Thursday, December 8, 2016
#343 / Medicare For All Versus Medicare For None
I have previously stated my support for a system of national medical care that would be based on a collective, national decision to "self-insure." This kind of a system could be called "Medicare for all."
In a "Medicare for all" system, everyone would have access to quality health care. The national government, of course, would have to pay for that, and the government would provide the necessary funding by taxing the population, probably utilizing what would end up being a somewhat complicated set of taxing tools. The details of how this system of taxation and health care coverage would work would require considerable discussion and debate, but the "idea" is pretty simple: we are all in this together, and we all benefit when every one of us has access to quality health care. Thus, it makes sense for us to decide, collectively, to provide that care to everyone. such a system would be both cheaper and better.
Other nations HAVE done this, by the way. We also know, from our own experience, that "Medicare for all" would work. How do we know that? We know that because we know how well our existing Medicare system works.
I am on Medicare. It works great! And I am not the only one who thinks so, either! During the recent presidential campaign, confused republican voters were said to have expressed this sentiment: "Keep your goddamn government hands off my Medicare!"
Ah, the irony, right?
Unfortunately, it appears that there might be a serious effort, after our new President takes office, to move to a "Medicare for none" system. At least, that is what liberal economist Paul Krugman is prognosticating.
I am not yet convinced that the near hysterical tone of Krugman's statements (which come close to assuming that Medicare will, in fact, be eliminated) is actually an accurate description of where we are politically. Let's not assume that! If, however, the Republican Congress passes legislation that eliminates the existing Medicare system, and if President Trump then signs the bill, we will definitely know that our democratic politics has indeed gone off the rails.