While nearly every major 2020 Democratic presidential contender is pushing some form of “Medicare for All” — a government-run, universal healthcare plan — industry experts are warning such a scheme would result in far longer wait times, higher prices, and lower quality of care.
“Whether it’s called Medicare for All, Medicare buy-in, Medicare for all who want it, or the public option, a new government health insurance system will force Americans to pay more and wait longer for lower-quality care,” Lauren Crawford Shaver, executive director of the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future told The Epoch Times in a statement.
Partnership for America’s Health Care (PAHCF) is a group comprising insurance companies, hospitals, and major drugmakers whose aim is “to work together to lower costs, protect patient choice, expand access, improve quality, and foster innovation,” according to its website.
Central to most Medicare-for-All plans are tax increases, the industry group noted, since variants of the plans are expected to cost tens of trillions of dollars over a decade.
That will including tax increases on all Americans, not just the wealthy, the group argues.
Also, some plan variants including those proposed by Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) call for the elimination of all private health insurance offerings, including those offered by employers, which currently cover roughly 180 million Americans.
Claiming that Medicare for All is a “human right,” Sanders said on his website that it is a “single-payer, national health insurance program to provide everyone in America with comprehensive health care coverage, free at the point of service.”
“No networks, no premiums, no deductibles, no copays, no surprise bills.”
But critics point to similar plans in Western countries where the government manages most healthcare options. They note that in nearly all cases, patient wait times are far longer than those in the U.S., taxes to support such plans are higher, and government bureaucrats make healthcare decisions based on cost, not physicians and their patients.
Speaking of costs, experts often refer to an analysis by the Committee for Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB), which found that any such Medicare for All plan “is likely to cost the federal government $28 trillion to $32 trillion more than it would spend under current law over the next decade.”
Either way, Shaver said that taxes Americans currently pay would likely have to double to cover such costs.
“Economists across the political spectrum warn that Medicare for All would increase federal health care spending by $32 trillion over a decade, an unaffordable cost that independent analysts predict would require doubling the income taxes Americans pay,” said Shaver.
Alan Sager, an expert on health law, policy, and management told The Epoch Times that Sanders’s and Warren’s Medicare for All and Biden’s and former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Medicare for all who want it “each will require substantial rises in taxes.”
“Newly covered people will have to be subsidized and people switching the source of payment from a mix of OOPs (out of pocket) and private insurance to taxes will have to be covered by new taxes (to replace OOPs) and clawback taxes (to replace private insurance),” Sager said, according to the news site.