Medicare for All

When discussing policy, it is important to be aware of the terminology.

Universal health coverage: this means every citizen (in certain cases, noncitizens) has or can have health cared that is paid for by the state.

Single payer: this is one popular approach to universal health coverage in which healthcare providers bill the government. Many countries, such as Canada and the UK, have a form of single payer system.

Medicare-For-All: This is the approach that is mentioned most often. With this approach, one that Australia already uses, the age minimum would be removed from US Medicare policy.

Socialized medicine: in the US this is normally used as a pejorative when attacking some form of government ran health care; it means different things depending on what the speaker is attacking.

The US stands alone as the only modern nation without some form of universal health coverage. This is not a reason for universal coverage, but makes it easier to study “best practices.”

The US performs worse compared to other nations with universal health coverage where care is more accessible to citizens, more affordable, better outcomes, and more equitable treatment, higher life expectancy, lower infant mortality rates, and lower deaths from treatable illness.

The US performs better on friendliness between patients and healthcare providers, end-of-life (hospice) care, and survival rates with cancer and stroke patients.

No harm: There is no indication that universal health coverage affects wait times. The only country that has higher average wait times than the US is Canada.

Wise investment: Given the positives of far outweigh the negatives in comparative studies, it seems prudent for the US to adopt a universal healthcare coverage plan. Since Medicare is liked and successful, it seems logical to expand the system to include everyone.

Fiscally sound: Due to lower administration and advertising costs, and price controls, Medicare for All could save US taxpayers as much as $17 trillion in health care spending over a ten-year period. Because the US government already pays nearly two-thirds of total healthcare spending, only a small tax would be needed.  Since business could buy Medicare for All for their employee plans at a lower cost than they pay now, it would also boost the economy.

Medicare for All is a win/win opportunity to help citizens, restrain costs, help business, and grow the economy.