This past Wednesday, the Senate have brought fourth a new single-payer plan, Medicare For All. This new plan is exactly what it sounds like, Medicare that is available for everyone regardless of their income, or employment level. Under the bill, Medicare would be expanded over a period of four years, in the first year Medicare will be eligible to children through age 18 and to adults age 55 to 64. It would then be reduced to 45 in the second year and then 35 in the third year. Finally, in the fourth year every resident of the United States would be eligible for the healthcare benefits offered in Medicare.
It is a huge expansion of the original Medicare plan, where only people over the age of 65 were candidates for Medicare. In the new plan, all American would have access to their choice of a provider with the federal government providing financial assistance. This plan would supposedly eliminate the need for patients to pay insurance premiums, reduce standardized
treatments, improve health outcomes, and end the threat of bankruptcy due to health bill.
Medicare For All would be funded by a 6.2 percent income-based healthcare premium tax to be paid by employers ($630 billion annually); a 2.2 percent income-based premium tax for households, projected at less than $500 for a family of four ($210 billion annually); and changes to other healthcare taxes.
It would also require heavier levies on wealthy Americans, including limits to tax deductions, changes to capital gains and estate taxes, and a more progressive income tax system that could rise as much as $110 billion a year, among other reforms. But the debate on how to fund the plan is still ongoing.
There is also the problem with the supplemental aspect of Medicare. The government may foot the bill for 80% of the cost of insurance in the Medicare Bill, but the individual would still have to pay 20% copay. Would the new bill really be able to eliminate out-of-pocket costs like copayments?
Urban Institute estimated this plan would cost $32 trillion over 10 years.
What do you think? Is Medicare for All for you?