‘Medicare for All’ bad news for patients – InsuranceNewsNet
Lawmakers in several states take charge of “Medicare for All”.
At least a dozen other states are considering bills that would ban private health insurance and establish single-payer health care. This is bad news for ordinary Americans. It makes no sense to force nine out of 10 Americans to give up their current health plans as part of a campaign to achieve universal coverage.
About two-thirds of insured Americans currently rely on private health insurance plans. About 177 million people have coverage through an employer and about 34 million people purchase private coverage directly.
A single-payer system could eliminate all of these plans.
Plus, Americans love their private plans. In a recent study of people with employer-sponsored coverage, more than two-thirds said they were satisfied with their insurance. More than three-quarters were confident it would protect them in a medical emergency.
Analyzes of state-specific single-payer plans suggest the downsides would be severe.
New York’s health care law, for example, would reduce employment in
In addition, single payer will lead to lower quality care. Indeed, government payers rely on lower payments to hospitals and physicians to control costs. Look no further than health insurance. The
This is obviously not sustainable. If a single-payer system – and its low payment rates – were widely adopted, doctors and hospitals would respond by reducing the supply of care they are willing to provide.
This shrinking supply, combined with unlimited demand fueled by free health care at the point of care, could lead to long waits.
Just ask the
Lawmakers in several states have responded to concerns like these by championing a supposedly more moderate public option — a government-run insurance plan that would supposedly compete with private options.
But any public option would also reimburse providers at lower rates than private plans. The public plan would use this pricing power to set lower premiums and deductibles than private insurers. As people moved to the cheaper public option, private insurers would gradually exit the market, until only the public plan remained.
A public option is just a slower way to introduce single payer. And single-payer health care is a cure worse than the disease.