Medicare For All
Universal – Comprehensive – Private Choice – Nonprofit – Efficient
Summary of Medicare for All:
- Health insurance coverage for all Americans
- Paid for by premiums (“taxes”) to the federal government instead of to for-profit corporations
- Medicare pays private healthcare providers and private hospitals to provide your care
- Allows you complete freedom of choice for your doctor, hospital or other providers
- After taxes, you pay nothing: no copays, no coinsurance, no balance billing
- There are no pre-existing condition exclusions, no denials, no pre-authorizations, no bills
- Covers Mental Health and Substance Abuse treatment, dental, vision and complimentary medicines
- Covers nursing home care, home healthcare hospice, and other types of care
- Price ceilings and bargains for drugs, saving Americans billions with one simple plan
- Saves Americans billions that would normally be paid to corporations
Sound too good to be true? It’s not.
The US is the only developed country without universal healthcare coverage because corporations pay politicians to vote against it – it’s just that simple!
There are serious concerns about Medicare for All. However, these concerns do not and should not mean that we cannot have this wonderful plan for all Americans! Here are some concerns:
1. Job loss – what happens to all the people who work for private health insurance companies?
2. What happens to the private insurance companies?
3. What happens if Medicare for All doesn’t work?
These questions are addressed below in this article.
Why do we need Medicare for All?
When we all pitch-in for something, like a pizza with friends, we don’t call it “welfare-pizza,” or “socialism pizza,” we think of it as “community.”
The problem is that Republicans, the super-rich, and corporations don’t want to help pay for someone else’s pizza or healthcare, especially for the poor, women (labor & delivery, birth control, abortion, menstruation) and Blacks, or Latinos, so they are quick to call universal healthcare “socialism” and equate it to Stalin, genocide, or some other ridiculously scary thing (e.g., commercial on ABC, 09-12-2019).i Never mind that all other industrialized nations have universal healthcare; and they are very satisfied with it – and they are all economically stable. Not one country that has Universal Healthcare has repealed it. Republicans and Centrist Democrats want to spread our nation’s wealth to corporations, so they will fight against anything that helps everyday people like you and I.
Anyway, we can probably all agree that there’s a difference between a “want” and a “need.” Most everyone wants affordable healthcare, but do we all really need it?
The answer is, yes we do, and there are many reasons why we all need it.
Being denied coverage can be traumatic
Private insurance companies
don’t care about you- just their stock price & executive salaries
Second, if we get sick, we need to be able to pay for treatment. If we cannot afford it, then we run the risk of getting sicker, becoming unproductive at work and at home, and possibly dying prematurely. This is happening now; many people with diabetes cannot afford the unethically and immorally outrageous cost of insulin and must make choices between rent or insulin or food or insulin (a lifesaving drug). Pharmaceuticals are far too expensive and drive up healthcare costs. A universal healthcare program will get rid of price gauging and lower pharmaceutical costs – like for epinephrine and insulin.
Third, if we can’t afford medical treatment, then we often have to file for bankruptcy. Most bankruptcies are triggered by healthcare debt.[ii] Currently, most Americans don’t have much savings, they have maxed out home equity (if they own a home), carry heavy college or credit card debt. Therefore, something as small as a week in the hospital or a minor surgery can lead to serious financial problems. Bankruptcies hurt our consumer driven economy.iii Bankruptcy kills our chance at the American dream.
Fourth, as a society, we need people to be healthy. Healthy people keep our country stable. Unhealthy people miss work, get fired, lose their car and home, get divorced, move in with parents, or end up homeless. An unhealthy citizenry is a national security risk. Because of this, we should consider universal healthcare a solution to this risk.
Fifth, we shouldn’t have to worry about paying doctor bills. We have enough to worry about! And doctors shouldn’t have to spend so much time and money chasing insurance companies, appealing claims or discharging people from the hospital too soon because the insurance company threatens to not cover the bill.
Sixth, when we have lower premiums (with Medicare for All, premiums would be in the form of a healthcare tax which would be far less than our premiums, deductibles, copays, and coinsurances), we have more money for other products, services, things such as: paying off debt, contributing to savings, or taking a much needed vacation. It’s good for our consumer-driven economy!
Medical debt can crush families. Drug Company price gouging causes people to choose between medication or rent or food. Many Americans are dying because they cannot afford insulin, or they avoid the doctor or dentist because of the costs.
Eighth, the US constitution gives Congress, in Article 1, Section 8,[v] the power to provide for the welfare of its people. “Welfare” is a legal term that means, health, peace, morality, and safety of its citizens. Why did the founders of our country provide Congress with that power? Because in the pre-amble to the constitution, they explain the goals of the constitution which include, “insure [sic] domestic tranquility” and “promote the general welfare.”
Our nation’s founders were breaking away from a kingdom. Kings and Queens (in today’s terms, dictators or CEO’s), despised the poor, “the rabble,” unions, the “vulgar” or common-folk on main street, the pagans (country hicks) – everyday people. They did nothing for their “subjects.” A country in service to the King and his aristocrats is not a country worth fighting for. Our county is based on the belief that all humans are created equal and thus deserve to be treated as such! They also wanted the freedom to do business and pay taxes to a system that would benefit all the people, not just the King and his family. Medicare for All is not socialism – it’s community – it’s American.
Ninth, we need to have a social contract. A country where we all help pay for each other’s healthcare is a country where we are all demonstrating a basic degree of love and care for each other. The Neo-libertarian-economy (neo-liberalism) promoted by Republican and Centrist Democrat leaders is a dog-eat-dog system.ii They have created a class war between the rich and the middle and poor classes. Providing everyone affordable healthcare is one way to restore a sense of community as Americans.[vii]
The VA is the only type of socialized medicine in America. Shamefully, the VA is understaffed and underfunded given the needs of our Vets. Medicare for All would include veterans to ensure that they have comprehensive healthcare regardless of how they served or fought.
Tenth, Medicare for All would free-up thousands to millions of dollars for employers to spend on wage or salary increases, other benefits and reinvestment in their businesses. This will spur growth in small businesses. Keep in mind that Republicans and Centrist Democrats don’t care about small businesses. In fact, they only care about large corporations and prefer to quash the competition of small businesses – this is why we are experiencing a crisis of monopolies and billionaires (aka, extreme concentration of wealth).
Who is in favor of Medicare for All?
In polls, 70% of Americans support Medicare-for-All.[viii] “More than eight-in-ten Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents (85%) say [healthcare] responsibility falls to the federal government.” [ix] Be careful which polls you listen to. Polls by major networks or think tanks who are already against healthcare for all tend of have biased survey results. One common technique is that they ask questions in such a way that it sounds like people are against it (leading questions, straw man arguments, false dilemmas, false consensus “some people say,” and other techniques).
Who is against healthcare for all?
15% of Americans (mainly conservatives) are strongly opposed “Medicare for All.” [x] In general, the more that someone identifies as “conservative,” the more they are against government responsibility for healthcare, and the more someone is “liberal,” then the more they are in favor of it. However, there are many more conservatives in favor of government healthcare programs than there are liberals against it (28% of conservatives for it, versus 13% of liberals against it, but conservatives prefer a mix of programs). Only 4% of Americans are against ANY government involvement.
Republicans will fight very hard for Corporate control over your healthcare only so they can get campaign donations. Republicans just don’t care about you!
Why would some liberals be against government intervention in health insurance and some conservatives for it?
Surveys of voters are not specific enough to answer this question, however, here are some guesses: Liberals who are against government intervention in healthcare may be wealthier than other liberals who are for it (wealthier individuals may want to keep the status quo and are not worried about being uninsured or going bankrupt from medical bills). Some liberals may work at hospitals or in the pharma or insurance industries and worry that it will cause economic problems for them. Low-income or uninsured conservatives may desire government healthcare. Also, some conservatives who are religious may believe that public healthcare is the right thing to do. These are just a few possible explanations.
There are many wealthy organizations AGAINST healthcare for all, Medicare for All, or any changes in our current healthcare system. Many organizations want to roll-back progress –bring back pre-existing conditions, exclusions, policy maximums, the ability to drop you if you use your insurance too much, and many other rules to cut costs so that they can pay themselves and their investors ever bigger salaries.
One organization, “The Partnership for America’s Health Care Future — whose members include Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America and the Federation of American Hospitals— is spending more than $200,000 on TV ads this month, according to an analysis of Federal Communications Commission filings available in OpenSecrets’ political ad database. PAHCF has also spent hundreds of thousands on Google and Facebook ads over the past few months. The ads criticize both Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) Medicare for All plan and more moderate alternatives, such as a former Vice President Joe Biden’s proposed public option that would continue to allow for private health insurance.” [xi]
Working-class people don’t have time or money to run for office, and they don’t want to “sell their soul” to corporations to get campaign donations.
NEGATIVE news reports by pundits and commentators of universal healthcare for all will be MORE COMMON than those for it. This is because of corporate influence. For example, the CEO’s of Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson are connected to CNN, Fox, MSN, and so on; very wealthy people share common business goals and share board membership at these corporations. This illustration gives a good idea of the close ties between board members. (https://www.visualcapitalist.com/50-largest-u-s-companies-board-members/). Here are the 98 companies that ATT will own after it merges with Time-Warner (https://bigthink.com/stephen-johnson/here-are-all-the-companies-att-time-warner-will-own-after-the-merger-2). Finally, 6 companies own 90% of all US Media (https://www.morriscreative.com/6-corporations-control-90-of-the-media-in-america/). For better or for worse, the power to influence us through carefully developed opinion pieces on network news (CNN, MSN, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox) is concerning. It appears to be organized skepticism against Medicare for All, creating doubt and fears and eventually marginalizing Medicare for All.
If you think your opinion is not influenced or shaped by corporations, then you might be part of the problem. But how could you know? If corporations are against Medicare for All, and you’re for it, then they failed, right? Well, not exactly. Consider this: if you are for Joe Biden and against Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren, then they’ve succeeded, because Joe Biden is against Medicare for All and he prefers the status quo. You might not know this, but unions around the country have been upset with Joe Biden because he keeps making claims that union workers don’t want to get rid of their private health insurance – but actually the super majority of union members want universal healthcare! [xii] https://thinkprogress.org/what-unions-think-about-medicare-for-all-2cffd87d7814/
To make matters worse, the same powerful corporations who donate millions of dollars to Republicans also donate to Centrist Democrats like Biden, Klobachur, Beto, Harris, Buttigieg to influence both sides of the debate. As much as Joe Biden is a likeable guy, with that great smile, he is also a status-quo guy, a “centrist” or a middle-of-the road politician. Joe Biden talked President Obama out of considering a Medicare buy-in option, let alone Medicare for All.[xiii]
Read this about Joe Biden and how he is really all talk, no walk for Unions: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/may/02/joe-biden-is-no-friend-of-unions
Now we have the ACA (Obamacare or Affordable Care Act) with millions still uninsured, rising costs, and 26,000 Americans dying each year because they can’t afford medical treatments. Written into the ACA is the 80/20 rule: insurance companies get to keep up to 20% of premiums (or more than 15% in the large group market) for overhead and profits. Imagine if your business was guaranteed by law a 20% admin/profit. Does that encourage efficiency? Then you get to raise premiums every year by 5%. It’s a racket run by insurance corporations. (https://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Files/Downloads/mlr-report-02-15-2013.pdf). Here’s a journal article that further explains the problem with the 80-20 rule that the media loves to tout as a consumer success of the ACA: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5145008/). When I had a individual health insurance policy, I paid $1,200 a month in premiums and $5,600 a year in deductibles for “in-network” providers – $20,000 a year for a family of three. The high premiums and high deductible makes going to the doctor or hospital extremely stressful. Then there is the added hit of the unfair self-employment tax! Under the ACA, BCBS was guaranteed to make $2,880 on my premiums. Furthermore, BCBS raised my premiums about 5-15% per year, so, their profits were guaranteed to increase without question.
Why should healthcare be a right, not a privilege?
60% of Americans believe that healthcare should be provided by the American government – provided as in a right.
Some Americans think that healthcare is a privilege. The difference between Progressive Democrats and Republicans is that Progressive Democrats have different values. Progressive Democrats value the health of all individuals. Republican leaders value hoarding money for themselves and their rich friends, rolling back health and safety regulations to save corporations money, paying no taxes, and lately, they have embraced racism as another divide-and-conquer technique.. Racism will not make anyone rich, neither will border walls, nor de-regulation, or more tax cuts for the rich, but it will help the rich stay rich by keeping the middle class, working class, and poor divided over greatly exaggerated issues.
Why wasn’t healthcare written into the US Constitution like the post office, patent laws, or the bill of rights?
I can’t answer this question, but it was clear that the founders of America were very much in favor of subsidized healthcare. It’s possible that they imagined it would develop over time through the power of congress to ensure the welfare of its people as expressed in Article 1, Section 8, of our Constitution. Read more here: https://familiesusa.org/blog/thomas-jefferson-a-founding-father-weighs-in-on-health-care and here, https://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2011/01/17/congress-passes-socialized-medicine-and-mandates-health-insurance-in-1798/#bd9d91053fff
Can we afford healthcare for all?
Yes. There is no doubt that we can afford it. About 91% of Americans are covered and 9% fall into coverage gaps (i.e., unemployed, employer does not offer it, ineligible for Medicare or Medicaid, eligible but not activated, unable to afford or rejected for a private health insurance plan). The cost of covering the last 9% is not a problem. Universal healthcare coverage will lower the cost of health insurance by lowering administrative fees (to about 1.5%), lowering prescription drug costs, and improving healthcare efficiency. Americans spend far too much on healthcare procedures and administration but for worse outcomes. Hospitals and physicians need to stay current on effective treatments and stop practicing defensive medicine. Malpractice insurance costs were never a serious problem – it was the liability insurance companies gouging providers and lobbying for tort reform to cut costs and increase profit. Maybe we need a publicly funded malpractice insurance option to compete with the private health insurance companies in order to keep them in check; either that or better regulations – but Republicans are on the side of big insurance companies and they will fight for them against doctors and patients.
A common myth is that we shouldn’t start a universal coverage program until we figure out how to pay for it. If we take this approach, we’ll never have it, and that is the point of those who are against it. However, you’ll notice that they don’t take that approach to military spending or Wall Street bailouts. Let’s not forget that Wall Street was bailed out for criminal behavior in the order of Trillions, including the 700 billion at the start. Read more here: https://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/economy/the-true-cost-of-the-bank-bailout/3309/ and here https://www.forbes.com/sites/mikecollins/2015/07/14/the-big-bank-bailout/#1d620ee82d83).
The fact is that we can start a universal coverage plan like Medicare for All under a general idea of how it will be funded and adjust it over time. A major part of the problem is that voters do not understand that government financing is very different than private financing. However, Republicans want the government to spend only as much as it takes in from taxes. Some Republicans even want to go back to the Gold Standard. These ideas are silly and harmful. Imagine if you could only spend as much as you take in – you could never own a home or car. Without credit, our economy would never grow. Credit is like the renewable resource of our modern economy. Credit allows us to expand the money supply and it drives consumer spending, keeping our economy growing as our population grows. Credit is why Malthusians were wrong and why we produce more food than we can eat. We just don’t distribute it to everyone who needs it.
Republicans and some Centrist Democrats want you to worry about inflation. These worries are grossly overstated. We have expanded our money supply through debt spending and have been better for it. The United States could actually “borrow” 200% of our GDP and our currency would still be just as valuable, if not more so, because of continued investment. Borrowing money lends credibility to our money supply. If we printed money absent the connection of a creditor, such as a bond market, then the credibility of our monetary system would falter. However, we have the potential to borrow a lot more than we do. You would think that Republicans understand this since every President since Reagan has cut taxes for the rich while overspending, ballooning the national debt. Reagan tripled our national debt. Obama, Bush and Trump have done the similar – but where’s the inflation? The inflationary fears of Libertarians have been absolutely disproven since the 1980’s (https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/7/19/20699366/interest-rates-unemployment-globalization-minimum-wage-deficit). So, expanding our money supply is not a serious concern if we do it at the right pace. The greatest threat to our economy is our looming labor shortage in just about every industry. You can read more about this in my upcoming minimum wage and immigration articles this Spring.
Will we still have private health insurance?
No. Private health insurance has been great for investors, CEO’s and politicians who take their money for their fancy campaign commercials. However, private health insurance has been a huge failure for the public. To start with, the private system does not insure everyone and this leads to tens of thousands of us Americans prematurely dying every year (https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2009/09/new-study-finds-45000-deaths-annually-linked-to-lack-of-health-coverage/). Thousands more of us die appealing private insurance denials from what amounts to private health insurance corporate death panels (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2018/12/27/thousands-die-waiting-social-security-disability-insurance-appeals/2420836002/ and here https://www.mediamatters.org/fox-news/because-fox-asked-here-are-examples-people-who-were-denied-health-care).
Why do we have private health insurance corporations running our health insurance plans to begin with? It started with hospitals and then physicians offering pre-paid health plans to other groups, like teachers. Over time, private health insurance corporations started to offer more plans, and employers started offering these plans to employees. By the time Democrats like Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson started talking about universal healthcare, pro-insurance company Republicans like Goldwater and Reagan quashed it with fear-mongering (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYrlDlrLDSQ). Reagan falsely claimed that Democrats were in favor of “socialized medicine” and that this would cause America to become a Socialist country run by some horrible dictator (fast forward to 2018, corporations run the show and a we have a horrible dictator). Fortunately, Johnson was able to pass Medicare, and meanwhile, America has become even more Capitalist since (33% unionized in 1960 to <10% in 2019, and wealth inequality is an an all-time high – 3 billionaires own more wealth than the bottom 50% of Americans https://www.forbes.com/sites/noahkirsch/2017/11/09/the-3-richest-americans-hold-more-wealth-than-bottom-50-of-country-study-finds/#29183b903cf8).
Even the Heritage Foundation (ultra conservative Koch Group) acknowledges that economically free countries can have universal, single payer, healthcare systems (https://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2015/01/27/conservative-think-tank-10-countries-with-universal-health-care-are-economically-freer-than-the-u-s/#3e9b3d87137e). Of all the countries who adopted a universal, single payer system, none of them became “socialist” afterwards who weren’t already beforehand. More importantly, Medicare for All or other single payer systems are not Socialist. In the US, the only Socialist healthcare system is the VA. Medicare is a publicly funded, privately operated system (doctors, nurses, hospitals are private – they don’t work for the government).
Is it a bad thing to get rid of private for-profit health insurance corporations?
No. It’s a good thing! Doctors won’t have to deal with denials and appeals and neither will you. Costs will stop rising and then decrease. With Medicare for All or another similar universal, single payer system, your doctor will be able to do anything they need to do without question to save your life! And they will promptly get paid for it. I believe that physicians, nurses, nurse techs, social workers, counselors, psychologists, and other healthcare providers should be paid well for the work that they do. Under a universal coverage plan, this will not change. In fact, I believe that we need to maintain high rates of pay for doctors and other healthcare providers in order to attract people to medicine; we are on the cusp of a nation-wide nursing and physician shortage (https://www.aamc.org/news-insights/press-releases/new-findings-confirm-predictions-physician-shortage).
Corporations have been laying-off and firing Americans and relocating in China and Mexico for decades without any concern about America’s middle or lower classes! Corporations are always looking for ways to cut labor costs. The latest is through automation. It won’t be long before close to 50% of American jobs will be replaced by machines (https://qz.com/work/1477807/how-many-jobs-will-be-automated-most-predictions-miss-one-big-factor/). So, don’t worry about closing health insurance corporations. The money we save in healthcare spending, that is not reinvested in the healthcare industry, will increase the supply of money available to develop more jobs in America.
Another aspect of Medicare for All is ensuring the solvency of community hospitals and rural healthcare. Efforts will be made to provide grants and technical support for struggling hospitals and to increase physician and emergency room care in all rural areas. No community should be further than 15-20 minutes by ambulance to some type of ED services, at least triage and covering ESI 1-3 (https://avera.cloud-cme.com/assets/avera/Activity/13832/ESI%20in%20Triage%20Presentation.pdf).
Does healthcare for all include legal or illegal immigrants?
Legal immigrants will have to apply for coverage and they will pay the same tax rate for Medicare for All as American citizens. Legal immigrants are usually here for school, family, or work. There is no reason they should not be eligible for health coverage if they have none and pay their fair share.
What will be covered in Medicare for All?
Everything your doctor thinks you need to stay healthy, get well and live. Medicare for All modified as illustrated in the chart:
|Current Medicare Plan||New Medicare Plan|
|Medicare A||Hospitalization||Emergency, Urgent Care and Hospitalization; vaccination.|
|Medicare B||Outpatient treatment||Includes all outpatient treatment as well as: full-spectrum treatment of substance use disorders and mental illness as recommended by providers. Includes pre-natal care, labor and delivery.|
|Medicare C||Medicare Advantage Plans run by private insurance corporations (~30% of Medicare plans). Medicaid private plans.||These for-profit, corporate-run, for-profit take-over of Medicare and Medicaid will be repealed and dissolved into regular Medicare.|
|Medicare D||Prescription drug plans run by private health insurance corporations||Replaced with one efficient delivery system under Medicare for All. No more donut hole. Negotiated prices.
Stricter FDA rules with “me-too” drugs (e.g., Nexium, Zoloft); incentivize R&D and orphan drugs; antibiotics; no direct consumer advertising. Increase physician access to treatment advances to promote distribution of improved drugs, devices, procedures and best practice.
|Medicare E||Currently does not exist||Dental and Orthodontal coverage|
|Medicare F||Currently does not exist||Vision coverage (optometry, ophthalmologist; contacts, glasses)|
|Medicare G||Currently does not exist||Home health care; assisted living; nursing home rehabilitation; long-term care; hospice: Currently very limited.|
|Medicare H||Currently does not exist||Complimentary & Alternative interventions allowed by approved application to DHHS; interventions as ordered by physician but must show evidence of being safe and equal or better than placebo in randomly controlled trials.|
What is not covered in Medicare for All?
All types of healthcare would be covered to some extent, except for activities like Yoga. Some services, like those provided by chiropractors or acupuncturists would be limited in scope to areas where they can demonstrate evidence that their services benefit specific disorders. Otherwise, they would fall into the Medicare H: areas where the service is likely a placebo, but still has healing value or compliment evidenced based medical treatments (e.g., acupuncture). Purely cosmetic procedures would not be covered.
Will healthcare be “rationed?” or will there be “death panels?”
No! Universal healthcare will put an end to for-profit corporate “death panels” and rationed corporate care in the form of “denials.” You will no longer see people setting up go-fund me accounts because their private health insurance death panel refused to cover their cancer treatment. For profit private health insurance corporations deny lifesaving coverage to children and adults every day in order to increase profits. With plans like Medicare for All, there will be no profit incentive motivating anyone to screw over people who have big bills, difficult to treat illnesses, experimental therapies, or other serious health problems. In fact, we can work to design our public healthcare plan to expand treatments, pay physicians well and timely, and ensure that people have more choices than they have with private health insurance corporations who lock you into their ridiculous “preferred provider” lists or certain hospital networks. With Medicare for All, you will have complete freedom of choice! With universal healthcare, you can see any doctor you want whenever you feel sick. Also, you can go to a specialist without seeing a primary care doctor first. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2019-05-16/insurance-covers-mental-health-but-good-luck-using-it
Will my taxes go up? Will I pay more for government or corporate insurance?
It’s not fair to ask how much will my taxes go up, without first pointing out, how much will our healthcare premiums, deductibles, copays, and coinsurance go down, or, how much less your employer will have to pay with administration and premiums.
If you have an employer-based plan, you will no longer have premiums deducted from your paycheck. Also, your employer will save thousands to millions in premiums depending upon how many employees they have. Employers pay about 82% of healthcare premiums on average, employees 18%. With Universal healthcare, both will pay $0.00 in premiums. A common game that Republicans and health insurance companies are playing is to say that your taxes will go up billions of dollars without pointing out that our premiums and other expenses will drop. Also, they never talk about how much we will save when we stop paying health insurance CEO’s over $200 billion a year in salaries.
Instead of premiums, employers and employees will pay a Medicare tax. Employers and employees each currently pay 1.45% each for Medicare. With Medicare for All, this amount would rise from 1.45% to about 7% for employers and 3% for employees. However, the tax would be based on your income. For example, if you are very low income, your percentage paid towards Medicare would be lower than someone who was very high income. The range may be from 1.45% to 10% for individual tax-payers, while corporations may range from 3% to 10% per employee based on income. Any shortfalls in what this tax covers in national healthcare costs would be covered by a variety of additional taxes or reducing subsidies in other areas.
For example, re-instating the corporate effective tax rate to 1993 levels; a higher tax on bank interest income (2018 was a record year of bank profits at 226.7 billion), ending petroleum subsidies ($20+ billion annually), increasing capital gains on the super-wealthy between 5-25%, increasing inheritance taxes and lowering threshold to $950,000 (most Americans inherit less than $190,000, the majority around $68,000), a wealth tax on mega-billionaires, social security income tax on super-wealthy, increasing the healthcare tax rate on super rich families, eliminating foreign “aid” to some countries who do not need it, or other options. Super-rich includes the top 1% income earners, who make $450,000 a year or more. The top 1% of Americans own about 40% of our nation’s wealth. Meanwhile, 40% of Americans have less than $400 in the bank. A progressive tax system is needed to end the tendency for extreme wealth inequality which causes social decay.
With Medicare for All, Medicaid and VA funding would be consolidated into Medicare for All. Medicare would reimburse physicians and hospitals at a higher rate than Medicaid, and this difference would be made up for by other types of taxes mentioned above. VA hospitals would still exist, but they would offer more services, and their funding would be through Medicare. This would improve veteran care and administrative efficiency.
Also, if veterans would have the choice of seeing any provider they want, inside or outside the VA system.
When would Medicare for All begin?
Ideally, Medicare for All would start for everyone immediately. However, there would most likely be a plan that phases-in coverage over time. For example, anyone who was not currently covered in a healthcare plan would be covered immediately. The Medicaid system would be dissolved into Medicare. Next, the VA system would integrate into Medicare so that all Veterans would receive Medicare but could still see their current physician. Anyone could by-into Medicare at any point in time. In the final phases, Medicare would assume the coverage of persons under private health insurance at a certain rate or category, for example, it might start with all private health corporations with a certain size or revenue, then on to the next tier until finally, all Americans are covered under Medicare for All.
How would the transition to Medicare for All Prevent Job Loss from corporate dissolutions?
Individuals who work in the health insurance industry would be given priority status for hiring by the US Department of Health and Human Services and for other jobs in the Federal government. Individuals who are not hired or able to work for DHHS, CMS, or a contracting administrative company would be provided with extended and full-unemployment benefits for up to two years. They would also be provided with up to four years of free college tuition at public colleges or universities.
Our government does not typically help groups of employees who are being displaced by corporate lay-offs or corporate relocations over-seas.
However, Progressive Democrats believe that all Americans who are displaced should be provided with a safety-net. We need to develop a system for helping displaced workers since we are anticipating huge displacement from automation!
What’s most important to remember is that if you are in the 99% of income earners in America and you vote Republican, then you are voting against your own interests and the interests of your friends and family. If you vote for progressive Democrats, then you’re voting for:
|Progressive Democrats||Centrist “moderate” Democrats (“blue dog”)||Republicans|
|Medicare for All||Work on Affordable Care Act / Obamacare||Repeal ACA/Obamacare.
Un-regulated private corporate health Insurance – let corporations run healthcare
|Complete student loan forgiveness||Student loan deferments or refinancing||End public loans and replace with private loans. Increase interest rates and wage garnishments.|
|Free public education through college||Public systems with Vouchers and Charters||Full privatization of
all school systems by constitutional amendment and voucher system.
|Election Protection and Reform; election security; election days on weekends or holidays; no gerrymandering.||Limited reforms and protections; election security.||
|Reparations and Civil Rights Expansion. Pro ERA and Equal pay||Civil Rights expansion||Repeal, nullify or replace voting rights act. Never approve Equal Rights or Equal pay|
|Dream Act, Keep DACA, and Immigration Reform||Dream Act, Keep DACA, and Immigration Reform||End DACA, deport all illegals after holding them in cages and separating children from parents; don’t allow refugees in the country unless they are white|
|Worker displacement income and education support||Some education support||Automation as corporations want, no help for labor|
|Union Protections||Status Quo, more rhetoric over action||“Right to Work” Laws to undermine unions and install judges to forever end unions by making union dues illegal|
|Campaign finance reform, ban elected officials from becoming lobbyists; outlaw Citizens United||Status quo||Allow foreign money into elections|
|$15 minimum wage||$15 minimum wage||Let corporations decide how much to pay|
|Protect and fund the US post office||Status Quo||Completely privatize the post office|
|Reduce prison populations, no private prisons; reduce crime by improving America’s economy; improve public defender funding;||Mostly Status Quo||Completely privatize all prison systems. Continue to increase prison populations as a way of dealing with the bad working-class economy that they create|
|End the war on drugs and replace with decriminalization and fund drug treatment||Mostly Status Quo||Continue war on drugs, possibly invade Mexico, no funding for drug treatment – but lets Purdue Opiate Corporation off the hook
|Supports Roe v. Wade and woman’s right to choose and financial support for abortion||Supports Roe v. Wade and woman’s right to choose and financial support for abortion||Total ban on all abortions, arrest women for abortion and Jail doctors who perform abortions, but no help for poor, hungry pregnant women
|Clean water and air, protect habitats, especially for endangered species||Clean water and air, protect habitats, especially for endangered species||Close the EPA, repeal all environmental laws, and de-regulate industries to save money for corporations|
|Green New Deal to create Jobs based on sustainable energy sources to address Climate Crisis – get ahead of China||Green New Deal to create Jobs based on sustainable energy sources to address Climate Crisis||Climate Change is a hoax a Chinese conspiracy theory, fight for dying industries like coal and oil and let China lead the way in sustainable energy tech.|
|Fund food stamps||Fund food stamps||Cut food stamp funding for 700,000 Americans
Thank you for taking the time to read about Medicare for All!
Scott L Costello
Copyright Scott L Costello All Rights Reserved
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