1.17.20 / Updates

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:

new issue brief released by FTI Consulting and the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future is just the latest reminder of the unaffordable costs and negative consequences American families would face under proposed one-size-fits-all new government health insurance systems.  The issue brief “projects that a Medicare for All system would significantly reduce the nation’s physician and nursing workforce,” POLITICO reports

According to the issue brief, Medicare for All “could have a significant negative impact on the adequacy of the country’s health care workforce, access to care, and, ultimately, patient outcomes.”  As the Partnership’s executive director Lauren Crawford Shaver notes in a new op-ed for The Hill, the issue brief “finds that Medicare for All could result in over 1 million fewer doctors and nurses nationwide by 2050, threatening Americans’ access to quality health care.”  She writes:

As the health care workforce shrinks nationwide, the issue brief warns that Medicare for All could threaten access to quality care at our nation’s already struggling rural hospitals, serving more than 60 million Americans.  Medicare for All could result in an estimated decrease of 5.4% in the total number of U.S. physicians, a reduction that could be felt most acutely in rural communities already experiencing access challenges.  Further, research shows that shortages of healthcare workers in rural areas widen existing health disparities and contribute to hospital closures,” according to the issue brief.

Meanwhile, this week’s “presidential debate shed light once again on the unaffordable costs and harmful consequences American families would face under new government-controlled health insurance systems, namely Medicare for All, Medicare buy-in and the public option,” as the Partnership pointed out in a statement and highlighted in a memo

And while some candidates try to paint other new government-controlled health insurance systems – such as the public option and Medicare buy-in – as “moderate” proposals, these would ultimately lead to the same unaffordable costs and harmful consequences.  As Chris Pope, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute noted in National Review“[t]he more a public option is able to achieve the increases in coverage and benefit generosity promised by single-payer, the more it is likely to yield the associated disadvantages of tax increases or cutbacks in access to quality medical services.”

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