Medicare for None
Howard Walker, of Rockville, had a good letter in the Projo in response to the “Medicare for All” component of Froma Harrop’s single-minded theme, of late. Unfortunately, the letter doesn’t appear to be online, but here’s it’s key point:
Ms. Harrop never tells us how Medicare for All would contain health-care costs. In Rhode Island, Medicare “contains” costs by paying hospitals and doctors less than 90 percent of the actual cost of treating Medicare patients. Private insurers make up the difference: They pay more than the actual cost of treating patients and pass that expense on to their policy holders in higher premiums.
That is, Medicare doesn’t “contain” costs at all: It just hides them by shifting them to private insurance, which subsidizes Medicare. …
There is no way private insurers can compete in such a marketplace. They will go out of business, leaving the government as the “single payer” — exactly the result left-wingers want but know they cannot sell to the public honestly.
How are Medicare and Medicare for All going to contain health-care costs once there are no private insurers left to shift them to? … Medicare is already $35 trillion in the hole.
As with much else, when it comes to government involvement in the economy and our lives, it sounds good at first blush — and one can even get multiple 700-word columns whacking the same topic — but it doesn’t withstand scrutiny.