Why Medicare for All? From FeeltheBern.org

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There's a lot of disinformation out there about Bernie's Medicare for All Plan. Here are some facts to help you counter the dishonest attacks on how the plan works.

Why Medicare for All?

Bernie believes access to medical care is a right not a privilege. If someone needs medical care they should be able to get it. No one should be afraid to see a doctor because they can’t afford to.

Why is Medicare for All necessary? Why not expand the Affordable Care Act and create a public option?

Our current system is a combination of employer-based insurance and private insurance – where profits rise as coverage decreases and claims are denied. Despite the promise that healthcare would become more affordable, that hasn’t happened. The Affordable Care Act, which made private insurance more accessible to more people, was a small victory, but healthcare and prescription drug costs have continued to soar — along with insurance company and pharmaceutical company profits.

Premiums, deductibles, and out-of-pocket costs are far too high, and getting higher. Millions of Americans remain uninsured and underinsured. And not only is the coverage expensive, it’s inadequate. Most people must pay out-of-pocket for dental, vision, and hearing. And people are fully aware that the healthcare system is broken. 70% of Americans, including a majority of Republicans, now support Medicare For All.

What is Bernie’s healthcare plan?

Bernie believes that health care is a human right and the best way to ensure everyone is covered is a universal single-payer system, Medicare for All. Medicare already successfully delivers healthcare coverage for those over 65, nearly 15% of the U.S. population, around 44 million people. Medicare for All would expand coverage, remove the profit motive, increase healthcare efficiency and make sure every single American is taken care of.

This is how Medicare for All will be phased in:

  • In the first year the eligibility age for Medicare will be lowered to 55 and children under 18 will be covered

  • The second year to 45

  • The third year to 35

  • The fourth year to everyone

  • Anyone will be able to buy into Medicare for All during the transition.

This is how Medicare for All will be paid for while reducing the overall cost of healthcare:

  • Personal payment of high premiums, co-pays, and deductibles to insurance companies will be eliminated

  • Prices for healthcare services will be negotiated as they currently are for Medicare

  • Prescription drug costs will be cut in half by negotiating prices (Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Act), letting people buy low-cost prescription drugs from Canada (Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act), and capping prices to what the rest of the world pays (Prescription Drug Price Relief Act)

  • Everyone will pay 4.5% on income and employers will pay 7.5% on employee income. For the first $ 29,000 of income there will be no tax

This is how Medicare for All will change the current healthcare system and expand coverage:

  • Increase Access & Choice: Patients can see the doctors they want because no doctors will be “out of network”

  • Increase Coverage: Coverage will include primary and preventive care, mental health care, reproductive care, vision, hearing and dental care, medical devices, and long-term supports and services for the disabled and elderly.

  • Improve Quality: Allows doctors to make decisions in the best interest of patients not to deliver profits to insurance companies.

  • Reduce Prescription Drug Costs: Lowers prices dramatically, by empowering the federal government to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies. Prescription drug costs will be capped at $ 200.

  • Eliminate Out-Of-Pocket Costs: There will be no premiums, deductibles or co-pays for any medical services.

  • Empower People: Separates healthcare coverage from employment, so everyone will have flexibility to change jobs, or start their own business, without the risk and fear of losing their healthcare benefits. Universal coverage: Covers everyone even if you get fired, leave your job, move, get divorced, turn 26, or have a pre-existing condition.

What will it cost?

Bernie’s plan is projected to cost $ 33 trillion over 10 years while expanding coverage and including everyone.

Last year total healthcare spending in the United States was $ 3.5 trillion. If we change nothing in this dysfunctional system the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services projects that healthcare in the U.S will cost at least $ 38 trillion over 10 years.

In 2018, the average health insurance costs for a family of four was $ 28,166. That cost increases $ 100 each month. Medicare for All will save most families $ 2000—$ 4000 per year. This volunteer created tax calculator will give you an idea of how Bernie’s plans will affect you.

What are the ​expected savings?

Medicare for All will drive down healthcare costs by using a schedule of payments for healthcare services like we already do for Medicare. There will be:

  • Reduced overhead

  • Lowered cost of prescription drugs

  • Reduced administrative costs

  • Consolidated private and public healthcare healthcare spending

  • No more citizen spending on health insurance

  • Increased bargaining power

Mercatus, a Koch-funded think-tank, conducted a study and found that Medicare For All would save $ 2 trillion over a ten-year period. The University of Massachusetts Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) projected that the savings over the same period of time would be approximately $ 5 trillion.

What are other benefits of Medicare for All?

Medicare for All will end the necessity for private health insurance because every citizen would be covered under a single payer system. And, it would save a lot of money – for workers, employers and the government. We can drastically reduce health care and prescription costs, we can cover more people, and we can make the coverage comprehensive. It’s a win-win.

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