As we continue to debate how to move forward on health reform, it’s helpful to understand the key arguments for Medicare for All, a single-payer public health insurance system that would guarantee health care coverage to all Americans. As proposed by Senator Bernie Sanders and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, Medicare for All, like traditional Medicare, allows you to use the doctors and hospitals you want to use; and, it improves on traditional Medicare, adding benefits and eliminating premiums, deductibles, coinsurance and copays.
Here are five key arguments for Medicare for All:
- Medicare for All guarantees health care coverage to everyone with no out-of-pocket costs, increasing access to care, promoting equality in our health care system, and eliminating the rationing of care based on ability to pay. It offers more comprehensive benefits than private insurance or Medicare today, including dental, vision, hearing and home and community-based care, along with standard benefits.
- Medicare for All simplifies the health care system. It alleviates a lot of confusion, bureaucratic headaches and stress that come with allowing multiple payers to each have their own set of rules. It also makes it easier for businesses to compete in the global marketplace, relieving employers of the responsibility of providing their workers health care coverage.
- Medicare for All covers care from virtually every hospital and doctor anywhere in the US, giving people far greater choice of providers than most have today and ensuring continuity of care from one year to the next. It also means an end to surprise medical bills.
- Medicare for All brings down health care spending. It reduces administrative costs and provider rates by hundreds of billions of dollars a year. It eliminates as much as $500 billion a year in administrative waste–the costs imposed by private insurers stemming from rate negotiation, medical underwriting, and claims processing. And it eliminates hundreds of billions more in excess prescription drug and provider rates. There’s no reason Americans should pay twice as much as people in other wealthy countries for our drugs, and equally no reason that a hip replacement or an MRI should cost four times more in one hospital than in another.
- Medicare for All reduces administrative costs for doctors and hospitals, saving them tens of billions of dollars each year. They would no longer have to hire as many administrative staff to deal with scores of insurers on prior authorization, referrals, provider rates, copays, claims processing and appeals.
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