FLASHBACK: ‘Medicare For All Won’t Work For Michigan’
WASHINGTON – As Democratic presidential candidates prepare to take the debate stage in Detroit on Tuesday and Wednesday, it is worth remembering that Rob Casalou, CEO of Trinity Health Michigan, explained in an opinion piece for The Detroit News recently that “Medicare for all – despite the seductive simplicity of its message – is simply unacceptable, and pursuing it any further does ourselves, our state and our health a disservice.” He wrote:
Medicare for all has become a rallying cry for those who want to fix what’s broken in our nation’s health care system. Everyone deserves access to high quality, affordable health care, so it’s easy to get behind a simple solution to a complex problem. However, when it comes to our health and well-being, we need to step beyond simple slogans and pursue thoughtful, long-lasting and meaningful change – Medicare for all is not the answer. Make no mistake, Medicare serves an important purpose, and will continue to do so, but it was never set up to run as a program “for all.” For health care leaders, one of the biggest concerns with Medicare is that it has never fully covered the cost of care for our patients. In fact, there’s evidence that underpayments associated with the program have led to hospital closures and driven consolidation. Less talked about, but equally as important, is the impact limited funding has on health care innovation and advancements. Limiting our ability to invest in the best and latest technology places boundaries on our potential to treat patients and share our medical expertise. Innovations like telemedicine, which has been crucial to improving health outcomes in medically underserved areas, have opened the door to better health care access for both urban and rural Michiganians — it’s imperative for elected officials and policy makers to foster environments where life-saving developments can take place.
Meanwhile, a new poll released by the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future today finds that, by a margin of 72 percent to 23 percent, Michigan voters prioritize improving our current health care system over offering a new government insurance system, often referred to as the “public option.”
And The Detroit News reported last week that a new poll reveals that a majority of the state’s voters oppose Medicare for all:
Sanders’ supporters argue he is well-positioned to beat Republican President Donald Trump should he advance to the general election. But on his signature issue, Michigan general election voters oppose the elimination of private health insurance in favor of a Medicare for All program 52%-37%, according to the poll … Self-described independents, who could play a crucial role in a close general election, oppose the concept 53%-35%. Trump defeated Clinton by 10,704 votes in Michigan in 2016 and opposes Medicare for All. ‘Very clearly, independents are not there on Medicare for All,’ said pollster Richard Czuba. ‘More importantly, older voters are not there on Medicare for All, and they are by far the most dependable voters in the system.’”