The economics of Medicare for All championed by Sen. Bernie Sanders are actually quite straightforward. Under what advocates call "M4A," health care coverage would expand while total spending on health care—by companies, individuals and the government—would decline because of lower costs. More would be paid through the government and less through private insurers.
The only problem is that we must first obtain it in a state or two. In the 1930s Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis said that the states are the laboratories of democracy. All of the progressive institutions that we take for granted–like the Federal Communications and Security Exchange Commissions, Food and Drug Administration, child labor laws, women’s suffrage-- all started first in states. It is necessary to show politicians that embracing it is not political suicide and it must be shown to save money. About 20 states are working on it. We in Ohio are in as good shape as any(SPANOhio.org). Senate Bill 91 and House Bill 440–The Ohio Healthcare Security Act-- are in the hopper. If we can get it enacted everyone in the state (universal) will have comprehensive healthcare, including prescription drugs to be paid for by a package of progressive taxes. We also can see how to raise money to fend off the insurance and pharmaceutical industries when it goes on the ballot, including a 501©3 called Health Care for All Ohioans. Stay tuned.
Obama’s ACA already “plunged us into an unknown healthcare model” that continues to morph in many directions. Recall then House Speaker Pelosi in March 2010 admonishing House members to “vote for the ACA so we can see what is in it” ?
Many current Democratic Party primary contenders at all levels are pushing incrementalism, telling us the US is not ready for M4A. Voters support those candidates at their own peril seeing how 21st century incrementalism has taken us further from M4A, not closer.
M4A is a cute bumper stick, but the fact remains that Bernie Sanders’ S. 1804 is NOT HR 676 - which is real single payer medicare for all.
Also, S. 1804 specifically states that the HHS Sec should define all terms and dictate how the law is actually carried out. What Duopoly Sec HHS ca be trusted to do that?
Any Dem running in a primary for ANY office should embrace Medicare 4 all or be ruthlessly primaried. ALL Dems running for office should embrace fully the policies of the New Deal and Great Society.
People have to understand how it is these For Profit providers work. As example something I noticed up here In Canada.
While we have single payer Universal care this does not cover everything, A person that has to be put in a home due to age and infirmity is generally housed in for profit housing. These are the things that provide a room, daily meals , and a check each day on the person to ensure they taking medications and getting care.
All well and good but I noticed something when it came to the rates they charged for such care. One would think this would vary were it a “Free Market” but that not how they function. Most seniors in Canada can expect about ~1800 a month in the way of income via Old age security , the CPP and so on. Most of these places charge just under that amount per Month. I get the feeling if that old age income from all sources climbed to 2200 a month, these places would raise rates accordingly.
"The economics of Medicare for All championed by Sen. Bernie Sanders are actually quite straightforward. Under what advocates call “M4A,” health care coverage would expand while total spending on health care—by companies, individuals and the government—would decline because of lower costs. More would be paid through the government and less through private insurers.
M4A would reduce health care costs for three reasons. First, Medicare pays hospital and doctors at lower rates than private insurers. Second, drug prices would be lower. And third, there would be administrative savings."
As a 70 year old Medicare recipient and a totally and permanently disabled, 100% service connected Vietnam Veteran I have been a full time patient in both the private and government systems of health non care for over 33 years. Unfortunately many commentators on CD have no real world experience with Medicare and most certainly do not understand that Medicare has long been under the de facto ownership and control of Wall Street Non Health Insurance Companies for decades in concert with Big Pharma and the American Medical Association’s political arm. These are the three pillars of the Medical Cartel (yes cartel is a word first applied to capitalism and then applied to drug cartels by the media to fade the heat from capitalism for its actions) or as I refer to the entire medical criminal organization: MediCart. I was a patient at a Veterans Administration hospital for over 20 years that was and is a teaching hospital. The young interns and residents I encountered all arrived with the good intentions that inspired them to become doctors in the first place. But by the time they had completed their medical education through internship and residency along with the heavy debt load they had incurred most all of them were thoroughly disabused of any youthful dreams and hopes of actually helping people and making a difference in this world through their practice of medicine.
We as Americans are NOT receiving the medical care we need even if we have a non health care insurance policy through our employers or one of Obama’s HeritageCare Policies. Another Democrat who was going to make our healthcare better for us by kissing our boo boos with a non health care insurance policy lifted straight from a conservative think tank. Look how well that worked out. Senator Sellout Sanders is offering a plan that does exactly the same thing for We, The Rabble that Obamacare does: Absolutely Nothing! All Sanders is doing is a quick face lift as to who pays the bills while solving none of the problems with the entire system owned and operated by MediCart.
Let us stop and think about the recent death of the British Physicist Stephen Hawking. Under the British system of “National Health Care” Professor Hawking lived for 51 years with ALS or what we call Lou Gehrig’s Disease. And while he might be the best known survivor with ALS in the British system there, from what I have read, are others who have lived an equally impressive number of years with ALS. What makes Hawking’s and his fellow Brits’ survival so astonishing to us Americans is that the average survival rate for an American diagnosed with ALS is less than 5 years. At least that is what doctors told me when they brought in a team while I was in a VA Rehab hospital to reassess whether or not I had Parkinsons. I was very relieved when the diagnosis was confirmed as Parkinson’s Disease and not ALS.
And unfortunately, in our current system, the best we can hope for is the lesser of the horrible for profit diagnosis they will label and pigeonhole you with while they play your bank account and insurance policies like they are one-armed bandits in a Vegas strip mall! I was in the Rehab Hospital because my Parkinsons had gone to its end stage. The stage where most people die and more often than not we reach that stage due in large part to the medications we are given that instead of helping us create many more problems than they solve. And since Americans have been trained to worship Doctors As Demigods we blindly accept their medical prognosis without question nor objection and most certainly without the information to do so. American Allopathy, unlike most of the rest of the world, has managed to eliminate competition form well proven traditional medical treatments and natural medicines that humanity has used for thousands of years throughout the history of the survival of our species. We are taught that our survival depends only upon these Mythical Doctors and there is no other alternative.
Despite the restraints endured by many doctors who just want to take care of their patients many do recognize that they were educated to make money for MediCart and not to assist in the health care of their patients. Take the field of Oncology. A money making scheme set up without any regard for the life of much less the well being of patients who enter into their sausage making machine that tortures each and every victim through chemotherapy drugs and radiation that holds out very little promise of a cure and at best occasionally offers only a remisssion. When I was diagnosed with cancer the first thing I did was to begin to treat myself with an alternative cure that had been proven through anecdotal evidence to rid the body of cancer. There are many effective non poisonous treatments that do not destroy the body in the process or give one secondary cancers as listed upon the box of every chemo drug. MediCart knows that chemo and radiation are not only ineffective but evidence has shown that a person who is not treated for cancer usually outlives those who are and with a much better quality of life.
Reformation of our corrupt medical system is not about who pays the bills. When England and most of Western Europe instituted national health care their medical systems were still in transition from the early 20th century paradigm and have grown into the 21st century model unencumbered by a MediCart like structure. We will have to totally destroy MediCart. Raze it from the ground floor up to its White House Penthouse.
Here is why I quoted Mr. Sachs and will point out one element of his statement that proves he is on the side of the establishment’s bill offered by Sellout Sanders and their cosmetic changes of new lipstick on the pig that is MediCart. He wants to keep payments to hospitals and doctors low. Yes payments to large hospital corporations should be painfully low because they are the ones gaming the system the most and committing the vast majority of the fraud in the medical system. However, in a revamp of the medical system it is the large and mid sized hospital corporations that we want to eliminate while promoting the very hospitals that we will need in the future and once, before Hospital Corporation Of America, depended upon to provide much of our care in America - the local and county owned hospitals. I have deliberately left out religious hospitals because they are just for profit hospitals getting a free pass on taxes - try owing them money and one will find out that they are truly serving the God Almighty Dollar first and foremost. We have an artificial shortage of doctors created by the MediCart to simply control doctors educated here by augmenting the artificial shortage with International Medical Graduates. Rural communities and inner cities and other less affluent areas have a very difficult time attracting doctors to their communities due in large part to the artificially low payments to doctors. Do we really want to continue to have a medical system where we many of our most educated people labor at artificially lower wages than their profession has earned them the right to make? (Also a medical practice in America is a business.) Not if we want to live as long and healthy as we can.
I could go on and on. But take it from me. Mr. Sachs is just promoting another distraction from that leading Democrat Senator Sellout Sanders, nothing less nothing more. If one has a serious medical problem in today’s inferior system it makes not one damned bit of difference who pays the bills only whether one has the time and ability to obtain care outside of MediCart’s paradigm of People As Profits .
Thanks so much for a clear article detailing some of the facts and information needed for this big debate. It has been 70 years now we are waiting for M4A. PLEASE NOTE: The brief bio of Sachs needs to be updated: Ban-Ki Moon is no longer UN Secretary General.
Hi detergentinsurgent - Your informed information is much appreciated. Will have to print it out to consider it in more detail. Peace and good health!
Thanks for the link!
Sanders runs a successful campaign based on Medicare for All and then introduces a bill S1804 that is NOT Medicare for All. S1804 is incrementalism at its finest and also allows the for profit health insurance and phara industries to continue dominating the system. Sanders should have introduced a campanion bill to HR676.
Incrementalism is like giving a vampire … err … capitalist … one drop of blood for supper and expecting to live through the night.
As long as we can get people to pay for it, there should be no problem implementing it.
Bully, Jeff! I knew you had it in you, and even though you’re decades late and several trillion dollars short, I salute you for at last recognizing that the Neoclassical model in economics not only is not a universal TOE (Theory Of Everything–physics) but fails completely in at least one major area (efficient delivery of health care).
I sincerely hope that you will consult first with some of your heterodox colleagues in your chosen discipline (Never heard of them? Google.), and then with acquaintances in the hard sciences regarding the ways in which classical-tradition economics simply is not science. Start with the convention that a disproof of one single case is a disproof of the paradigm, leaving it to those who wish to save any part of the paradigm to produce cases in which it does appear to apply.
Scott A. Weir, PhD (Economics), BA (Physics)
Wow Detergentinsirgent! You wrote a far superior article to Jeffery Sachs. I’m a 70 year old still-practicing holistic chiropractor and everything you say is true. We have neither democratic government health care or free market health care - we have CORPORATE health care! Pharmocracy has the First Amendment so sown up that you can’t say on an iron supplement bottle that it is good for anemia. Obummercare is/was a disaster made up of, by, and for the corporation/insurance industry. It was all top-down dictates from above and to hell with what doctors and patients had to say. Putting government in charge of something so important as health care while it is still so solidly in the grips of big money is a recipe for yet more disaster… I don’t take ANY insurance, it is so loaded with B.S… A Canadian chiropractor friend told me that when she used to bill the government the form was postcard size. To bill Medicare it is pages and pages of unending forms with codes and protocols that seem to change daily. They sent me 33 pages just for a change of address…to the correct address. Drugs and surgery have their place but so do natural approaches which are often far more effective and cost so much less but which are actively suppressed by Pharmocracy. To add a little to the famous P.J. Roark quote, “Giving money to Congress for Health Care is like giving teenagers whiskey and car keys.” I don’t claim to know the full solution to health care in America but I give Sander’s Care and Obummercare a D-. Gopherit
Medicare-For-All is oligarchy in reverse, with buyers (all of us) holding the cards instead of sellers (insurance middlemen, big pharm., etc. The projected savings over the current system have been exhaustively studied, and convincingly established, by most creditable institutions. But the key to the savings reside in the words ‘for all’. Everyone eventually must be included.
PS: I’d add the American Hospital Assn. (AHA) as a cartel member. I’m old enough to remember when hospitals were hospitals (and you got pretty good care) and then they all exploded into “medical centers” (except for rural areas which remain underserved).