WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: Americans Urge Elected Officials To Build On What Is Working, Reject One-Size-Fits-All Health Care
WASHINGTON – As headlines across the nation warn about the threat rural hospitals face under the public option, voices throughout the nation are encouraging elected officials to oppose a one-size-fits-all government insurance system that will force Americans to pay more to wait longer for worse care.
… Today, I’m deeply frustrated by our national health care debate … Both parties need to refocus their ideological energy on how to provide insurance to the tens of millions of Americans who are still without coverage, expand on what’s working, and fix what’s not.
… Advancing sound health care policy should be Democrats’ greatest electoral asset going into 2020, but I fear it may become our greatest electoral liability … Any hospital’s chief financial officer will tell you that Medicare pays lower reimbursement rates than private payers. Clinical providers, especially in rural areas, struggle to find the right balance between publicly and privately funded patients so they can make payroll and keep their doors open. Lowering benefit options and reimbursement rates downwards … will also result in barriers to care and could limit treatment options.
… This is about people’s lives and well-being, not who has the best sound bite … Good policy makes good politics; in both regards, let’s focus on supporting and enhancing proven solutions in our health care insurance system.
… The Congressional Budget Office analyzed the possibility of a single-payer system and warned it would be very disruptive to switch over to the new system … The single-payer proposal would need significant tax increases to cover the increased total cost of their proposal. No single-payer proponent has been able to explain how to avoid the $30 trillion cost of this single-payer proposal. Getting consensus on who, how, and the amount for everyone to pay in higher taxes seems impossible.
… Medicare payments, without private insurers’ higher payments, are not enough for most physician services and hospitals to stay open, and private insurers often pay as much as 25-50 percent higher for the same services. Medicare has particularly been shortchanging rural physicians, and the critical shortage of rural physicians would only worsen without the private insurers’ higher payments … Most Iowa physicians have been willing to accept lower payments for Medicare and Medicaid patients, but if private insurers went away, losses on many services could cause many physicians to close their practices in Iowa.
Democrats who push the single-payer solution are gambling that most voters will choose their plan – but if they can’t convince the moderate and independent voters that the high cost and major disruption is worth it – their high stakes gamble could result in loss of Obamacare’s coverage of 20-30 million previously uninsured and insurance reforms that have for the past ten years protected 100 million Americans from losing coverage for their pre-existing conditions.
… Montanans expect and deserve access to affordable, high-quality healthcare, but leaders who argue we can get there by either repealing the Affordable Care Act or passing Medicare for All would establish a new system without a foundation.
… While a “one-size-fits-all” proposal might seem enticing, the reality is that it won’t work for everyone. In terms of healthcare delivery, Montana faces challenges other states with big cities do not, simply because half of our population is rural. We want our patients to be served in the communities in which they live and eliminating private coverage for Montanans in favor of a system that doesn’t cover a hospital’s costs will result in Montanans traveling even more to get the care they need. We should not be eliminating access to care when we’ve made so much progress in improving it.
I wanted to write a brief note to say that I believe Senator Sinema’s tenure in the Senate has been measured and focused … A great example is her position on Medicare For All and government-run health care. Instead of endorsing these grand and improbable ideas, she works on legislation to make fixes to the Affordable Care Act and increase rural access to healthcare.
Some Democratic presidential candidates promise Medicare for all — no premiums, deductibles and almost no co-pays … The candidates’ plan would cost $3.6 trillion per year, equal to 75.8% of the total federal budget. If you think that taxing the rich would pay for the 97.3% of the cost not covered by profits, you need a math class. The AP quoted Marc Goldwein, senior policy director with the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, “My view is that we are having a debate in fantasy world.”