A SUPER MEDICARE FOR ALL
Healthcare should not be a privilege – all of us should have equal coverage. A public single payer health care system, where a government insurance plan covers all necessary medical treatment and medicines, is the best way to achieve it.
This system offers patients complete freedom to choose their health care provider, instead of having private insurance companies mandate which doctors, clinics, hospitals, and medications patients can use or are forced to pay for. It maximizes patient choice, with a system that can effectively bargain with health care providers and pharmaceutical companies to lower their costs. United States annual health costs, which now approach $10,000 per person, would fall to much lower rates that are closer to what virtually every other developed nation pays.
But we have to go beyond a basic single payer system, because “Medicare for all” falls short. As it exists Medicare does not cover all necessary physiological, mental, and dental health care, nor does it eliminate payment. Both Medicare and Medicaid have copays and deductibles, leaving all too many Americans unable to afford to use their coverage.
What we need is a “Super-Medicare-for-all” single payer system that covers all necessary physiological, mental, and dental health care, including all necessary medicines and long term care, with no copays and no deductibles. Only then will everyone be able to afford the care they need, making health truly a right, rather than a privilege.
A public single payer health care system offers the most efficient way of insuring treatment and medicines. Doctors, clinics, and hospitals can avoid incurring the extra expense of administering innumerable different insurance plans, which involves large office staffs and unwieldy record keeping. Moreover, the public single payer system will end the practice of paying exorbitant executive salaries and of rewarding private shareholders, which drive up the costs of private health insurance.
This would be easy to implement because it can operate with all the currently existing health care providers and drug manufacturers, as well as make use of the public infrastructure of Medicare and Medicaid.
In addition, unlike private health insurance plans, the single payer Super Medicare for all option gives individuals complete freedom to go to any healthcare provider of their choice.
Moreover, a single payer system puts us in the strongest position to push pharmaceutical corporations, medical supply companies, and health care providers to lower their prices in line with those of all other nations. This will allow us to cut our health care costs in half and save 1.7 trillion dollars each year.
The issue of depriving individuals of their current private insurance plans is a completely bogus concern. Once we institute Medicare for All, covering all necessary physical, mental, dental, and long-term care including prescription drugs, with no copays or deductibles, and paid for by highly graduated income and wealth taxation, no one will have the slightest reason to keep their current private insurance.
It is crucial for employees and employers alike that health care not depend upon current or past employment . When health benefits are tied to a job, those without full time work or without job-related health plans are left without proper coverage. In addition, the single payer public health insurance lifts the burden of health costs off our private and public enterprises. Many American businesses face huge competitive disadvantages by having to pay for at least a portion of employee healthcare when many foreign competitors have no such costs, since their governments provide health care for all funded by progressive taxation.
Lastly, anyone employed in the private health insurance industry will not have their livelihood endangered when we make the transition to a single payer health insurance system. The Federal Job Guarantee, fair minimum wages, and employee empowerment will ensure that private health insurance employees will have good, meaningful jobs awaiting them.