Yes, I agree we need to “improve” on Medicare if we are to have Medicare for all. At the moment Medicare Part A only covers 80% of hospitalization, with no cap. That means a long hospital stay for something serious like a heart attack with complications, with a total cost of $500,000, would mean the patient would have to come up with a co-pay of $100,000, enough to ruin most people. Also there is no dental coverage, and there are many other premiums, co-pays and deductibles that make getting good health coverage from Medicare quite expensive and beyond the means of many people. By contrast, the Medicaid expansion has full coverage, including dental, with no premiums, deductibles or co-pays. Medicaid coverage is also a lot cheaper for the government than Medicare, and cheaper even than the government’s subsidy for a silver plan bought by a low paid worker on the Obamacare exchange. That subsidy is $833 a month, while Medicaid costs an average of $583 a month for vastly better coverage! Perhaps what we should be pushing for would be more like “Medicaid for All?”
I realize the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All house bill, HR 676, specifies huge improvements to Medicare to overcome its current limitations. The danger, as I see it, is that once debate in the House and Senate really starts on this bill, that these necessary improvements may be rolled back, amendment by amendment, and we may end up with something like the current inadequate Medicare, except we’ll all be stuck with it!