Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) and other supporters of single-payer healthcare say it would level the playing field and provide everyone the same form of coverage.
"People who have healthcare under Medicare for All would have no premiums, no deductibles, no co-payments, no out-of-pocket expenses," Senator Sanders told NBC's Savannah Guthrie in a July debate featuring candidates for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination. "They will pay more in taxes, but less in healthcare for what they get."
"The simplicity of Medicare for All is appealing," comments Hadley Heath Manning of the Independent Women's Forum (IWF). "Everybody would have the same plan, and it's an easy way to make sure that everybody in the United States has health coverage. [But] I won't call it health insurance because at that point, it's not really insurance; it's a government program."
Manning says it is important to bear in mind that having health coverage is not the same thing as having healthcare.
"People might be very unpleasantly surprised to learn that in other places that have tried a single-payer healthcare system like Medicare for All, people end up facing much more difficulty accessing doctors, accessing healthcare services," Manning warns. "Waiting lists are very common, emergency rooms are more crowded, and people even in Canada use emergency rooms more than people in the United States."
That is even for non-emergency care, Manning explains, as "they simply have no other and better option."
"So while Medicare for All would reach its stated goal of universal coverage, and it would replace the myriad of private options that people have for insurance coverage today in the United States, it would not be an improvement when it comes to access to healthcare," Manning continues. "In fact, in many cases it would put that access in jeopardy."