THE WEEKLY SCAN: Key Stories In The Debate On America’s Health Care Future
Good Friday afternoon, and welcome to the Weekly Scan. Here are some of the key stories you may have missed in the debate on America’s health care future:
As some presidential candidates and lawmakers promote new government-controlled health insurance systems – like the public option, Medicare buy-in and Medicare for America – as “moderate” alternatives to Medicare for All, a new study provides the latest reminder that they are a “stepping stone” to a one-size-fits-all system run by politicians. As the Washington Examiner reports, the “new study by KNG Health Consulting, LLC said the Medicare for America proposal would cause about a third of people on employer plans to lose them by 2032.”
- According to the study, under Medicare for America, by 2023, “nearly one of every four workers who were previously offered ESI would lose access to ESI via their employer, with offer rates falling from 88 to 68 percent … This increases to about one of every three workers losing access to ESI through their employer by 2032.” And, according to the study, instead of addressing rising health care costs, this new government-controlled health insurance system “would increase total health care spending, with the largest spending increases occurring among those who already had public coverage through Medicare or Medicaid.”
Meanwhile, as proponents of Medicare for All continue to obfuscate about how much it would cost hardworking Americans, some presidential candidates are rightly pointing out the unaffordable tax hikes working families would experience under a one-size-fits-all system. Appearing on CNN earlier this week, presidential candidates criticized and questioned the unaffordable costs associated with the new government-controlled system.
Echoing that point, Bloomberg’s editorial board writes that “candidates owe voters an honest accounting” of the costs associated with such proposals and that the Democrats “criticizing Elizabeth Warren for refusing to admit, in plain words, that her Medicare for All plan will require taxes to increase” are “right to complain.” Because the fact is, “fully offsetting the cost would require higher taxes on the middle class,” according to a new analysis from the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget and, as The Washington Post reports, “[Medicare for All] is extremely difficult if not impossible to pay for by taxing the rich alone, according to both liberal and conservative economists.”
A new editorial from the Las Vegas Review Journal recounts how the unaffordable costs and massive tax increases associated with a new government-controlled health insurance system in Senator Bernie Sanders’s (I-VT) home state of Vermont made it “a spectacular failure,” and ultimately led to its demise. And as The Well News warns, there are substantial risks associated with putting politicians in control of Americans’ health care under a new government-controlled health insurance system.
… [P]roponents of so-called single-payer plans like Medicare for all are intent on putting a national health care policy in place based on the total faith that government and government actors will always implement the law in good faith … Somewhere down the line there might very well be another president … in charge of the program, gaming the rules, and making Americans’ personal medical decisions for them … there have to be limits, some form of checks and balances, to ensure health care policy is not subject to political whim.
In an op-ed for the Houston Chronicle, Dr. Asim Shah and Dr. Nidal Moukaddam also highlight the substantial risks of a one-size-fits-all system, writing that they “believe the answer is not to drastically overhaul our entire health care system but to build, in a true bi-partisan fashion, on the successes we have seen under the ACA through practical, achievable and incremental reforms focused on lowering costs and expanding access and coverage to more Americans.”
And new polling from Hart Research finds that “fully 84% of insured consumers say they are satisfied with their current health insurance plan overall,” while “many uninsured individuals intend to purchase health insurance in 2020.” That’s why we should work together to build on what’s working and fix what’s broken – not start over with a one-size-fits-all government health insurance system we can’t afford.