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Repealing Obamacare? Here’s a better Idea – Medicare for All


#1

Repealing Obamacare? Here’s a better Idea – Medicare for All

RoseAnn DeMoro

Now that the dogged opponents of the Affordable Care Act have caught the Obamacare bus, transforming U.S. healthcare is back on the political agenda.

Repeal of the ACA will not curb the persistent, systemic inequities of our profit-focused healthcare system.

Tens of millions, even those with health insurance, still struggle with un-payable medical bills due to rising deductibles and co-pays and skyrocketing prescription drug costs and hospital charges.


#2

These are all facts that have entered mainstream common knowledge for a while now. What is needed is some article that lays out an action plan on how to make this happen.


#4

Single-payer or Medicare for All is not going to happen absent a change in control in the Congress and the election of a progressive Democrat as president. How's that's going to happen is a far tougher question.

This issue is not going away, as demonstrated by the popular support cited in the article and shown during Bernie's campaign. Pence was on the talk shows Sunday echoing Paul Ryan's "consumer-driven" comments, saying people will have more choices etc. when Republican repeal and replace ObamaCare.

That's nonsense. As regards health care coverage, people want peace of mind, affordability, and comprehensive care. It's not the same thing as picking an acne medication in your local pharmacy.


#5

The cost of health care is rising across the board for everything, and everyone. That's not the fault of Medicare, which as a government claims processing program is run quite efficiently in terms of administrative costs. It is the insurance industry's intermediary role that some estimates suggest add $400 billion annually to health care costs, most of which would be avoided in a single payer system.

True single payer would involve contributions from individuals, employers, and general tax revenue. I think most people understand it wouldn't be a free ride.


#6

I like the idea of California doing it. Over time other states will follow, and small states can even combine together to benefit from economies of scale. The federal right wing takeover can then be rendered irrelevant. Sorry Clinton, Reagan, Bush, Obama, etc.


#7

With Canadian single payer started in the lightly populated province of Sakatchewan, the only way single payer will ever gain a foothold in the US is for one of the states to start single payer. As Governor Gray Davis was on the verge of signing California single payer into law in 2003 the folks profiting from the status quo financed the coup that installed Arnold the Terminator whose early actions as governor included twice vetoing single payer.

Just as the drug industry spent $100 million plus defeating California Prop. 61 (drug price control) there is no limit to the amount of money the insurance and drug companies will spend to retain the status quo that is so lucrative for them. Not to mention that Obamacare includes a requirement that states not attempt to start their own programs until 2018 and then only with federal approval, whatever that entails.


#8

Didn't Colorado have the option of doing this in the most recent election? The citizens voted against it. Probably thanks to a multi-billion dollar brainwashing propaganda campaign to convince them it wasn't in their best interests.


#9

Medicare for all, free higher education, a Universal Basic Income and Direct Democracy. That would be a party worth voting for.


#10

I can see Trump deciding to go for Medicare for all. The European rightwing nationalists with whom he is close uniformly support a decent social welfare state for their own ethnic group, and it would do much to cement the loyalty of the working class to him personally. Even though he appears to be installing a reactionary Republican regime, Trump is not worried about blowing out the budget, unlike the fools Ryan and McConnell. For Trump, everything is about demonstrating his personal power and humiliating the Republican leadership would be satisfying personally and allow him to once again star as the indispensable savior of the lower classes.

There is absolutely no issue on which Trump is predictable, except that he will always seize the opportunity to glorify himself and increase his control over the nation. The fact that this coincides with the enrichment of the Trump clan is an extra benefit. Today, for example, he attacks Boeing for over billing on the new Air Force One, thus appearing as an enemy of a greedy corporation - something no Republican can even imagine doing. At the same time, I would not be surprised if he continues to use his own TRUMP planes while president, creating yet another image of his own personal rule and grossly over billing the government for all costs.


#11

Wow, RoseAnn, what a great idea! I'ts a wonder no one thought of it before!


#12

Trump is not European. He is not be compared with the European right - they are from a completely different culture.


#13

Yes, Canadian single payer began in one province (state), was a success and then spread to include the country. But it was one big fight all the way. It has been under attack ever since and remains under threat all the time. It is the one and only government programme with universal public trust and support. It is one of the very few things worth the taxes.


#14

This article completely redefines the word "pollyannish".


#15

I recently read an article that to cover everyone would cost $10,000 per person, No matter how we do it, we will need to cut services. Prescription drugs will have to come down. There is no reason why HCV drugs cost $85,000 in the US and $1,500 in India. We can start with Big Pharma's lobby. We need to band together and make difficult choices. Preventative medicine and healthy diets are a must to rein in costs. Most all type 2 diabetes is caused by unhealthy eating habits. Junk food needs to go. We're all in this together, and if someone abuses themselves, smoking, alcohol, etc, they should have to pay more instead of burdening the rest of the population that is making an effort.


#16

Having lived in the former excellence of the UK's National Health System, you don't know what it is you write about.

Still, if you don't want your community to help you and your family in times of medical need, you can go live in the USA. Ah, yes, you do already. Yor welcome.


#17

My good friend lives there and says their docs even make house calls! Oh how wonderful that would be. Doesn't make any sense to sit in an open space and infect others with your cold or flu.


#18

Liberty for all says it all. The correct quote is: "With liberty and JUSTICE for all."

Medicare is a far more just means of paying for health care for two reasons:

1) It does not operate in the free market as private insurance companies do. This means that the government determines what it will pay providers. This allows Medicare to hold down the costs of health care. I recently had lithotripsy for kidney stones. My total bill (for about 2 hours in the Urology Surgical Center) was $22,000. Medicare paid my urologist less than $5000. Now that is cost control.

2) My Medicare Part B premium can only increase if I get a Social Security COLA to pay for the increased premium. I also have Blue Cross supplemental insurance. They jack my premium up every year regardless of whether or not I can pay for it (I am retired and on a fixed income, except for my Social Security COLA).

Do you not understand the Medicare is an insurance plan? All insurance involves a transfer of wealth from those who pay premiums to those who file claims. I have not had an auto accident in years. My premiums pay for claims filed by people who do have accidents. Medicare is a transfer of wealth from those who are working and paying FICA taxes to us geezers who are not working an not paying FICA taxes.


#19

No, Joe, the European social welfare programs were not produced by the right; they were produced by the Social Democrats (the SPD in Germany). The SPD originated in Germany 1875 and produced all kinds of social welfare programs 50 years before FDR gave us Social Security and 75 years before LBJ gave us Medicare and Medicaid.

Bernie Sanders is a Social Democrat because he wants to tax the wealthy to pay for social welfare programs like free college and single-payer health care.

The Donald is not even a conservative because he wants to slap a tariff on companies that move overseas and try to sell what they produce in the US. Taxes are anathema to conservatives.


#20

Google "where does the U.S. rank worldwide in healthcare" to get a sense of what's what. We're 1st in cost among the 11 industrialized nations and last in terms of quality and efficiency. K-12 education is totally supported by taxes as is the police department. They can do that because there is no profit motive involved. Why should there be a profit motive involved in
something like healthcare? Medical debt is obscene but prevalent; it could be avoided with a national health plan like medicare for all. Thanks, RoseAnn, for the article.


#21

No, our middle class want Big Government to get out of people's lives. No more handouts!

Besides, it wouldn't make sense to provide more than battle field triage to our poor, just to dump them back on the streets. Deprivation of adequate food and shelter take a very heavy toll on human health. The overall life expectancy of the US poor has been on a downhill slide over the past 20 years, anyway.