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Medicare for America

Medicare for America

Michael Lighty

With so much written about the politics and some about the policy of Medicare for All, it seems we’re having a real debate about the key issues.

But appearances deceive.

Instead, it’s more of a struggle over the semantics of “Medicare” – #M4A - is it for America or is it for All? Proponents of “Medicare for America,” the latest talking point elevated to policy – “you can keep your private insurance!” - claim that it provides universal coverage, and thus insures everyone has healthcare.

But is universal coverage guaranteed healthcare?

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Let’s get this done! Real Medicare for All, not false Medicare for All!

Some Food For Thought. “Medicare for All” - One major thing not being discussed is availability of sufficient medical practitioners. We will need many more doctors, clinics, specialists, etc. if this goes through. Where are they going to come from? And we need to avoid the system fiasco of Obamacare. With so many new people coming into the system, it became a nightmare trying to get an appointment (often one or two months out) with a Primary Care Physician and visit time was reduced to 10 minutes. So taking all this into consideration, how long would it be before the entire country is set up to experience a smooth transition?

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Snake Oil, the Sequel

Grandma and grandpa had a farm. Grandma got leukemia. They had no insurance. The bills took the farm. Leukemia took grandma.
Grandpa, the daughter and her five brothers were on their own.
Mom and dad had no insurance when I was born. When my first was born insurance wouldn’t cover because they deemed the pregnancy a pre-existing condition.

My sons have never married. Probably scared to.


I like my medicare advantage plan. They have innovative preventative strategies that original medicare really doesn’t have. Stopping people from getting sick is way more effective than treating sickness.
Also note medicare recipients paid into it all their working lives, and have to pay about $120/month for part B (doctors services) coverage, plus co-pays for many services. So medicare for all does not mean its somehow “free” for unlimited medical care.
In my judgement, because o many people like their existing heath plan coverage, incremental improvements is likely to be the only way to get any improvement at all.

For starters, we can force the AMA to stop limiting admissions to med schools.

And I have employer-sponsored insurance. You think I don’t have wait times for doctor’s appointments?


“medicare for all does not mean its somehow ‘free’ for unlimited medical care.”

Please cite a Medicare for All organization or spokesperson who claims it is “‘free’ for unlimited medical care.”

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You are citing costs you pay under the current Medicare system. These costs are absent in most if not all proposed Medicare for All systems. Sometimes people have proposed nominal copays, but lately (and in the case of HR 1384) proponents are opting for the simplicity of just getting rid of all the fees (and I couldn’t agree more). This is my biggest gripe with calling a new Single Payer Health Care scheme Medicare For All. Too many people think it is exactly Medicare (as is) For All.

As far as the fact that people have paid in to Medicare and going forward Medicare for All will be funded differently, I hope you aren’t making the argument that we can’t change because we’d be giving a freebie to younger people they haven’t paid for. These people sound like the inconsiderate people who go through some stupid thing in life (hazing, too many hours on call for doctors, or whatever) and think that everyone else should do it too. I don’t know for sure about 1384 (still reading it very slowly), but some schemes propose making sure seniors don’t pay much of the tax burden because of the tax they’ve paid. This issue can be handled basically.

As far as unlimited care, Medicare for All better not limit care like any of the bad insurance companies - it has to be as good as the best plans or better in order to alleviate any fears people have. Obviously the most crazy heroic medicine is not going to be practiced on everybody all the time. But if you are unlucky enough to have a really bad problem the new system should not be throwing up some arbitrary limit in front of you - ‘whoops we’ve spent a million on you since you got cancer - you are done’ - that would be a no go.

There’s room for any innovative preventative strategies in any Single Payer system. If anything, there is more incentive to do this for the entire population now and not just for seniors.

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Those are good question and there are differing views. Pramila Jayapal’s bill is aggresive, hoping to achieve a transition to single payer in two years. She believes insurers would just pull out of markets early or raise prices if you gave them more time. Others want a longer transition to address just the question you bring up. The behavior of physicians is hard to know, but given many medical groups are against single payer, my bet is they would surely argue there weren’t enough physicians to go around. They’d likely raise prices as a result, but it’s tough to say for sure.

“…how long would it be before the entire country is set up to experience a smooth transition?”

Any serious assessment would endeavor to learn the histories of how other industrialized western societies planned, introduced, implemented and maintained their national healthcare systems. Included in that serious assessment would be to determine why the US is the only first world country, indeed the wealthiest country in history, not to place healthcare and the means for its support at a level of importance above for profit enterprise. After all, these other industrialized countries are also capitalist.

If the US lacks sufficient healthcare practitioners for a national healthcare system but not a for profit healthcare system, then it’s an admission that the for profit system is a grossly flawed tiered system, ignoring millions of Americans and placing extreme burdens and threats on most of the rest. Yet propaganda has for generations hailed it like a religion. For the richest nation in history to sink to such a low level of moral stature is to proclaim that crime pays, that monsters win. It’s a perverse religion and the public knows it and are demanding its demise.


b/c doctors are a protected class… unlike engineers who routinely lose their jobs to lower wage nations like china ,mexico and india

Dean Baker has done allot of work on this … we need to get rid of the strict requirements on allowing people to practice medicine in the US …


Snarky Corporate Media Townhall Host: Would you end private health insurance? What do you say to the millions of Americans who like their current health insurance they get through their employer?

Weak Wishy Washy Centrist Candidate Pretending They’re Progressive: What we want is universal health care and that’s our north star and there are many ways to get there which is why I’ve endorsed other plans besides Medicare for All and in them people get to keep their private insurance and blah blah blah yadda yadda.

Me If I Was On That Stage: Yes. I would end private health insurance because private health insurance is the opposite of health care being a right. Private health insurance is For Profit health insurance and it’s all about only having it if you pay for it so someone already super rich can make a profit off others needing health care. What would I say to someone who likes their current insurance through their employer? I’d say, "You’re going to like Single Payer better. You’ll pay less per month in the a new dedicated tax like you pay for Social Security than you are paying now for your premium. You’ll have no co-pay. You’ll have no deductible. You’re network will be any doctor, hospital, or other provider who is practicing. Right now if you lose your job and get another one you will switch insurance and you switch networks and your current doctor may not be in your new network. In fact you may not even switch jobs but your employer decides to switch insurance company and again you’re forced into a different network. But with Single Payer everybody’s in the same network.

“Plus this includes dental and vision and end of life care, you don’t have to buy into supplemental plans like most employer based insurance does.”

I’d say, “You’re going to like Medicare For All much better than what you are getting at work now. Don’t let the people who want to keep the current for profit system going scare you. They want to scare you so they can keep making money off your hard work and need to take care of your family. They will make you think it means you’ll lose your health care. They are lying. You won’t lose anything you already have. You’ll keep it and have more. And you can stop worrying that if you get injured at work or they lay you off because of another recession that you’ll lose your health care.”

That’s what I’d say.


Medicare for All;

  1. Edit eligibility age to birth

  2. Edit coverage from 80% to 100%

  3. Put it up for a congressional vote tomorrow

People do not fall in love with their Health Care Insurance Company.

They fall in love with there Health Care Doctor who will be paid by Medicare Not a Private Insurance Company that makes life or death decisions about our treatment.

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The only reason surveys show any Murkins liking or loving their current insurance is because those surveys present “no insurance” to respondents as the alternative.

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I like my medicare advantage plan too. But then, we are probably not terribly sick. Things go haywire when hospitalization or something awful like cancer occurs. Then, the pendulum swings the other way: denial of new drugs, denial of certain services, denial of after care, etc. Also, if I had to pay that $5,000 limit, I’d be paying for years! I agree though that regular medicare is not free nor is it cheap. I don’t know the whole answer, but government sponsored universal health care would mean NO co-pay, NO deductible, NO refusal of new innovative drugs, etc.

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I won’t get into the difference in policies except that I favor Medicare For All. My concern is communicating.
First - the title Medicare for America is deceptive because it is easily confused with Medicare for All. This is intentional. This type of plan was previously called “Americare” - which was a great title. Switching to Medicare for America signals a cynical and devious approach to communicating.
Second - Medicare for America is actually the weaker of the two titles no matter what policies they refer to. It’s meaningless. Easy to say we already have Medicare for America - just not for everybody.
Finally - Please Democrats, NEVER use the term Single Payer. People in this country don’t have any idea what that means. The instant that term is used the conversation is set back another step. Is it more accurate? It doesn’t matter. Learn to have enough respect for people so that you talk to them using terms they will instantly understand. And terms that will instantly move your position forward.

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