Democrats are planning hearings on Medicare for All. Good – it's a topic that Americans deserve to hear more about.
Let's hope these hearings examine not only the costs in terms of dollars, but the potential cost to the quality of health care available in the U.S. and the risk of rationing that is inevitable in any government-run healthcare system. Check out this video from our friends at the Steamboat Insitute to learn more:
Public support for Medicare for All seems to be growing, but various polls also show that this support is malleable, meaning, when people learn more they are less likely to favor the idea. This is why it's so important to clarify terms and have an open and honest debate. The U.S. has long considered this idea, but has rejected it many times, including when Democrats held all branches of the government in 2010 (and instead, they passed the Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare). Vermont was planning to implement a statewide single-payer plan, but ditched it due to too-high costs. Colorado voters rejected a ballot initiative 2-to-1 in 2016 that would have established a similar plan in the Centenntial State.
Medicare for All is just the latest rebranding of "socialized medicine," a term that is no longer in vogue. For some time, the hot term was "single payer" but now the left is focused on Medicare for All due to the high level of satisfaction among seniors with Medicare coverage. What they don't mention is that Medicare can't possible expand to the full population without serious problems, for seniors and young people alike. For one thing, recall that Democrats could only pass the ACA with the false promise that people could keep the coverage they had and liked; Medicare for All would be so disruptive that millions of Americans would certainly lose their current coverage, like it or not.
Single payer is just another way to say only payer, and when the government is the only payer, this means there's no competition. No competition means no choice.
We have serious problems in our health care system, and it's understandable that Americans are frustrated with insurance companies and with the status quo, but at least with some semblance of a private market for insurance, patients and employers can change plans when they are dissatisfied. With only one government option, that wouldn't be possible. Unhappy with the service, timeliness, or availability of government-funded health care? Too bad. Americans deserve to hear the truth and the whole truth about Medicare for All as lawmakers consider this misguided proposal.