Tag Archives: medicare for all

“Biggest Threat to the American Health Care System”

Thats what Seema Verma calls “medicare for all.” Who is she? Well besides being the prior CEO of a health policy consulting firm, Health Management Associates – she is the Director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Why does the Director of Medicare feel this way?
 “What we’re talking about is stripping people of their private health insurance, forcing them into a government-run program.”

But Verma noted that socialized health care systems in other countries have problems of their own — including long wait times and poor care — leading citizens to travel to the U.S. for drugs and care they can’t access at home.

“So this is a bureaucracy that’s going to be making decisions about everybody’s healthcare, what kind of benefits they can have, what kind of medications that they can have access to,” she said. “And if we look at other socialized countries that have tried this approach, what do we see there? Long wait times, poor quality health care and that’s why those people are flying to the United States to get their health care.”

Medicare for All

Its clear that Bernie Sanders is making “Medicare for All” the keystone in his push for the 2020 Democratic Nomination. The topic of guaranteeing health care for all Americans is popular so its a smart move on his part, and makes for easy sound bites.


“Together we are going to end the international embarrassment of the United States of America, our great country, being the only major nation on earth not to guarantee health care to all as a right,” Sanders said. “This is a struggle for the heart and soul of who we are as American people.” “Health care is a human right, not a privilege,” Sanders said at a Capitol Hill rally Wednesday.

The real battle here is about logistics and cost, however. you don’t hear much about that on the nightly news or the late-night talk shows. Most estimates, including democratic ones, indicate it ” could increase government spending on health care by more than $25 trillion. ” The liberterian Mercatus Center puts the price tag at 32.6 trillion over ten years. Sanders claims that the higher taxes paid by all would be balanced by what you would save on premiums and high deductibles. This discounts the fact that about 85% of the population has claims less than $2000 every year; they will still be paying much higher taxes.

The White House described the plan as a “total government takeover of health care that would actually hurt seniors, eliminate private health insurance for 180 million Americans, and cripple our economy and future generations with unprecedented debt.” The president has vowed the GOP will be the “party of great health care,” but has not provided a plan of his own.

Unfortunately, no one on either side has yet proposed any legislation that would be functional, reasonable priced, and actually solve some of the biggest issues in health care costs- prescription drug costs, fraud and skyrocketing malpractice costs. Our system is clearly broken, and cannot be fixed by soundbites, political parties or sweeping statements. IMHO its time this country figured this out.

Waiting 19.8 weeks to see a specialist…

In light of the recent push for socialized medicine, or “Medicare for All”, A recent article (click here) looked at Canada’s socialized medicine program with the following findings:

  1. Long waits plague patients in other countries with government-run health care. Take Canada, which outlaws private health insurance for anything considered medically necessary, just as “Medicare for all” would. The median wait for treatment from a specialist following referral by a general practitioner is 19.8 weeks, according to the Fraser Institute, a Vancouver-based think tank. In 1993, the median wait was less than half as much – 9.3 weeks.
  2. Waits are far longer for some specialties. For orthopedic surgery, the median wait for specialist treatment is 39 weeks.
  3. On the other side of the Atlantic, the United Kingdom’s government-run, 70-year old National Health Service, is proving similarly incapable of providing quality care. The system is currently short 100,000 health professionals – doctors, nurses and other workers. It’s no wonder 14 percent of procedures were canceled, right before they were scheduled to occur, during a one-week period in the last week of March 2018. The NHS sees this as an anomaly and an NHS spokesman said, “Actually, only a tiny minority of operations — just 1 in 100 — is canceled on the day.” But still, last July, 4.3 million patients were waiting for an operation – the highest figure in a decade. During the winter, the system goes into crisis mode. Between December 2017 and February 2018, more than 163,000 patients waited in corridors and ambulances for more than 30 minutes before being admitted to the emergency room. To deal with the crunch, officials ordered hospitals to cancel 50,000 operations.

So what about claims that it would cost less?  It sounds too good to be true because it clearly is.  The proposed system in one NY bill presented would cover everyone, with no copays or deductibles and no premiums;  it would be financed by much higher payroll taxes on Employers and Employees alike.  How high is a good question, but when you have eliminated any cost sharing by those covered, all cost containments being eliminated, and the massive disruption to the health care industry you can expect them to be in the range of the proposal by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez- 70% marginal tax rates.   In fact, every financial evaluation I have seen shows it would not lower cost, but raise them dramatically for all users.

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Reeve Conover is a Registered Representative. Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/dealer member FINRA/SPIC. Cambridge and Conover Consulting are not affiliated. Licensed in SC, NC, NY, CT, NJ, and CA.
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