Let me start this blog by stating there is nothing in here that is political in nature, it is simply one man’s opinion on several very important items that is not being discussed when discussing Medicare for All.
Medicare for All represents using Original Medicare to handle insurance for all Americans. Let’s examine that for a moment.
Original Medicare is an 80/20 plan that does not have a maximum out of pocket meaning the patient is on the hook for 20% of all bills. The hospitalization part of Medicare has a fixed deductible for a 60 day stay in the hospital. Once that 60 days has expired, there is a daily rate for the next 90 days and lifetime daily rates after that. Once those lifetime days are exhausted the patient pays all.
Medicare has a rule that states if the provider takes Medicare assignment of benefit then the provider must write off the remaining balance. If the provider doesn’t take an assignment of benefits, they can bill you the remaining balance which Medicare calls excess charges. Don’t think for a minute that if Medicare for All becomes a reality that all facilities will no longer take an assignment of benefits, so the patient portion becomes 35% instead of 20%. That’s pretty much a given.
The other even more important issue is that currently private insurance takes up much of the Medicare patient load through the plans called Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug or simply MAPD for short. And, these plans save the government money which I’ll explain in another blog. There are over 150,000 seniors that use the private plans called MAPD’s in Clark County, NV alone. There are about 6,000 counties in the US, and they all have these plans. You do the math.
These MAPD plans by the way, usually have a zero-monthly premium (because the government pays these plans to take care of seniors and what they pay monthly is less than what it would cost Medicare if the patient only had Original Medicare. A senior in 2019 pay a monthly premium for Part B of $135.50 (Parts A-hospital and B-outpatient are required by all seniors on Medicare). That amount has risen steadily over the last decade and has more than doubled in that timeframe.
So, the government is winning by paying less for senior’s healthcare, the insurance company is making money from these plans and the seniors are paying less than they would under Original Medicare. So, how is having Original Medicare for All a good thing?
Lastly, when has our government done anything that makes sense? Medicare is having money issues; Social Security is also almost broke and the Post Office has been in the red for a very long time. Show me one thing that the government has done that is profitable or less costly than the private equivalent? Don’t think you can?
The overall cost of implementing Original Medicare for all and paying the claims is estimated to be over $32 trillion dollars. Since I’ve heard several iterations of that number, suffice it to say it’s going to be expensive. How are we going to pay for it? Higher taxes, higher monthly premiums? After absorbing the cost will Americans be better off or not? That is the real question. Will Congress be on the same system as all Americans? They would have to be because there would be no more insurance companies. I’m sure, however, they will find a way to keep their plans separate.
Lastly, every socialized medicine plan on earth is losing money and the way they try to cut those losses is to make decisions on specific medical cases. Denying an operation to someone who is old and can’t contribute to society or pay back the cost of the surgery is one way of doing that and all countries with socialized medicine are doing that. Their taxes are also higher than in the US.
Since the government is notorious for spending more money than necessary on anything they touch, how is this going to be better for us?
I welcome your comments but please make them respectful and do not make it political or I won’t respond.
The Barend Agency Inc.
Len Barend, broker