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Tue Apr 16, 2019, 02:28 PM

Ask your candidate if 'Medicare for more' right for you

By Froma Harrop

Syndicated columnist

It’s a solid bet that our health care future won’t look quite like the present. Whether the outcome would be good or bad for the average working stiff will depend a great deal on who is president after the 2020 election.

If Donald Trump is reelected, we know where health coverage for millions of Americans is probably going. It’s going away. For two years, a Republican president, House and Senate all tried to sink the Affordable Care Act. They did manage to punch holes in it, but the thing keeps floating. A reenergized Trump with no voters to face again would undoubtedly redouble his efforts to torpedo the whole law. Per his custom, he’s offered zip to replace it.

Democrats vying to replace him tend to support either “Medicare for All” or “Medicare for more.” The insurers like neither, but their bigger threat is the latter. Being less radical, Medicare for more is far likelier to become reality. Democratic primary voters should appreciate that the nominee backing Medicare for more has greater odds to become president.

A Medicare-for-All plan, such as Bernie Sanders’, would force Americans to give up employer-sponsored coverage they like and require raising taxes. True, Medicare for All would save money by lowering health care costs, but that wouldn’t register in a political rumble fueled by monied interests. The ACA is now more popular than ever, but recall the struggle passing it in the din of debate drenched in misinformation. Remember the hollering over “death panels”? Moronic, yes, but a lot of people bought into it.

All this makes the Sanders approach perilous for Democrats — so much so that Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell talks of pushing a Senate vote on his bill. That would put Democrats in the uncomfortable position of voting for or against a plan that ardent liberals may love but gives many others pause.

The genius of Medicare for more is that it would be voluntary. That makes it more sellable to Americans happy with the coverage they have. “Medicare for more” could mean letting those just below the Medicare eligibility age of 65 buy into the program. Or, in another version backed by presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, “Medicare for all who want it” would allow anyone to buy into Medicare.

Medicare for more can coexist with the ACA, which has provided insurance for 25 million Americans and better coverage for millions more. And it could go hand in hand with efforts to strengthen the ACA. Medicare for All, on the other hand, would replace it.


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Reply Ask your candidate if 'Medicare for more' right for you (Original post)
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Apr 2019 OP
DoctorJoJo Apr 2019 #1
denverbill Apr 2019 #2
area51 Apr 2019 #3

Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 04:58 PM

1. I Am In Total Agreement--Very Well Reasoned.


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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Tue Apr 16, 2019, 05:35 PM

2. Most Americans don't like their current insurance, IMO.

Pay hundreds of dollars a month for insurance which pays nothing for the first $3000 in expenses. Where an incidental 'out of network' anesthesiologist and surgeon can't bankrupt you. Where you lose your insurance if you lose your job. Where insurance companies fight tooth and nail against paying any claim with the slightest pretext. Where you pay extra to cover sales commissions and kickbacks to insurance companies from drug companies.

I'm certainly not opposed to 'Medicare for more'. In fact, I agree it might be easier to get into place. And I think Bernie Sanders would agree. It's better than Obamacare or even a public option in Obamacare. Allow anyone over 60 to sign up. I'm 60. I'd jump at the chance to get off my company sponsored plan. And it would be nice to be able to retire early without paying the outrageous premiums Obamacare policies charge for older people.

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Response to denverbill (Reply #2)

Wed Apr 17, 2019, 11:02 AM

3. +1 n/t

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