5.20.19 / Updates

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING Americans Urge Elected Officials To Build On What Is Working, Reject One-Size-Fits-All Health Care

As high-profile editorial boards and leading Democrats continue to denounce Medicare for all in advance of Wednesday’s hearing in the House Committee on the Budget, voices throughout the nation are also encouraging elected officials to improve and build on what is working and fix what isn’t in American health care, while opposing a one-size-fits-all government-run system that will force Americans to pay more.

Catherine Prato, Nevada State Board of Nursing and a director of Nevada Nurses Association, Nevada:

Medicare for All may sound like the panacea we have all been searching for, but a closer look shows a different story.  While there are many aspects of MFA that make it ruinous(unaffordability, higher taxes), as a nursing professional, I choose to focus on the following three that will hurt patients — less access to care, health professionals choosing to leave the profession, needed future health care professionals discouraged from entering the field and a decline of innovation regarding new drugs and procedures.

… The saying “If something is too good to be true …” definitely applies to Medicare for All.  And if these arguments aren’t enough to second-guess this proposed idea, think of this: Do you want the same people who couldn’t keep the government open in charge of your health care decisions?

Marsha Swails, Democratic Former State Representative, Minnesota:

… Americans are hungry for Congress to improve the Affordable Care Act, not undermine it with something radically different.  Democrats can show the American people we are ready to lead by offering reasonable solutions to improve the law and protect this vital health care policy.

Bart Jacobs, Utah:

Medicare for All is wrong, for the following reasons: The shortage of doctors in the next 20 years is expected to be 125,000.  Canadians have to wait to see a specialist more than nine months on average, and they wind up going to the US to have their surgery performed.  There will be long waiting lists to see a specialist.  Seniors will not get treatment because younger patients will also be on these waiting lists.  The government will set compensation for all doctors/nurses and have stated the pay will be about 40% of what is today’s salaries.  Which will further reduce the amount of people who want to become doctors and will go into other fields where they will earn what they thought they would get under the old system.

Laura Smith, Nurse Practitioner, Ohio:

… Medicare for all and the “buy-in” option would lead to Americans losing their private insurance plans, and force us into an expensive system that would be bogged down by bureaucratic red tape.

Under these plans, more and more Americans would be pressured into the same bad government program that “Medicare for all” would provide.  Even with this “moderate” option, we would end up with an inefficient, non-customizable, and expensive system of nationalized healthcare.  Patients would face additional delays in care, and reduced access to wide variety of specialist.  Providers, like myself, would be tied to prescribing based on a formulary that is not always supported by patient outcomes, but by costs.

If we truly want to fix our healthcare system, we need to build on what is working with our current plans and fix what isn’t.

Jim Hartman, Attorney, Nevada:

… According to studies from both the liberal Urban Institute and the conservative Mercatus Center, Sanders’ plan would increase federal spending by $32 trillion over 10 years.  Even doubling all federal individual and corporate tax receipts would be insufficient to pay that cost.  Sanders doesn’t offer a specific way to pay for the plan.

This enormous cost has been made evident at the state level.  States could unilaterally enact a single-payer system, but even the most liberal — most noteworthy Sanders’ home state of Vermont in 2014 — abandoned the plan when the scale of associated tax increases became clear.

… About 156 million Americans have private employer-sponsored health insurance plans and another 22 million seniors have private Medicare Advantage plans … They would all have to switch to government insurance.  That fact is risky for proponents.  Senator Harris drew attacks after telling a CNN town hall that she was for Medicare for All and that she would “eliminate all of that”, referring to the private health insurance industry.  Harris later backtracked.

Dan Skogen, Democratic Former State Senator, Minnesota:

… Democrats should not be distracted by proposals to replace the [Affordable Care Act] with a new national single-payer, Medicare-for-all system.  Instead, they should be working to preserve and protect the hard-fought gains achieved by the law and work in a bipartisan manner to build on what works and fix what doesn’t.  The ACA works where it addresses preexisting conditions, allowing us to insure our children through age 26 and addressing lifetime caps.  And while it provided access to insurance for all it did not implement cost controls or address underpayment on reimbursement of Medicare.

… According to a 2011 report, 64% of hospitals in our country lose money treating Medicare patients.  Forcing rural hospitals to care for even more patients without fixing this problem could devastate them, forcing some to close, and potentially leaving thousands of patients without care.

… By fixing remaining issues under the ACA and working together to provide more resources to our rural hospitals we can make it easier – not harder – for Minnesotans to get the care they need.

Nancy Thompson Flaschner, California:

… Take a look at Medicare for All and the effect it would have on seniors: 1) Younger patients will be given priority because normally their procedures are less expensive and less complicated.  2) Need hip or knee replacement, cataract surgery, angioplasty? Welcome to the wait list.  According to the Royal College of Surgeons, nearly one-quarter of a million British patients wait over six months to receive planned medical treatment from the National Health Service, a government-run, single-payer system.  3) The cost of Medicare for All will be unsustainable for future generations and an unbearable burden on taxpayers.  Medicare is already in trouble.

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