How the Bernie Sanders Plan Would Both Beef Up and Slim Down Medicare

How the Bernie Sanders Plan Would Both Beef Up and Slim Down Medicare

Employer sponsored healthcare is super popular.

Medicare-for-All coverage is better than employer plans. No deductibles, no copays, vision/hearing/dental included. Choice of providers. And it's less expensive. Employer plans are mostly popular with people who have great plans, low employee contributions and no clue how much it actually costs their employer.

This different Medicare would face the push and pull of expanded reach and fixed means: one that would tend to increase the cost to the government for care, and one devised to reduce it. Just what sort of Medicare program results would depend on the government that runs it.

Hopefully the same government that runs the current Medicare program, arguably the most efficient, well-run and most popular health insurance program in the country. It's almost a certainty that it will be run far better than the mess we have now architected by the private, for-profit insurance corporations. The bill also enables the government to negotiate prescription drug prices with the pharma industry, something that's been banned since the Bush era Medicare Part D legislation.

You aren't eliminating overhead. You are changing it. Whether the government is able to administer it cheaper is this big question.

When you eliminate hundreds of billions of dollars of administrative overhead and tens of billions of dollars of pharma price gouging it has to get cheaper unless you totally f it up. And I believe the CMS has its act together.

Gerald Friedman published a detailed analysis last summer. Colorado blue ribbon commission did the same. There have been multiple studies. Do you disagree with what I listed? Any business student could tell you there is a vast amount of unnecessary overhead in the system.

Do you really think you can logic the answer? How about some empirical data to back it up?

Well not paying directly is a nice thing. Whether it's lower than the increase in taxes is unclear.

Employer sponsored healthcare is super popular. I'm not saying we shouldn't have single payer, but don't confuse the individual market which is marginally better thanks to the ACA with employer sponsored private care which is pretty damn good.

You aren't eliminating overhead. You are changing it.

No, you're eliminating it.

First, from the provider end. Instead of hundreds of different policies, different claims systems and different insurers providers now only have to deal with one. The same one for everyone. And it's the one nearly all say is by far the easiest to deal with. So that eliminates a significant portion of the providers' billings and claims departments. Which is huge. Ask someone who runs a private clinic.

Next, you eliminate all of the duplication of systems caused by hundreds of different private insurers, each with their own unique policies and claims systems.

Next, you eliminate the no longer necessary private insurance overhead. No marketing expenses. No underwriting. No profits. No political contributions. No obscene executive compensation packages. No shiny new skyscrapers in major cities.

Next, you eliminate all of the overhead that the federal government is in a unique position to do. Like no billing and accounts receivable, because the IRS does that for you.

And finally, you eliminate even more duplication by rolling Medicare, Medicaid and federal health insurance into a single program.

The savings are vast. Literally hundreds of billions of dollars per year. And a big part of the reason why our system is the most expensive in the world. And I'm not even counting the personal overhead savings to millions of customers who now no longer have to deal with selecting insurance policies, deductibles, copays, etc.