We may have dodged another bullet. John McCain’s decision not to vote for the Graham-Cassidy Trumpcare bill will temporarily maintain the status quo. Our healthcare system is severely defective, and it is our fault.
We allow politicians to obfuscate the math we all know by using smoke and mirrors to distract us from the reality we should be able to see.
If every major industrialized country in the world have health care that covers the entire population, why can’t the United States? If they cover their citizens at a fraction of what it costs to cover Americans then how can, adopting a similar system cost more in the United States? If life expectancy and medical outcomes are the same or better than our country, how can we claim to have the best healthcare?
Politicians, Republicans and Establishment Democrats alike, want us to believe that there is something fundamentally different between Americans and the rest of the world. Why? Because if we understand that a French, Canadian, British, Swedish, or Danish person’s health wants and needs are the same as Americans, then the debate will become a math-based discussion. That math-based conversation would show that the only logical conclusion is that America must migrate to a single-payer Medicare for All health care system.
Will the total expenditures for health care go down in a Medicare for All system? Yes. Currently, insurance companies nominally take 18% or so of the premiums it collects to pay your medical bill. They use that cut to pay inflated salaries for executives, shareholder dividends, advertising, computers, bribes, etc. If you have $1000 bill, are you willing to pay me 180 dollars ($1,180 total) to pay your bill? That is what we do with insurance companies exactly. We allow them to charge a fortune to pay a bill. They would say they manage risk. If we got rid of insurance companies, that would be moot as Americans would be in one pool and there would be no shareholders, executives, or other expenses to pay. It’s math.
Will taxes go up? Yes. A portion of everyone’s salary like your FICA withholding would go towards paying for Medicare for All. But most Americans will pay thousands of dollars less for health care, and they will have more disposable income. Your increase in taxes will be less than the health care premiums, co-pays, deductibles, and other medical expenses that go to zero. It’s math.
Every abled body working person will have skin in the game as they will pay commensurate with their income. The difficulty in adopting a Medicare for All health care paradigm is the transition from our broken system to one that works. These are all solvable problems.
Don’t allow politicians to fool you or scare you. Disregard the code words, socialism, lack of innovation, health care rationing, etc.
Here is the truth, programs like Social Security, Medicare, fire & police protection, etc. are socialism. But the same society has companies building jets, cars, and many other widgets following a free enterprise or capitalist model. There would be no lack of innovation especially since the government is responsible for many grants that develop new drugs and technologies. America rations health care now and the insurance companies who profit from rationing your care run off with your hard earned dollars.
We can do better.
Also published on Medium.