.
He didn't win, but the idea took off with a number of Democrats. In fact, it also has some support from Republicans. Opponents line up to quash Medicare for All. In September , Sanders and 16 Democratic co-sponsors introduced a Medicare for All expansion bill to cover all Americans. The co-sponsors included California Sen. Kamala Harris and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, who are running for president in the election. In April this year, Sanders reintroduced the bill alongside 14 cosponsors, including Sens.
What is Medicare?
Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand, who are also seeking the Democratic nomination for president, as well as Harris and Booker. Theirs wasn't the only bill to try to expand Medicare. In the last congressional session, there were at least eight other proposals introduced in the House and the Senate aiming to expand the program. Some would have expanded the program by lowering the Medicare age eligibility to 50; other bills added a Medicare option while maintaining private insurance choices. Last summer, Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington helped found the Medicare for All Caucus, which now has 78 Democratic representatives as members.
Our health care system could best be described as a hybrid. About half the money comes from the private sector: people who have private insurance through their employers or who are self-insured.
The other half is from the public sector: federal, state and local governments paying into Medicare and Medicaid. If the country adopted Sanders' proposal, people who currently get their insurance from their employers would move to the government system. Sanders' plan would provide fairly comprehensive coverage, as Medicare does now, all with no copays, premiums or deductibles.
It would include inpatient and outpatient hospital care, emergency services, preventative services, most prescription drugs, as well as dental and vision coverage. His plan also covers long-term or nursing home care. The only potential for out-of-pocket fees would be for some prescription drugs and certain elective procedures. If states wanted to fund additional benefits for their residents, under the Sanders proposal, they could, but they would have to do so without federal assistance.
Aside from getting more people access to health care, supporters of Medicare for All say that moving to this system would create efficiencies to help bring down costs of health care.
The US health care system now costs nearly double what other high-income countries pay, per capita. As long as your doctor was state-licensed and a certified Medicare provider, your visit would be covered. But if your doctor chose not to participate in Medicare, you would have to either pay out of pocket or see a participating doctor. Under the comprehensive Sanders program, the only things you would probably have to pay for would be certain elective and cosmetic procedures.
Who qualifies for Medicare?
It could eliminate much of the private insurance system as we know it. Private plans could exist to cover the few procedures not included in the plan. Other proposals aim to keep the private insurance system and add an expanded Medicare or public option. Also, keep in mind that Medicare pays doctors and hospitals less than private insurers for services, and not all hospital systems or doctors accept Medicare. Would they organize to demand more?
These are the kind of questions that architects of an expanded system have to wrestle with. If Sanders' Medicare for All were to become law, it wouldn't happen overnight. It would roll out over four years. In the first year, Medicare would grow, with the eligibility age dropping to 55 and with all children 18 and younger added to the rolls. Over the next two years, the age would drop to 45 and then By the fourth year, it would truly become "Medicare for all.
This is where the rubber hits the road and one of the reasons it's such a contentious issue. There are several numbers to consider when we think about health care costs. National health care spending: That's the yellow line in the graph.
What is Medicare?
It represents how much we as a country spend on things like drugs, doctors visits and hospital care; including all sources of funding, both public and private. Federal health care spending: This purple line represents the federal government's share of national health care spending, which includes Medicare and Medicaid. Much of this comes from taxes. Total government spending: That's the green line, federal health care spending plus what states and local municipalities pay.
It represents about half of total national health care spending; the other half comes from the private sector. Sanders' analysis was based on the initial Medicare for All proposal he ran on in the campaign, which did not include coverage for long-term care. Sanders' proposal doesn't detail exactly where money will come from, or how much it will require, but his office did suggest some potential options, which focused on more progressive taxing. To get the clearest economic picture of how to pay for this, CNN used Sanders' assumptions and applied the same savings ratios to the most current projections in this analysis of Sanders' data.
Sanders believes that those savings would largely result from reduced administrative costs, reduced payments to physicians and lower prescription drug prices resulting from a single-payer system. Government spending: Sanders doesn't make a distinction between federal and state spending in his analysis. All of his spending is considered federal or public, since under the Medicare for All plan, the federal government is largely the single payer. To pay for the newest version of his plan, Sanders has suggested several potential options, which his office listed as:.
Sanders argues people would save money because they would no longer have to pay copays, monthly premiums or deductibles. Some experts believe that Sanders' picture is too rosy, overestimating how much savings would result from the single-payer system. Critics also worry that he has underestimated the increased cost from more people using health services. There are now about A recent Pew Research Center poll found that 6 in 10 Americans believe that it is the federal government's responsibility to make sure all Americans have health care coverage. And in , Congress added amyotrophic lateral sclerosis ALS as a diagnosis that makes a person eligible for Medicare prior to age Approximately 17 percent of the Medicare population — or 8 million beneficiaries — are under More than 61 million Americans are currently covered by Medicare, and funding for the program accounted for 14 percent of federal spending in Each part of Medicare is funded differently.
Part B revenue comes from general revenues and the premiums paid by Medicare beneficiaries. Part C Medicare Advantage is also paid for by general revenues and beneficiary premiums, while the Part D prescription drug plan is funded by general revenues, premiums and state payments. In order to get Medicare Part A with no premium , you also need to have paid into the Medicare system. Find out when you will be eligible for Medicare and how to enroll. We do not sell insurance products, but this form will connect you with partners of healthinsurance.
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