Defenders of national health care proposals try to make the claim – in response to critics – that government-run health care is pretty good, citing Medicare (and Medicaid). So what’s wrong with “Medicare for All”?
- Medicare’s coverage is not that good
- Medicare recipients spend more per household (and a much a higher share of their income) on out-of-pocket expenditures than do non-Medicare households
- Over half of all Medicare recipients buy supplemental health insurance, or get it from their employer. An additional 22% are enrolled in Medicare Advantage, with additional benefits and costs (though Obama is looking to gut Medicare Advantage).
- Medicare has higher administrative costs per person than private insurance.
- Medicare is going bankrupt, with $89 trillion in unfunded liability.
- Medicare underpays doctors and providers, resulting in:
- An increasing number of doctors who refuse to accept Medicare patients.
- Cost shifting – Medicare shifts billions in costs on to providers, which results in increasing premiums for private coverage.
The final point would be extremely important to consider when discussing expanding the number on government programs – i.e. it will drive up the costs of private insurance (and of course, their will be fewer left to shift cost on to).