February 14, 2020 | 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:

As the presidential primaries continue to heat up, one issue in particular has been top of voters’ minds: health care.  And as some candidates call for one-size-fits-all new health insurance systems, “[t]he president of the American Medical Association (AMA) criticized ‘Medicare for All’ as a ‘one-size-fits-all solution,’” The Hill reports

“We just don’t think a one-size-fits-all solution works,” Dr. Patrice Harris told The Hill when asked about a Medicare for All, single-payer system.  “And so, we believe that there should be choice for patient, choice for physician, and there should be a plurality of available options, but absolutely having a strong safety net,” she added in the interview at the group’s national advocacy conference in Washington … Many doctors worry that the payment rates under Medicare for All would be insufficient, given that Medicare currently pays lower rates than private insurance does.

Meanwhile, ahead of the Nevada Democratic caucuses, one powerful Nevada union is sounding the alarm on some candidates’ calls for a one-size-fits-all new government health insurance system.  The Culinary Union in Nevada recently released a flyer “warning that Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) ‘Medicare for All’ plan would ‘end’ their health care plan,” The Hill reports

The flyer describes Sanders’s health care plan by saying [Medicare for All] would “End Culinary Healthcare.”  Under his Medicare for All plan, all private health insurance would be replaced with a government-run plan.  The flyer also notes that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) would “replace Culinary Healthcare after 3-year transition,” given that she also proposes Medicare for All, but not right away.  An earlier flyer from the Union, also reported by the Independent, issued a broader warning about Medicare for All.  “Presidential candidates suggesting forcing millions of hard working people to give up their healthcare creates unnecessary division between workers…,” the flyer stated.

“The Culinary Union, which provides health insurance to 130,000 workers and their family members through a special trust fund, strongly opposes Medicare for all on the basis that it would eliminate the health insurance they have negotiated for over several decades,” The Nevada Independent adds.

They’re right. Medicare for All would mean 180 million Americans would lose their employer-provided health coverage and be forced into a one-size-fits-all new government health insurance system controlled by politicians.  According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), under a one-size-fits-all government health insurance system, “participants would not have a choice of insurer or health benefits compared with the options available under the current system, the benefits provided by the public plan might not address the needs of some people.”  

And, as reiterated in last week’s presidential debate, studies and experts have also confirmed that Medicare for All would cause American families to pay more to wait longer for worse care.  “[N]ew government-controlled health insurance systems, like Medicare for All, Medicare buy-in and the public option, proposed by candidates would burden American families with unaffordable risks and negative consequences,” said Lauren Crawford Shaver, executive director of the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future in a statement



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