FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Medicare for All Won’t Kill Health Insurance Industry

Let the scaremongering begin.

Pundits and politicians who object to all Americans having access to health care are out in full force spreading misinformation they hope will stop the nascent push to pass some form of Medicare for All.

Besides complaints that Medicare for All will cost too much and result in higher taxes (factors which haven’t stopped every other industrialized nation on the Earth from implementing universal health care plans), Medicare for All opponents, like Starbucks former CEO and potential third-party spoiler Howard Shultz, say the plan will cost millions of jobs by wiping out the private health insurance market.

Democrats like Kamala Harris “say we should abolish the insurance industry as a way to go forward on healthcare, that alone would wipe out millions of jobs and that is a kind of extreme policy I would not agree with,” Schultz said on The View.

Hang on there, Skippy. Medicare for All would not “abolish the insurance industry.”

Today, health insurance companies rake in millions of dollars selling supplemental plans to Medicare recipients. And if Medicare for All were to pass they would continue to peddle their supplemental plans and continue to rake in millions.

If you are a senior on Medicare, you are all too familiar with those slick health insurance agents who cold call your phone every evening hoping to scare you into buying supplemental health insurance, and warning you about the catastrophic medical expenses you will incur if you get sick or become hospitalized and only have Medicare coverage.

These supplemental plans are often unnecessary, but that does not stop companies from scaring millions of Americans into purchasing them. As Medicare expert David Belk, MD, points out, “If Medicare doesn’t cover a service, in most cases, a supplemental policy won’t cover that service either…The supplemental plans are really just insurance to cover the insurance you already have. How does that make any sense at all?”

And yet millions of Americans today purchase supplemental health insurance. If Medicare for All were implemented, those Americans who can afford it will continue to purchase supplemental plans, just as they do in Canada where Medicare doesn’t cover prescription drugs. In fact, some 75 percent of Canadians have some form of supplementary private health insurance and many of them receive it through their employers.

Oh, and the Canadian health insurance industry is doing just fine.

And of course, those who cannot afford supplemental plans will, at least, have basic Medicare coverage, which is more than many of them have now.

Even the radical far right Washington Examiner had to admit that: “[T]here’s a limited claim that can be made that in theory, [US Senator Bernie Sanders’] bill, after getting rid of all existing policies, would allow private insurers to offer some supplemental benefits.

So yes, the health insurance industry will do just fine.

Medicare for All might cost as few insurance jobs, but we would gain access to health care for tens of  millions of Americans who now lack coverage or who have inadequate coverage.

To sum up: the healthcare companies will do fine. It’s the tens of millions of uninsured and underinsured we should be worrying about.

 

More articles by:

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

June 19, 2019
Matthew Stevenson
Requiem for a Lightweight: the Mayor Pete Factor
Kenneth Surin
In China Again
Stephen Cooper
Abolishing the Death Penalty Requires Morality
George Ochenski
The DNC Can’t Be Allowed to Ignore the Climate Crisis
John W. Whitehead
The Omnipresent Surveillance State
William Camacaro - Frederick B. Mills
Guaidó’s Star Fades as His Envoys to Colombia Allegedly Commit Fraud With Humanitarian Funds for Venezuela
Dave Lindorff
What About Venezuela’s Hacked Power Grid?
Howard Lisnoff
Try Not to Look Away
Binoy Kampmark
Matters of Water: Dubious Approvals and the Adani Carmichael Mine
Karl Grossman
The Battle to Stop the Shoreham Nuclear Plant, Revisited
Kani Xulam
Farting in a Turkish Mosque
Dean Baker
New Manufacturing Jobs are Not Union Jobs
Elizabeth Keyes
“I Can’t Believe Alcohol Is Stronger Than Love”
June 18, 2019
John McMurtry
Koch-Oil Big Lies and Ecocide Writ Large in Canada
Robert Fisk
Trump’s Evidence About Iran is “Dodgy” at Best
Yoav Litvin
Catch 2020 – Trump’s Authoritarian Endgame
Thomas Knapp
Opposition Research: It’s Not Trump’s Fault That Politics is a “Dirty” Game
Medea Benjamin - Nicolas J. S. Davies
U.S. Sanctions: Economic Sabotage that is Deadly, Illegal and Ineffective
Gary Leupp
Marx and Walking Zen
Thomas Hon Wing Polin
Color Revolution In Hong Kong: USA Vs. China
Howard Lisnoff
The False Prophets Cometh
Michael T. Klare
Bolton Wants to Fight Iran, But the Pentagon Has Its Sights on China
Steve Early
The Global Movement Against Gentrification
Dean Baker
The Wall Street Journal Doesn’t Like Rent Control
Tom Engelhardt
If Trump’s the Symptom, Then What’s the Disease?
June 17, 2019
Patrick Cockburn
The Dark Side of Brexit: Britain’s Ethnic Minorities Are Facing More and More Violence
Linn Washington Jr.
Remember the Vincennes? The US’s Long History of Provoking Iran
Geoff Dutton
Where the Wild Things Were: Abbey’s Road Revisited
Nick Licata
Did a Coverup of Who Caused Flint Michigan’s Contaminated Water Continue During Its Investigation? 
Binoy Kampmark
Julian Assange and the Scales of Justice: Exceptions, Extraditions and Politics
John Feffer
Democracy Faces a Global Crisis
Louisa Willcox
Revamping Grizzly Bear Recovery
Stephen Cooper
“Wheel! Of! Fortune!” (A Vegas Story)
Daniel Warner
Let Us Laugh Together, On Principle
Brian Cloughley
Trump Washington Detests the Belt and Road Initiative
Weekend Edition
June 14, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Michael Hudson
Trump’s Trade Threats are Really Cold War 2.0
Bruce E. Levine
Tom Paine, Christianity, and Modern Psychiatry
Jason Hirthler
Mainstream 101: Supporting Imperialism, Suppressing Socialism
T.J. Coles
How Much Do Humans Pollute? A Breakdown of Industrial, Vehicular and Household C02 Emissions
Andrew Levine
Whither The Trump Paradox?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: In the Land of 10,000 Talkers, All With Broken Tongues
Pete Dolack
Look to U.S. Executive Suites, Not Beijing, For Why Production is Moved
Paul Street
It Can’t Happen Here: From Buzz Windrip and Doremus Jessup to Donald Trump and MSNBC
Rob Urie
Capitalism Versus Democracy
Richard Moser
The Climate Counter-Offensive: Secrecy, Deception and Disarming the Green New Deal
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail