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Healthcare for Everyone and It Will Cost Less: The Economic Case for Medicare for All

Healthcare for Everyone and It Will Cost Less: The Economic Case for Medicare for All

Robert Pollin

A single-payer health-insurance system can finance good-quality coverage for all U.S. residents while still reducing overall health-care spending by roughly 10%, according to a study I co-authored last November. All Americans would be able to get care from their chosen providers without having to pay premiums, deductibles or copayments.


Numbers don’t lie. Politicians do.


But Beto-and-switch told me how much I want to keep my employer-subsidized insurance.

You know, the plan that costs more and provides less every year.

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Anyone know if the MFA plans pay 100%, 80%, or something other?

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Hmmm let’s see—the benefits of living in America as an American citizen include: paying more taxes than Amazon and a lot of rich people—oh wait—that’s no benefit.
Having strong consumer protection----oh wait they erased that consumer protection bureau didn’t they.
Seeing our natural preserves and parks sold off to oil and gas----never mind that’s a negative.
College that people can afford—oh --no that’s the way it used to be.
A big safety net that—oh wait they got rid of that too.
Employer provided health care for all those great in stable jobs—oh—yeah that was back in the 20th century.
O.k. how about health care-?---------Never mind. There appears to be NO benefits to being an American citizen in the 21st century—but citizens had these things in the 20th century----“I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!”


What? You didn’t dig the 1-2 trillion dollar give away to the rich? Me neither.

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Fairly decent piece, but take a page from the greater right wing: start in the first paragraph with the 14% of income in savings for regular families ( with complete portability and no deductibles or co-pays), then mention the 10% systemwide savings. With following paragraphs, go into all the details you want. Come on people, talk to Mr and Ms Average instead of the serious reader. Serious readers are already in the choir.

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Oh, it will cost the “health care” “insurance” companies plenty, as it should!

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Wow, an economist who actually has some understanding of economics! PERI is one of the better economic think tanks, most of which are merely “stink tanks.”

""Our study has a few ideas to generate those funds. "

I have a better and simpler idea. No need for all sorts of cockamamie plans just to be able to say it’s “free”. Never gonna happen. AOC put it best when asked how we gonna pay for it: “You just pay for it. You’re paying more now!”

Current govt receipts ate $3.4T. According to the authors Medicare for all will cost an extra $1T. Increase everyone’s taxes by 30%. If you currently have enough coverage and maybe actually use it you’ll be paying a lot less if you factor in the current deductibles. If you are underinsured or not insured at all you’ll pay more but it’s about time you start pulling your own weight instead of everyone subsidizing your emergency room visits for a cold or never having insurance and showing up overweight and with diabetes and expecting cheap insurance.

And while we are considering costs don’t forget that your pay check and your insurance bills are phony in a sense.
People were forced, in the 70’s-80’s and after, to regularly make choices on wages and insurance. Want a raise in wages, you get a rise in insurance too. We can keep your insurance obligation the same if you get no raise. Blackmail, simply blackmail.

If you’re implying the article is lying, the author is an academic, not a politician.

Guess I should have been more specific about which politicians lie.

Mainly, Republicans and Establishment Democrats that suck on the Corporate Teat.

Good question though.

Hi econo - perhaps of interest, U Mass, Amherst (where I started college in the late 70’s) got its left orientation when - it was said - Harvard denied tenor to a number of left wing economists (Sam Bowles, Herb Gintis…perhaps others) who ‘migrated’ to U Mass’s western Massachusetts campus. Its rep’ as a progressive faculty and graduate school was well-established then, and, evidently, it has continued to be a magnet for left wing economics academics and research…

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Hey, Skeptic, your name came up on another thread - so thought you might want to weigh in on my and ReconFire’s comments:

Wow, thanks–I didn’t know that! I don’t know Bowles or Gintis, but there are a LOT of left, radical, and in general heterodox economists who do excellent work below the radar. I doubt the classical paradigm will ever disappear unless capitalism itself does. But any genuine GND will inevitably put enormous pressure on both the theory and the practice.

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You apparently don’t know Pony Boy…

Great post,stardust! Keep ‘em comin’ and TAKE IT TO THE STREETS!

It is a good start but it misses the real issue.

A single large insurer would be the mathematically most efficient insurer possible. See “Standard Errors: Our Failing Health Care (Finance) Systems and How to Fix Them” a book I wrote to explain how insurance works.at standarderrors dot org

Small health insurers have loss ratios that wobble around expected loss ratios like BBs in a freight car. Many earn high profits, not because they are more efficient, but because their policyholders are healthier than anticipated in their premiums.

Other small health insurers incur higher losses than expected, not because they are less efficient, but because their policyholders are less health than anticipated in their premiums.

The excessive profits of some small, inefficient health insurers are diverted from the health care system, reducing the effectiveness of our health care finance system. On the other hand, the excessive losses of other small health insurers lead to delayed and denied authorizations for care, as these small, very inefficient health insurers try to avoid insolvency by reducing claims payments.

A single payer, national health insurer, would have loss ratios very close to the levels assumed in the premium. A not for profit, national health insurer, would be able to offer higher benefits, at lower cost, than any collection of two, or more, competing, profit-motivated insurers.

It is all about the mathematics of risk and insurance, as described in my book. Small insurers actually have to cut back on claims payouts, early in the year, if they want to avoid their much higher probabilities of adverse financial consequences because they have much higher probabilities of operating losses and insolvency than their larger competitors.

The real savings from a national health insurer come from the elimination of inefficient insurers and the creation of an extraordinarily more efficient insurer. Unfortunately, there is a problem with Medicare For All. Medicare transfers insurance risks to health care providers. These insurance risk transfers, through the Prospective Payment Systems for hospitals, physicians, nursing homes, and home health agencies as well as allied health professionals.

The Medicare imposed insurance risk transfers to hospitals, physicians, nursing homes, and home health agencies as well as allied health professionals make our health care providers extremely small, grossly inefficient health insurers for their patients.

Eliminate this inefficiency in Medicare and Medicare would be the most efficient health insurer possible.

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Hi Clyde_Crebbafrabitz; LOL, well my car is not working at the moment, so I am frequently ON the streets ( walking) : )