A 'Medicare for all' would be cost efficient
February 27, 2020
To The Eagle:
If you’re thinking that having the federal government guarantee coverage to all Americans is a big deal, it’s actually not. The government already pays for about two-thirds of health care costs.
Among other things, it pays for Medicare, Medicaid, VA, TriCare and a wide range of state and local health care programs, along with private insurance for government employees and tax subsidies for private insurance.
Whether you call it single-payer or Medicare for All, it isn’t some socialist pipe dream. It’s a sensible, efficient, and effective way to guarantee excellent health insurance to everyone. The evidence abounds: A "Medicare for All" single-payer system would guarantee comprehensive coverage to everyone in America and save money.
Three University of California campuses examined 22 studies on the projected cost impact for single-payer health insurance in the United States and reported their findings in a recent paper in PLOS Medicine. Every single study predicted that it would yield net savings over several years. In fact, it’s the only way to rein in health care spending significantly in the U.S.
All of the studies, regardless of ideological orientation, showed that long-term cost savings were likely. Even the Mercatus Center, a right-wing think tank, recently found about $2 trillion in net savings over 10 years from a single-payer Medicare for All system.
Most importantly, everyone in America would have high-quality health care coverage. Medicare for All is far less costly than our current system largely because it reduces administrative costs.
With one public plan negotiating rates with health care providers, billing becomes quite simple. We do away with three-quarters of the estimated $812 billion the U.S. now spends on health care administration. A uniform claims data system helps reduce health care spending for fraudulent services. In 2018, total U.S. health care costs were $3.6 trillion, representing 17.7 percent of GDP.
If anyone tells you “a government takeover of our health care is a ruinous socialist plot,” ask them to show you their facts on the matter.