Nov 18, 2019 |
OPINION, Pacific Research |
With the 2020 race for the White House unfolding, there is no better example of politicians blowing smoke than the Democrats’ mantra of “Medicare for All.”
Healthcare is certainly top-of-mind for many seniors, who are projected to make up nearly a quarter of the electorate in 2020, the largest fraction since 1970.
If the implications of Medicare for All were understood by the 50 million or so and increasing numbers of seniors in the United States, the promises of the Democrat presidential hopefuls could precipitate a Red Wave in the 2020 election.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, in 2017 (the most recent validated data), of the 317 million Americans, approximately 43 million are now on Medicare or Medicare Advantage and 75 million rely on Medicaid. Of the remaining 209 million, 9 million are in Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans, and 28 million are uninsured.
Of the uninsured, 5 million opted out of employer plans, 12 million declined government assistance, and nearly 6 million are undocumented immigrants.
Democrats seemingly are focused on these various minorities. The rest of the population is covered privately or by other government entities (e.g. the Veterans Administration). An important fact, well known to politicians and their pollsters, is that Medicare recipients are more likely to vote than other groups.
Putting aside the consequences for the economy (a downturn) and taxation (much higher or new taxes), there are many reasons seniors have reason to fear almost any version of Medicare for All:
If you like your doctor or provider, you may not be able to keep him
Many healthcare providers accept Medicare patients in spite of the relatively low reimbursement rates—38-40 percent below what they get paid for treating private patients—because private insurance patients’ higher reimbursement offers them a financial cushion. Primary care physicians (PCPs), in particular, understand this balance.
Millions of new participants jumping into the pool would encourage providers to stop seeing Medicare patients. A severe provider shortage already plagues Medicaid … Read more.
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