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New Poll: Medicare for All Is Popular Until You Explain How It Works

Support drops when you tell people it would require higher taxes, longer lines, and switching insurance plans.

Douliery Olivier/Sipa USA/NewscomDouliery Olivier/Sipa USA/NewscomA new poll shows that a clear majority of Americans support Medicare for All—until they are told what it is and how it would work.

The survey was conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, which regularly asks Americans about health policy issues as part of its Health Tracking Poll series. It finds that 56 percent of the country supports a "national health plan, sometimes called Medicare for All" and an even larger percentage—71 percent—supports the idea when told that it would "guarantee health insurance as a right for all Americans." When told that such a plan would eliminate health insurance premiums, 67 percent say they're in favor.

One way to look at these numbers is as strong public approval for the broad outlines of a single-payer health care system, which would create a single national health insurance plan run by the federal government and financed through taxes. That public is support is why so many 2020 Democratic presidential contenders have been warming up to the idea.

But the more revealing part of the survey, I think, comes from the questions focused on the costs of single payer, all of which caused support for Medicare for All to drop below 40 percent. Told that it would eliminate private health insurance and require people to pay more in taxes, for example, support fell to 37 percent. Told that it would cause some medical treatments and tests to be delayed, support dropped even further, to 26 percent.

Medicare for All supporters might complain that these are loaded descriptions that don't accurately capture the reality of single payer, which they say is about freeing people from premiums while offering a guarantee of access. But these are, at a very basic level, just descriptions of what an American single-payer system would do. The most prominent such plan is the one put forth by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.), which would eliminate all existing private health insurance plans in a four-year period. Although it allows for some secondary private coverage once the system is in place, it requires most everyone in the U.S. to enroll in a new, government-run plan. Arguably the whole point of the most ambitious single-payer schemes is to move everyone off private insurance and onto a single federally managed plan; that's not possible unless people who currently have private insurance get new coverage. Some single-payer proposal would make the transition more slowly, but coverage disruption is not incidental; it's the point.

Financing that plan would require a massive increase in federal spending—about $32 trillion over a decade, according to estimates from think tanks across the political spectrum. Even with the most carefree attitude toward debt and deficits, it is nearly unthinkable that an increase in government spending of that size would not come with higher taxes, probably much higher taxes, which would likely affect the middle class.

The contention that waiting times for health care services would be longer is the most debatable of the bunch, but given the experience of other countries and the probable design of a full-scale single-payer plan, it's a more than plausible outcome. Government-run health care systems like the ones in the United Kingdom (which is fully socialized) and Canada (a territorial single-payer system) are notorious for having long wait times for services such as cancer treatment.

Furthermore, the Sanders plan calls for significant reductions to reimbursements for health care providers, which, if implemented, would almost certainly put some health care centers out of business, reducing the number of doctors and other medical professionals. And although it's possible, in theory, to imagine a system that doesn't cut provider rates, that would be far, far more expensive, and would require even higher taxes while robbing supporters of one of their favorite talking points—that Medicare for All is much cheaper, overall, than the current system.

Medicare for All proponents might be pleased with the show of support found in the survey, but what those questions mostly revealed was that people say yes when you ask them if they favor a health care system that is essentially cost-free. Clear public support, in other words, only materializes when you ignore the practical reality of making a transition from a mixed public/private system to single payer—higher taxes, longer waits, and the loss of existing private insurance arrangements.

So it's not surprising that Medicare for All backers are remaining relatively vague about the particulars of their plans—especially when it comes to financing—and that the phrase's popularity has coincided with its transformation into a non-specific catchall for additional government intervention in the provision of health care, whether or not that intervention amounts to a single-payer system. Vagueness serves the cause here. The imaginary version of Medicare for All that entails no disruption or tradeoffs is popular; the reality is not.

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  • Rockabilly||

    You mean doctors and other medical professionals don't work for free?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    They'll just bring in non-Americans who will be doctors for peanuts and vote for more Socialism.

    Lose-lose-lose.

  • Echospinner||

    Don't kid yourself. The docs from overseas do not work for peanuts.

    They are more likely to chose higher end fields. There are more residency slots for primary care they can get initially but the foreign grads tend to take subspecialty fellowships and build up credentials. These are the brighter more driven people from their home countries.

    More socialism? Yeah, that invasive cardiologist getting the big bucks is really up for socialism.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Voting for more Socialism, as in voting for ObamaCare and Democrats.

  • Echospinner||

    Point being you brought up how they might vote as a reason to not want them which is a common right wing talking point. You don't want citizens you want subjects.

    Always focus on the individual.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Lefties want subjects. Slaves in fact.

    I want freedom loving non socialists to come to the USA.

  • Echospinner||

    I have been around conservative sites long enough to have heard this line before.

    We need to keep them out goes the line. Not just border jumpers but as many as we can.

    My problem is as I have moved back to the libertarian side I still find this collectivist Democrat vs Republican crap. I am neither. I think along a different axis.

    Always focus on the individual.

  • NolanLibertarian||

    When they say "lefties" ..... how is that different than niggers, kikes, Pollocks ... as judgmental?
    But you said the same thing!

  • Incredulous||

    Lefties are basically Nazis.

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    Gotta keep em out somehow. Maybe build a wall or something.

  • Just Say'n||

    Suderman articles from the future: "Muh, the alternative to Medicare for all is worse than Medicare for all, because it only repeals Medicare for all in part"

  • Nardz||

    "And doesn't raise taxes enough!"

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Those who oppose universal health care in the United States should devise and implement a better system or prepare to experience universal health care.

    I see little evidence that anyone who opposes universal health care is choosing the 'devise and implement' approach.

  • BYODB||

    Haha, your question assumes that government healthcare is the only answer. You're a laugh riot since government caused the current market dysfunction.

  • John||

    Basicially the Rev is saying that America has to be destroyed in order to save it. He is always good for a laugh if you like black humor.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    People who ignore the practical seldom get what they want.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    So do you think it's good/bad, are you advocating either way? A lot of time you just make statements that "X is what is happening" and you seem to imply if it's happening it is good, but it's not clear from your statements.

  • John||

    He has no idea if it is good or bad. He just emotes talking points and trolls. The Rev couldn't pass a Turing Test.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    He's a human being, he has thoughts. He just doesn't express them well here and just kind of trolls. So I'm curious if we can get him to open up and express his thoughts a little more directly.

  • Sevo||

    Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland|1.24.19 @ 11:15AM|#
    "People who ignore the practical seldom get what they want."

    Assholes make trivial statements.

  • Trumptard||

    In spite of the doomsayers and irrational perfectionists, the current system works well for the vast majority of people in the country. Destroying that system under the guise of "reform" is obviously counter-productive. It is your side that has to provide a proven solution that will maintain the standard of care that the majority of us currently enjoy while increasing access for those without care and lowering overall costs. Good luck comrade.

  • Juice||

    the current system works well for the vast majority of people in the country

    Obamacare?

  • RabbitHead||

    If that's what you want to call it. It was better before he tweaked it but as it stands health insurance coverage and care delivery (different things) are not at all bad in the US.

    Extraordinary care is, of course extraordinarily expensive. The only way around that is to make all care cripplingly expensive as a matter of course

  • John||

    Shut up Hihn you crazy bastard. You were banned. No one wants you here. You scare people and do so for good reason.

  • Sevo||

    Fuck off and die, Hihn.

  • Ryan (formally HFTO)||

    "then one needs a private alternative that will provide universal health care"

    Why? How about you fuck off and handle your own life?

  • Overt||

    While it can be difficult to parse Hihnglage he is actually correct here.

    Rev is starting by stealing a base- insisting that universal healthcare is the only acceptable replacement for Obamacare. He of course ignores the fact that healthcare was not universally provided under Obamacare (millions of people went without). And he ignores that even in countries with "Universal Healthcare" millions of people- usually poor- go without adequate health care. (Check out the plight of inuit populations under the Canadian system, for example).

    At the base of Rev's argument is a profound difference in our philosophies. The default state of nature is that we are dead. We are diseased, cold, hungry and soon to be worm food. When someone through their efforts lifts us from that default state, they are entitled to compensation. Rev, on the other hand, denies this reality and insists that it is our right to demand that others lift us from that default state. Thus, he sees nothing wrong with insisting that our baseline is that everyone should get health care whether they offer compensation to the provider or not.

  • NolanLibertarian||

    Rev is starting by stealing a base- insisting that universal healthcare is the only acceptable replacement for Obamacare

    You say you have no idea how to achieve what the majority of Americans has always wanted, has always been willing to pay for, and always DID pay for -- regardless of age or income -- until Medicare and Medicaid.

    Your admit that, in black and white, just above.

    "Thus, he sees nothing wrong with insisting that our baseline is that everyone should get health care whether they offer compensation to the provider or not."

    That you have no idea how to transition health care back to a free market ... and no interest in even trying to (or to learning any facts)

    This is why the libertarian ideology is rejected by 91% of those who hold libertarian values. That from a professional "brand" survey conducted by a top independent pollster, commissioned by the Cato Institute. This type of survey is quite common among marketing professionals, periodically -- I am one -- as a foundation for overall strategies and tactics. Does a brand name (here, libertarian) enhance or detract from the product or service (here, individual liberty)? Or, one cannot advance liberty, unless one first learns where we now stand.

    That answer follows, with (as always) a link to the proof.

  • NolanLibertarian||

    The libertarian brand (label) is rejected by 91% of libertarians. This is the same survey which found that 59% of Americans would self-define themselves with libertarian values -- now, clearly, well over 60% of Americans, on marriage equality alone.

    In Cato's own words:
    "In our Zogby survey we found that only 9 percent of voters with libertarian views identify themselves that way."
    -David Boaz and David Kirby (page search for the words)

    In marketing terms, that means the brand name (libertarian) is "toxic" -- that's the word -- to the product or service (individual liberty). Toxic means deadly.

    One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different outcome.

    In fairness to you, you are totally accurate here:

    At the base of Rev's argument is a profound difference in our philosophies.

    You nailed it! He's libertarian, hoping to restore free markets.
    You are not libertarian, confess no knowledge of how free-market healthcare worked, or what to restore, and apparently no interest in doing so.

    We can restore what is proven. Why reinvent the wheel?

    Thanks for your thoughtful comments, even if typically uncivil.
    Anything else?

  • DarrenM||

    It's been proven time and time again that any system the government designs and implements is far superior than anything that arises out of the private sector.

  • Paradigm||

    I hope you're being sarcastic, because there's not enough laughter in the universe for such a statement.

  • DaveSs||

    There is such a proposal

    Make free-market health care legal again

    Such a proposal is of course untenable because it prevents government from picking winners and losers.

  • Sevo||

    Fuck off and die, Hihn.

  • Sevo||

    Fuck off and die, Hihn.

  • Robert||

    Hey, wait a minute...I thought I was Hihn. You're confusing me!

  • NolanLibertarian||

    He's powerless to avoid doing so.

  • Moderation4ever||

    I very much doubt that "free-market health care" could stand up to any more scrutiny than "Medicare for All". One side sees health care as a right while the other see health care as a commodity. A commodity you are entitled to only if you can afford it. Both sides rely on questionable assumptions. I don't believe employers providing health care will just turn that money over as taxes to pay for universal coverage. Nor do I think that competition and charity will make a free-market system work.

    What I do believe is that in the 21st century and in a first world nation the government should make sure all citizens have basic health care. What I like to see is a realistic discussion of what is "basic" health care and how to get it to people. However imperfect the Affordable Care Act is it is a first step.

  • Paradigm||

    > What I like to see is a realistic discussion of what is "basic" health care and how to get it to people. However imperfect the Affordable Care Act is it is a first step.

    You should change your handle to 'The Scope Creep.'

  • RabbitHead||

    How about"zoo animal"?

  • SimpleRules||

    Does anyone seriously believe you can define "basic health" without it eventually including cosmetic surgery, Lasik, and manicures?

    The libertarian solution should be to encourage minimally regulated clinics, private charities, and transparent pricing/outcomes. About the only role government might have is to make medical costs tax deductible (as we eliminate taxes)

  • Paradigm||

    and sex "change" surgery.

  • NolanLibertarian||

    We had universal treatment long before Medicare and Medicaid -- which were enacted to make health care a "guaranteed right" instead of accepting charity.

    That's why Obamacare is a MASSIVE failure. Consider Medicaid, where the uninsured rate was higher that the private market. 12 million people were eligible but never applied. Too many doctors refuse Medicaid, which pays much less than even Medicare. So they added tens of millions to the eligibles, but no new doctors. Do the math.

    In many states, people are automatically enrolled if uninsured in the ER. So the ER gets paid, but STILL no physician for routine care.

    How can the same government have $80 TRILLION in unfunded commitments for Medicare, but MediCAID is so shamelessly underfunded. Seniors vote. Poor people do not. Call it what it is, POLITICAL healthcare.

    Political healthcare means betting your life, literally, that politicians, faced with tight budgets, will always increase your taxes and never cut your benefits. Stop laughing.

  • Sevo||

    Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland|1.24.19 @ 10:50AM|#
    "Those who oppose universal health care in the United States should devise and implement a better system or prepare to experience universal health care."

    Assholes who claim random claims are arguments should STFU.

  • a ab abc abcd abcde abcdef ahf||

    You really are willfully ignorant.

    Free market health care would be cheaper and better, because that's what free markets do. It's interesting that two industries which have had the most government meddling, health care and education, have increased in price over inflation, while almost everything else has dropped. Doctors I have had universally say they would charge me half price if I paid in cash and avoided the insurance companies who have to deal with government over-regulation.

    As for universal care, those who can't afford it would find all the charitable care (private or government) they could want. There would be a lot more available because it would be so much cheaper that fewer people would need assistance, just as fewer people need assistance with phones.

  • Still Curmudgeoned (Nunya)||

    What the fuck is this we shit. Don't lump anyone here in with your dumb ass. Except for The Rev. Or Jfree. You can have them.

  • NolanLibertarian||

    Tell us how to do it! Start by explaining how the free-market had provided universal heath care, since the 1500s, until FDR and LBJ (in this country).

    Charitable health care began with the medieval guilds (fraternals), for admittedly very few who needed help.
    As health care advanced, and became more costly, and risks grew large enough to be shared, coverage evolved for even those who could afford it, by the same ethnic and fraternal organizations who had the only experience in it. Others were formed, as the market required

    See the charitable work still performed by Rotary, Kiwanis and similar -- no longer health care, since FDR and LBJ destroyed markets which had evolved, spontaneously, for centuries. "Health care should be a right," they said, and still say.

    Now it is a right, but unavailable to tens of millions, Before LBJ's Medicaid, we still had universal treatment and total health care costs were 5.8% of GDP.

    Few today would deny that our current health care, enacted mostly by FDR and LBJ, is way too costly, and unavailable to far too many.

    Until, recently, it's been mostly libertarians working to transition back to what had been evolving for centuries and worked so well, including universal care (meaning all who sought care). But that requires knowing how it worked. Today's libertarians know none of that.

  • blondrealist||

    A lot of us like to think that free market health care would be better and cheaper, but it's worth remembering that we haven't had a free market health care system since before the mid-1930's. That's when Blue Cross plans ruled that those companies were charitable organizations, freed from taxes. Then, of course, when the federal government put in a wage freeze around the end of WW-2, employers began providing health insurance - the cost of which was deductible to employers, but not a taxable benefit to workers. Is there a health care system in the developed world operating in a mostly free market fashion? I don't know - but I can't think of one. Switzerland has an individual mandate for a basic plan, with policies sold by for-profit insurance companies, but their system is highly regulated, and low income citizens get tax payer support for cost of the basic plan. Switzerland has excellent health care overall, but it's expensive (although less per capita than the USA).

  • Overt||

    I think the reality is that we will not get a free market for health care in the near future. People just cannot stand the idea of someone being poor not getting health care. There is something visceral about seeing a person suffering and the public is going to demand help for them.

    I continue to insist that price sensitivity is THE major missing component. However, people being price sensitive also means people being forced to make tough choices. Are you going to get the expensive angioplasty or bypass, or are you going to live on heart pills for awhile? That's a tough choice, but unless people are making that choice daily, the market has no reason to search for cheaper alternatives to health care. One day in the future, we are all going to be "entitled" to expensive vat-grown clones of our failing organs, and no one will go for cheaper alternatives, because the market frankly won't offer or support it.

    It is interesting that you mention the Swiss system, because they do have a more robust system of encouraging price sensitivity. Yes, they have a safety net, but they also expect care consumers to pay more out of pocket. This encourages those consumers to shop around, which does lead to their expenditures staying lower.

  • Jerry B.||

    If you don't like the poor not getting health care, get together with some like-minded folks and pay for their health care.

  • NolanLibertarian||

    Very close, blondrealist. A few details.

    We had a free market in CHARITABLE care until Medicaid. For everyone until FDR. Bear with me on the chain of related events.

    For-profit health insurers were created by ... FDR! We had universal care, through ethic and fraternal lodges and private charities. Only for-profit insurer could quickly create employer-based plans on so large a scale. Blue-Cross was employer-based, but too tiny and nonprofit.

    After WWII, a non-profit version of fraternals was created in Seattle, by a coalition of employers, physicians and unions. A co-op, owned by its members. And prepaid (HMO) to eliminate paperwork. Doctors are STILL salaried employees (now with performance bonuses). Patients still get new prescriptions AT the clinic, from their own pharmacy, and treated at their own hospitals. The cheapest coverage possible AND consumer choice (a competing co-op)

    That was the model in Obamacare, for a private alternative to a "public option" -- bipartisan to get GOP votes -- like JFK's tax-cuts, but this time the GOP refused, thus failing to kill single-payer, to spite Obama. Under Trump, GOP failure to to repeal switched Obamacare from unpopular to quite popular. Republicans were seen with no alternative ... which Ted Cruz literally proved.

  • Juice||

    It's interesting that two industries which have had the most government meddling, health care and education, have increased in price over inflation, while almost everything else has dropped.

    You forgot housing.

  • NolanLibertarian||

    Health-care no longer consists of herbs and bandages. Well over half our spending is on equipment and procedures that did not exist .... under LBJ, for example.

    Check the purchase prices for CAT and MRI scanners, plus the costs training and paying the technicians.
    Radiation equipment for cancer. Virtually all of cancer treatment BEGAN evolving in the 1950s. And still is.

  • middlefinger||

    Water and sewer too.

  • Rossami||

    What RAK blithely ignores is that we already have devised and implemented a better system than universal health care. The status quo has lots of faults but as the article above points out, "Medicare for all" is much, much worse.

  • NolanLibertarian||

    we already have devised and implemented a better system than universal health care

    HUH?

  • Trumptard||

    No "system" will work. A combination of the market and charity will get the best possible result. Those efforts cannot be directed and controlled by top-down, centralized planners.

  • NolanLibertarian||

    So why do conservatives and libertarians oppose that approach
    Including Trumptards

    Can you cite any proposal to transition back to that? Even one?

  • DarrenM||

    It's not necessary to devise and implement a better *system*. All that's necessary is to address those elements in the law that end up reducing affordable access to healthcare. Since we can't even do that, I see little hope that any brand new shiny "system" would work any better. For one thing, we don't need more regulation of medical practitioners. Odds are that any single-payer system would severely reduce liability to keep costs down. Make it easier for someone to become a healthcare provider. You don't need to be a brain surgeon to treat the flu. (This is called "hyperbole"). Nurses should be able to handle routine care. Actually, we're gradually getting there. We could get there faster if the government didn't keep getting in the way either because of the typical CYA attitudes or because of special interest lobbying wanting to prevent competition.

  • Kevin Smith||

    If Medicare-for-All supporters could devise and implement a better system than Medicare then maybe more people would support it, but Medicare is a terribly run system with a terrible level of service. Medicaid and VA are no better. Our government has to learn how to manage the healthcare systems before we should about expanding the scope.

    Don't believe me? Try suggesting a Medicare-for-All supporting lawmaker introduce a bill to put Congress on Medicare and listen to them clamor on about how that's a bad idea, but really the only reason its a bad idea is because Medicare is a bad system, literally any private insurance provides a higher level or service

  • NolanLibertarian||

    Simple. Change from tax-paid to PREMIUMS paid to the government. Less money, sent to a different place.
    And no need to cut provider costs.

    There is a better way, several, but leaderships in fiscal conservatism are now anti-government instead of pro-liberty (libertarian phrasing). This is indeed a time to crush the establishment, including our own.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I am glad that although many Americans do not stay informed on most political calamities coming from Washington DC, they know Socialism when they hear it and a majority are against it.

    If only the Greatest Generation and Boomers had been against Socialist Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

  • NolanLibertarian||

    they know Socialism when they hear it and a majority are against it.

    Which is why nobody of significance proposes it.

  • John||

    No one, not even the nitwits who are calling for it, even knows what Medicare for all means. This poll is like asking people if they life free cookies.

  • Joe M||

    "Support for free cookies decreased when people found out their pantries would be raided for supplies."

  • Ecoli||

    I do like free cookies. However, they are filled with sugar. Sugar spikes your blood glucose level. Over the long term, your body becomes insulin resistant because you are in a constant state of high blood sugar. Your limbs rot, your eyesight fails, and you develop Alzheimers (type 3 diabetes). You eventually die a horrible death, and your relatives are tortured for a few years while you rot away.

    So, just like socialism.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Those who oppose universal health care in the United States should devise and implement a better system or prepare to experience universal health care.

    I see little evidence that anyone who opposes universal health care is choosing the 'devise and implement' approach.

  • JFree||

    That's because we DIDN'T have universal healthcare.

    One of the reasons we don't even really know how many people died (somewhere between 500,000 and 700,000 is the best guess for the range) in the flu epidemic of 1918 is because millions of poor people were turned away from charity hospitals so they had to go home, infect their neighbors, and then die (or not - maybe).

    That failure is why municipal hospitals started being built in much larger numbers. And by the late-1930's (when 'insurance' as we know it today came into being as a way for charity hospitals to fund their operations), the utilization rate for muni hospitals was well over 80% (still indicating a bed shortage) v roughly 40% for charity hospitals (indicating a bed surplus).

    The private/voluntary system actually did fail to deal with the problem - even then with almost non-existent levels of medical intervention compared to today. Doesn't mean a national solution does anything but make things worse - but actual history shows that a local/muni based system of point-of-care delivery/networks with a fed role limited only to reinsurance, tertiary referral, and maybe pooling of muni bond issuance that funds capital expenditures. That's where Americans felt comfortable attempting to try to solve the access problem. That's the avenue that was gutted by going the 'employer'/'union' - then Medicare/Medicaid route instead.

  • NolanLibertarian||

    That's because we DIDN'T have universal healthcare.

    Educate yourself.

  • California Minarchist||

    Sock, meet sock.

  • Sevo||

    Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland|1.24.19 @ 10:50AM|#
    "Those who oppose universal health care in the United States should devise and implement a better system or prepare to experience universal health care."

    Assholes who claim random claims are arguments should STFU.

  • Sevo||

    Fuck off and die, Hihn.

  • Bubba Jones||

    Two key things that this touches on but are often ignored.

    Families already pay $20k per year in health insurance. It just gets hidden behind a corporate contribution.

    So, if that $20k gets converted to income and then paid as tax. Or switched in some other more palatable way, how close does that get us to funding Medicare for all? I haven't don't the math.

    The other key this does mention is that docs in Europe get paid a lot less. It gets hidden a bit when you compare between specialities but the observation is that Europe has many fewer specialists and those apecialists make a lot less than in the US.

    And they have lower administrative overhead.

  • DaveSs||

    You are forgetting about one of the core truths of government.

    Why pay full price when you can pay double

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    Except we have this thing called deficit spending...Medicare for All would end up being a huge windfall for well off Americans.

  • blondrealist||

    Docs in Europe probably don't have high malpractice insurance costs, and new docs probably don't have a lot of student loan debt either.

  • Paradigm||

    Correct. And those European countries make ALL of their citizens pay into the system. They don't have nearly half the population avoiding federal income tax, and even taking payments in the form of "earned" income credit, like we have in the US. The math won't work...and the left sure as hell won't tax the democrat party's base.

  • Rossami||

    The GAO has already done that math. No, it doesn't get us anywhere close.

  • Joe M||

    Anyone who uses all caps excessively is safely ignored.

  • John||

    It is Hihn. Just look away and try not to make eye contact.

  • Sevo||

    This is Hihn, and yes, he can be ignored under every one of the 15 or so sock under which he posts, except to remind him to fuck off and die, Hihn.

  • John||

    No one takes you seriously Hihn. You are only worthy of ridicule and barely worthy of that.

  • Mithrandir||

    The goal isn't univeral care. The goal is better and cheaper care, that gives patients more control and options in their medical care. Your mistake is assuming univeral care is the only, or even the best way to do that. That's a collosal failure in reasoning. The burden of prood is on you that your assertion that we should be seeking univeral care isn't batshit insane, because that certainly sounds batshit insane.

  • Paradigm||

    Hihn, the latest issue of Highlights just landed in your mailbox. Don't you normally carve out some time to pleasure yourself to the illustrations?

  • SimpleRules||

    start with making medical insurance costs (up to a limit) tax deductible but only to the consumer - no deduction at all for employers. As employers stop insuring, insurance companies market directly to individuals.

    Next make all medical costs tax deductible.

    These two ideas encourage high-deducible insurance plans so folks shop around. An instant market!!
    Next problem?

  • Mithrandir||

    Total costs are only less if you unrealistically assume you can significantly cut the amount of money paid to medical providers. I don't think that one will pan out.

  • blondrealist||

    Bernie has a lot of faith that medical providers will see their overhead drop under single-payer, so that will make up for lower payments.

  • Mithrandir||

    Is there any historical precedent for overhead to drop under a system overseen by beauracratic government? That seems like blind faith more than actual hope IMO.

  • Sevo||

    blondrealist|1.24.19 @ 12:54PM|#
    "Bernie has a lot of faith that medical providers will see their overhead drop under single-payer, so that will make up for lower payments."

    First, Bernie is the archetype of econ ignoramus.
    Secondly, it takes no assumptions at all to show that when something is free, there is never enough of it to go round.

  • Juice||

    My friend had a high percentage of Medicare, which compounded the paperwork.

    Compounded Paperwork For All

  • NolanLibertarian||

    Except in Canada. Which is what you cherry-picked. Ask your physician how many totally separate insurance companies he or she must now deal with, all with different plans, plus the clerical and administrative costs of doing so.

  • Jerryskids||

    Total costs are only less if you assume the demand for healthcare remains constant as the price falls from "I don't have that much money" to "Don't worry, somebody else is paying for it".

    How much do you suppose it would cost to buy every driver in the country a new car if you handed out coupons for free cars? If you're going to start calculating by multiplying the number of drivers by the average price of new cars you're a moron for thinking anybody with a coupon for a free car is going to be looking at a Hyundai instead of a Maserati.

  • NolanLibertarian||

    Umm, the reason demand increases is because more people can afford to buy more stuff. Limited only by Supply. They interact.

    you're a moron for thinking anybody with a coupon for a free car is going to be looking at a Hyundai instead of a Maserati.

    So ... prices cannot be lower, unless quality is lower, thus you say the Industrial Revolution is a fraud. Consumer electronics that once cost $5,000 or more, and would fill a closet, now cost $500 or less and fit in our pocket. And perform perhaps a thousand times more things.

    the average price of new cars

    In constant dollars, for an equivalent car, prices have fallen even more than your example. And it was not from coupons.

    You might consider being a tad more careful about tossing around words like "moron."

  • Sevo||

    Fuck off and die, Hihn.

  • Overt||

    No system that delegated pricing to large institutions would have worked. Most insurance companies make on the order of 3-5% profit. If that is rendered to a Non-profit, you are saving 5%, which gets eaten up by the faster growth of health insurance.

    You need to render price and purchase decisions MORE to the individual consumer. Let them choose between expensive treatments or cheaper alternatives. There will always be need for catastrophic coverage, but the market WILL react to people avoiding expensive treatments by making those treatments more affordable.

  • NolanLibertarian||

    No system that delegated pricing to large institutions would have worked

    That's never been necessary. Just one example. Medicare does competitive bidding in all substantial-sized local markets for medical appliances. It's called competition.

    Medicare recipients have always had choice in selecting providers, but never any skin in the game .. and NO proposal by ANY allegedly "free-market" foundation or think tank would allow it either.

    Not all bureaucracies are governmental! Far from it.

  • Overt||

    Whether we have medicare for all, or everyone has private insurance, the same problem remains with our health care market. People have no incentive to shop around, or to put off treatment that is extremely expensive.

    While I have no desire for publicly funded healthcare, one that re-introduced price sensitivity into the market would be better than the largely private (but horribly structured under law) system we have today. A public monopoly on insurance that operated like a High Deductible insurance plan paired with medical savings accounts would do much to unleash the power of millions of people making cost-benefit decisions.

    The old adage says, "Good, Fast or Cheap- pick two." In our current system, people always pick Good and Fast. But if people were forced to pay for a majority of their care, they might often choose Cheap. This would create a market for treatments that are not as good or as readily available as other alternatives, but are ultimately less expensive.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Now you want primates to have universal health care?

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Chimps aren't taxed.

  • NolanLibertarian||

    YOU called humans primates. Accept your defeat. by him.

  • Overt||

    My specific proposal is to remove government tax structures that encourage "All you can eat" insurance plans, and the setup of private accounts for every citizen. If every citizen can purchase their own health insurance, it will create more competition for different levels of coverage. Of course, this means that rich people will get cadilac plans and poorer people will get less generous plans.

    A safety net could easily be provided in this case, offering people under the poverty line subsidies that are directly deposited in their private account. It would be enough to afford, say, a high deductible health insurance plan.

    The downside is, of course, the optics. Many people do not want to see a poor person "choosing" to use a cane to hobble around while a rich person gets hip replacement surgery. They don't want to see a poor person popping nitro pills while a rich person get an angioplasty. Nevertheless, that is what we must have in order to introduce downward pressure on health care costs. If middle class people cannot afford treatment for a certain disease, then then the market has an incentive to make that treatment cheaper. 50 years ago, only the rich flew airplanes and owned fancy tvs. It was precisely because the middle class demanded but couldn't afford these luxuries that today we can get plane tickets and big screen tvs for cheap.

  • NolanLibertarian||

    You just have a different version of government mandates.
    Eliminate the distortion caused by tax-free health care and let the market sort that out

    I ran in exactly that for a state Insurance Commissioner. I was not running to win, but to earn major party status for the LP (which we did). At almost every candidate debate. THAT is what generated the most interest -- often even applause and laughter when I ridiculed the "two-party cluster f-f-f-f ...............arce"

    It was Washington State. Oregon, just below, had got the first exemption to experiment with welfare stuff. So the concept was established in that part of the country, as a viable state-only option.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    Congratulations on being healthy. I have a family member that would have to pay all of high deductible every year because they have CHRONIC illness. So after a few years they would have no savings and then after that bankruptcy and then welfare.

  • NolanLibertarian||

    hahaha

    Fiscal conservatives have lost their minds on health care.

    "Will I have coverage for cancer"
    "Of course. Just pay the first $6,000."

    When you hear them comparing with home or auto insurance, you (should) know they are totally clueless on health care.
    One reason that progressives have been winning on health care for decades. By default.

  • albo||

    Why aren't the Ds promoting "Medicaid for all" instead of Medicare? Medicaid is government single payer, too, right?

    Maybe because they know it will fail even worse.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    Obamacare is essentially Medicaid for All without a better option. Obamacare is now popular with those that are on Medicaid and heavily subsidized.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    That is a feature.

  • The Last American Hero||

    There are many hospitals located in or near inner cities. They all take Medicaid.

  • Nardz||

    A couple of years ago I worked for a non-emergency medical transport company (provided shuttles, cabs, Lyft's to appointments and treatment) that was exclusively for Medicaid patients. The area I dealt with was the southern 2/3rds of GA.
    Dialysis was by far the most common treatment, followed by pain management and pediatrics. There was a 100 mile round trip limit, but greater distances than that were pretty much approved as a matter of course.
    There were many patients who received cancer treatments, and it was not at all uncommon for them to go to Emory for 300+ mile round trips.
    I don't know their actual experience of service, but I often found myself very impressed by the amount of care people on Medicaid received.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    SNAP and corn subsidies to get people fat and then Medicaid to pay for their dialysis! That is the secret formula Bush and Walmart came up in the 2000s to destroy America.

  • NolanLibertarian||

    THE very best satire, on a topic that could use some lighter touches!
    Few readfers will know what SNAP is, and when it began.

  • NolanLibertarian||

    where many have no doctor at all

    There are many hospitals located in or near inner cities. They all take Medicaid.
  • Juice||

    Obamacare is essentially Medicaid for All without a better option

    Is that not what Medicaid always was? Obamacare is so much more than messing around with Medicaid.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    No Obamacare isn't. Obamacare is a Medicaid expansion for able bodied adults without children under 18 and then a modification of the individual market to make it more like the group market. The ACA Exchanges (modified individual market) have devolved into essentially Medicaid—free crappy health care. Nobody with a better option would choose Medicaid or an ACA Exchange policy.

    I was in the individual market prior to Obamacare and my policies were superior to many group policies (definitely not junk like Obama said) but at a certain age they would have become unaffordable. Plus I had to get creative with mailing addresses when we moved to new a state because of back pain that would have made getting a new policy very difficult.

  • Zeb||

    Because Medicare is more popular and has a better reputation.

  • Juice||

    It's also way more expensive.

  • NolanLibertarian||

    Umm, seniors are FAR more costly to treat.
    Roughly half of ALL our heath spending is in the last two years of someone's life. We've known that since the mid 1990s.

    In his 2008 campaign, Obama described, as a serious problem, that his grandmother got a costly hip transplant when she was terminal cancer, then died a few months later.

  • Rich||

    Medicare for All supporters might complain that these are loaded descriptions that don't accurately capture the reality of single payer, which they say is about freeing people from premiums while offering a guarantee of access.

    Well, they might so complain; but they would be hypocrites, since their description of reality is also "loaded" (and incomplete).

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Sugar shack! Dirt floor! Billionaires!

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    America is not wealthy like Canada or the UK—we don't have the dough to foot that bill. Next time I am overseas I will take a hat specifically to use for begging for change from the wealthy Europeans. America is like the Tiny Tim of nations.

  • Sevo||

    Sebastian Cremmington|1.24.19 @ 1:12PM|#
    "Next time I am overseas I will take a hat specifically to use for begging for change from the wealthy Europeans."

    Take another one in the hopes someone gives you some brain cells.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    We are so weak that is why we need an alpha like Trump!

  • Sevo||

    Take three hats; you need it.

  • RabbitHead||

    He can offer that extra chromosome in trade...

  • Echospinner||

    Two guys are sitting next to each other on the steps in the public square in Berlin begging for money.

    One of them is holding out a Trump MAGA hat. The other an Obama hope hat.

    People walking by see the MAGA hat guy and scorn him, stopping to purposely drop money in the Obama hat which is soon overflowing.

    Finally someone walks up and says to the MAGA guy " I don't know if you know this but Trump is very unpopular here in Germany. You are not going to collect much with a hat like that" and he walks away.

    So the Trump guy nudges the other and says "So hey partner, look who's trying to teach us Americans about marketing"

  • Mickey Rat||

    People like being told they are getting free stuff. They also do not like being told there is a catch.

  • ||

    Let's start by banning bareback anal sex between men. That creates 75% of HIV cases. Reducing them would save $20 billion a year.

  • Sevo||

    Or we could ban prostitution, since we know how well that works.

  • Zeb||

    I hear there's a drug problem too. Maybe we should try banning drugs. Worth a try, at least.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    I can't believe we are so stupid to have banned prostitution. The Trump family's initial fortune was whore money and it was a good business until the Christian Progressives got to work trying to enforce their vision of a moral country.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    Why? You already foot the bill for their $1800 a month PreP.

  • ||

    That's exactly my point. Why should we have to?

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    Lol, the LGBT community thanks you! Or at least they would if they weren't spending so much time going out to craft breweries and smoking legal marijuana and then later on having uninhibited fairly safe sex thanks to your tax dollars!! Remember to pick up tampons and monistat for your wife on your way home tonight!

  • Trumptard||

    SHOCKER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Uncle Jay||

    Comrade Bernie Saunders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are in favor of Medicare for all.
    We should all get behind this most ambitious and noble cause because these two are so wise and know what's best for all us little people.
    Besides, what's a few hundred trillion dollars between friends?

  • Nardz||

    You're so much better at sarcasmic's schtick than he is

  • Earth Skeptic||

    What do most morons mean when they say "Medicare" for all? Do they really mean simple expansion of the current Medicare model? Do they know that "traditional" Medicare does not cover long term and nursing home care? Do they know it does not cover most drugs? Do they know that in addition to all the payroll taxes paid by elligible people during their working lives, they still have to pay a monthly premium of at least $135 (more for higher income retirees)? Do they know that Medigap, supplemental insurance (to cover addtional fees charged by some providers), and drug coverage all have additional monthly premiums?

    Do these morons just think "free" health care? And if they really want a no-cost experience at the doctor and pharmacy, they want something other than Medicare?

  • Juice||

    Medicare is a mega-ripoff. Might be a bigger ripoff than Social Security.

  • NolanLibertarian||

    Do they know that "traditional" Medicare does not cover long term and nursing home care? Do they know it does not cover most drugs? Do they know that in addition to all the payroll taxes paid by elligible people during their working lives, they still have to pay a monthly premium of at least $135 (more for higher income retirees)

    Do you know what "for all" means?

  • Cloudbuster||

    Even with the most carefree attitude toward debt and deficits, it is nearly unthinkable that an increase in government spending of that size would not come with higher taxes, probably much higher taxes, which would likely affect the middle class.

    It's frustrating to me how stupid people are. Everybody thinks that somehow the system will work in their favor when, in fact, any health insurance system has to take in more money that in doles out in care (due to administrative costs), and that almost by definition the majority of people have to be financial losers -- defined as paying more than they would have otherwise -- under such a system in order to subsidize the poor and indigent, people with very expensive conditions, and the inevitable corruption and fraud.

  • NolanLibertarian||

    And that almost by definition the majority of people have to be financial losers -- defined as paying more than they would have otherwise

    It's called "shared risk" the sole purpose of any actual insurance.
    Most people indeed pay more than otherwise, if they never get cancer.
    My own cancer treatment cost roughly $250,000, of which I paid a small fraction.

    How many people would agree to die from cancer, if they get it, to save money on their health insurance?

  • DarrenM||

    This is a complicated and confusing subject, but one thing I would like to know is the effect on various health conditions, not just the person who has cancer. For what ailments would single-payer help and for which would it hurt? I suspect the more common and routine conditions would fare better than the rarer conditions that require more specialized treatment under single-payer. This is not to say whether they would or would not be better than now; only that routine treatments would be more amenable to single-payer (or something like it).

  • TJJ2000||

    WHICH ENUMERATED POWER GAVE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CONTROL OF THE MEDICAL INDUSTRY? And... Where is this "Individual Right" to Healthcare listed?? I can't find it!!!

    You'd think the Union of States had other International matters like defense and trade to worry about without wiping every persons *ss for them. Is that a "right" too?

    There is 0-Reason to involve the federal government in healthcare. If you want your neighbors to pay for your government monopolized health-insurance... Go lobby you major, city councilman, or state representatives.

  • NolanLibertarian||

    Read the Ninth Amendment.

    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    There are fundamental rights enjoyed by all, which no level of government may deny or disparage.
    Please list them here.

  • TJJ2000||

    And... Where is the "Fundamental Individual Right" to Healthcare listed??

    I guess someone could say the federal government IS working on "denying and disparage" the peoples right to shop and purchase directly from medical services by regulating it to death and competing with it through legal forces - but that would be a stretch to infer until they actually pass a law RESTRICTING people from accessing or creating private medical services.

    But the ability to freely pursue medical treatment would be ALOT more of a fundamental right than STEALING your neighbors property through taxation to pay for your own Bills.

  • NolanLibertarian||

    There are fundamental rights enjoyed by all, which no level of government may deny or disparage.
    Please list them here.


    And... Where is the "Fundamental Individual Right" to Healthcare listed??

    Repeat: WHICH fundamental rights are NOT enumerated.

    I guess someone could say the federal government IS working on "denying and disparage" the peoples right to shop and purchase directly from medical services by regulating it to death and competing with it through legal forces - but that would be a stretch to infer until they actually pass a law RESTRICTING people from accessing or creating private medical services.

    Repeat: WHICH fundamental rights are NOT enumerated.

    But the ability to freely pursue medical treatment would be ALOT more of a fundamental right than STEALING your neighbors property through taxation to pay for your own Bills.

    Repeat: WHICH fundamental rights are NOT enumerated.

  • librich||

    I've spent a lot of time in New Zealand. They have a parallel public/private system. Most New Zealanders say it works pretty well. If you want to choose your specialist or you're in a hurry, you go private. If it's something routine, and you can wait (it may take six months to get a procedure scheduled), then you go public. One of the big benefits of their system is that they have a national health records database, which means that every physician, including the private ones, have access to your entire health history--an improvement over doctor-by-doctor records in the US.

    Would the NZ system work here? Hard to imagine. Their health system costs New Zealanders a lot, but they don't have a welfare/warfare state to pay for. They only have 4M people. We have 3M people employed by the US armed services alone. Our security state would have a feast on a national health records system. And no one in America would want to pay for it, as the article show. What a country.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    Actually we are one of the only countries that actually pays for a big chunk of their health care spending. You are advocating replacing health care that people are satisfied paying for with a system that they don't want and would end up being paid for with deficit spending.

    So that is why the arguments that universal health care would "cost too much" or similarly "how do we pay for it?" don't make any sense. We currently overpay for health care but people are satisfied overpaying for it. Plus we clearly get superior outcomes, but public health and lifestyle are actually more important for one's actual health than health care.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    Actually we are one of the only countries that actually pays for a big chunk of its health care spending. You are advocating replacing a system which people are satisfied paying for with a system that people don't want and would inevitably be paid for with deficit spending.

    So that is why the arguments that universal health care would "cost too much" or similarly "how do we pay for it?" don't make any sense. We currently overpay for health care but people are satisfied overpaying for it. Plus we clearly get superior outcomes, but public health and lifestyle are more important for one's actual health than health care.

    I really don't care about this issue other than on principle—I can't advocate getting rid of free market forces when through dumb luck and serendipity we somehow managed to get a positive free market forces into a system that logically should be government run.

  • Echospinner||

    What you are talking about has been around and the US is far behind. There is no technical reason why the doc you are seeing should not be able to get your prior records done at St Elsewhere in minutes right there on a laptop with your permission.

    It is not working very well. The way we have it set up us like 70s tech.

    There is no will in the US to close that gap. It can be done but off the radar screen at this point.

  • Wise Old Fool||

    Single payer doesn't require switching plans. it simple offers another option. If the companies can't compete then obviously they would die.

  • wearingit||

    Salient point- we overpay and are content with it. Sounds like people might just be idiots and not see the big picture. Too many idiots are concerned with an idealistic picture (is it free market, is it single payer, etc.) and not concerned enough with the end result which is most likely paying less, covering more, and still ensuring good outcomes. I mean, somehow Canada, with its evil universal healthcare, has produced the finest hernia clinic in the world so much so that devout libertarian Rand Paul is going there for care and not a stateside place.

    So yeah, people are idiots.

  • Myk||

    My drug costs $5k wholesale. It was billed at $24k 3 years ago. Now it's billed at $37k. Actual negotiated price by insurance isn't as ridiculous of inflation but it is ridiculous. This is a charity non-profit. Sorry not buying the violins for the poor hospitals going broke.
    Besides how are low reimbursements any different than what insurance does to them? Some things are reimbursed $0 on my plan.
    Most new Drs I've seen, in the same system, had a standard 3 month waiting period. Not because they're wall to wall patients, because that's policy. Cancer waiting periods? I waited 3 months to look at an aorta, that kills in about 30 seconds. So yeah, also not buying the wait fear mongering.
    Anyone who thinks US healthcare is fine isn't using US healthcare. UH works everywhere else, it's cheaper and fewer patients die waiting than in the US.
    So either come up with a better way or get out of the way.

  • Myk||

    The system we're most suited to have is an insurance system. But that means a tightly regulated insurance industry with federal-wide laws. It means tightly regulated price and profit controls on everyone in healthcare. From there it's ACA.
    I'm not saying that will work because I know how the money corruption works in this country. Libertarians and conservatives sure aren't coming up with a plan to get profits and prices under control. So we probably will end up with a single payer system.
    I'm not saying I have faith in it but our present system is definitely broken and the only fixes being offered are to keep doing the same thing or single payer. There's the let everyone die or pay cash freemarketeers but nobody (Drs) is going to do that.

  • NolanLibertarian||

    Cancer waiting periods?

    Mine was about an hour to get the appointment, for later that week.

    I waited 3 months to look at an aorta, that kills in about 30 seconds.

    That one is literally laughable.

    and the only fixes being offered are to keep doing the same thing or single payer

    I knew you were a shill for single-payer. Are you shamefully dishonest or a victim of brainwashing?

  • Myk||

    I told 100% truth. You choose to remain ignorant.
    LOL, an hour to get the appointment? Do you even make your own Dr appointments? That's not how it works, even if it did how long it took to get the appointment has nothing to do with waiting to get care.

    If you could read beyond a second grade level you would've seen that I don't think single payer or a universal insurance system will work here. But what we have are idiots like you saying what we have isn't broke and idiots like them offering to try something different with the same corruption.
    Everybody who uses it knows the US system is broken. The world knows we have worse results for more money. If one side has no solutions because they refuse to see the problem the side offering solutions is going to win.
    Your type is who is going to be responsible for the crappy single payer corruption we get.

  • Myk||

    BTW, I was in an MRI tube, seeing Neuro and had surgery within about a month, in this same system. I said MOST new Drs in this system not ALL of them. It's that reading thing again, you should learn how, words have meanings.

    But generally in the US system insurance won't let you get care that fast even if the Drs will. The insurance lady at Neuro came in, looked at me, I said insurance isn't going to approve it this fast. She said, OK, as long as you know that, but she'll try.
    I waited 6 weeks while insurance played games just to get a drug approved, and I have great insurance.

  • Echospinner||

    What we have going is not terrible. It works fairly well and people are not dying on the streets.

    In fact Ametica is a world leader in medicine. Always try to do better keeping in mind what the surgeon knows.

    Primum non nocere.

  • jerryg1018||

    One such proposal would be to have pharmacists diagnose and treat certain medical conditions.

  • jerryg1018||

    One such proposal would be to have pharmacists diagnose and treat certain medical conditions.

  • Myk||

    Pharmacists are not that kind of Dr (the ones that are Drs). They can take a bigger role (I think in Italy they do) but diagnostics would require a lot more schooling and drive the cost of pharmacists higher. MD could diagnose and some pharmacists could be qualified to prescribe.

  • TDHawkes||

    What I support is affordable healthcare. I am 62 and had affordable healthcare until healthcare was made for profit. From that point, my healthcare became increasingly unaffordable until now I don't have healthcare. Not only is insurance too expensive, but so is every procedure. Now, our healthcare system exists not to help the sick, but to enrich businesses whose devotion is to making their bank balance go up every 3 months and to aggrandizing their shareholders. The rest of us can just die.

  • BCarter||

    God what a bunch of stupid comments.

    'Libertarians' debating 'Universal health care' and how 'we' can pay for it.

    From a libertarian standpoint the only valid answer to the question is 'no'.

    No one is owed anything that they cannot provide for themselves or through voluntary interaction with others.

    You just keep letting them jerk the issue further and further left.

  • Myk||

    Actually it's that "let them eat cake" attitude that keeps jerking it left.

  • TxJack 112||

    First, this is one poll. Second the Kaiser foundation is associated with Kaiser healthcare, a huge HMO whose care sucks. They try to diagnose you over the phone rather than let you see an actual doctor. Medicare for all, like all Democrat proposals sounds great on paper but the devil is in the details and the appropriation of money. Remember in 2013 Congress passed a law and authorized. However if you recall, the Senate under Reid, refused to pass a budget and country was operating on CRs, so very little money was actually appropriated. By the time GOP took over, the leadership was more worried about 2016 election and immigration was too hot an issue to deal with so they didnt. Congress can anthorize any any amount for anything. The trick is getting them to actually pay for it. Besides if you want to see how a single payer, government run system will work in this country, look at VA. That is how "efficiently" our government can manage healthcare. They cannot manage it for 5.6 million veterans but we think they can do it for 330+ million citizens?

  • Echospinner||

    Kaiser foundation and Kaiser Permanente split 30 years ago.

  • Tex Doc||

    One thought - what is an appropriate deductible as a percentage of individual or family gross income - not including EITC, etc.???
    I have read over the years all the stuff in regards to "skin in the game" as an incentive to minimization of "unnecessary care", but just how much skin to the heath economists calculate as effective as opposed to punitive?

  • DavidTaylor||

    The title of this article is misleading: the poll didn't explain how "Medicare for all" works -- it asked opinions of various invented and often misleading characterizations. Instead of asking if people would support M4A if they would lose their private insurance and would raise their taxes, the survey could have asked if they would support it if it was better coverage than their private insurance without changing providers, would eliminate their monthly premiums for insurance, and would increase their salaries and wages when their employers no longer had to pay for this benefit. Moreover, there are several models of "Medicare for All" -- posing distorted questions about one model is dishonest. Other comments have raised concerns about a survey conducted by a major managed care business, and I'd underscore that caution.

    David Taylor, MD, PhD

  • Echospinner||

    Good comment Doc.

    If medicine was based on public opinion polling everyone would get free Turkey sandwiches and a bowl of Percocet in the waiting room.

    You are correct. This is data but not physical science or evidence based. It is politics.

    Medicine should look at politics like bacteria. You can be the enemy, mostly you are irrelevant and sometimes useful.

  • caregivers||

    Since we can't even do that, I see little hope that any brand new shiny "system" would work any better. For one thing, we don't need more regulation of medical practitioners.

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