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Bernie Sanders Single-Payer Healthcare plan

 
 
Reply Sun 17 Jan, 2016 11:45 am
Robert Reich
3 mins ·
Today, Bernie Sanders will be unveiling the details of his single-payer healthcare plan. I've seen it, and it's a huge advance over what we have now. The Affordable Care Act is an important first step towards the goal of universal health care -- insuring more than 17 million Americans who had lacked health insurance. But 29 million Americans still lack health insurance, and millions more can’t afford to see a doctor because of high co-payments and deductibles. And the nation continues to spend a higher percent of our total economy on health care than any other advanced nation while getting the worst health outcomes. We must move to a universal single-payer system, as in almost every other advanced nation.
Bernie’s plan isn't nearly as radical as it will be portrayed. It builds on the strengths of Medicare. Like Medicare, it's universal -- separating health insurance from employment, and enabling people to choose a health care provider without worrying about whether that provider is in-network: All they’d need do is go to the doctor and show their insurance card. No more copays, no more deductibles and no more fighting with insurance companies when they fail to pay for charges.
Through a single national insurance system, we’ll no longer be paying for the marketing and advertising of private for-profit health insurers, nor their giant executive salaries, or their complex billing systems. Government will negotiate fair prices with drug companies, hospitals, and medical suppliers.
I’ve looked at the savings and the costs in Bernie’s plan, and it will work. The United States currently spends $3 trillion a year on health care —nearly $10,000 per person. Bernie’s plan will save American families and businesses over $6 trillion over the next decade. The typical middle-class family will save over $5,000 a year; the typical business will save over $10,000 a year. The costs for families and businesses will be far less than these savings.
Take a look at the plan when it's released later today and let me know what you think.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 13 • Views: 3,747 • Replies: 99

 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Jan, 2016 11:55 am
@edgarblythe,
That's what Canada has and that's what most of Europe has - a good universal healthcare system. Paid partially through taxes equally by employer/employee and based solely on one's salary which means higher income translates to higher premiums. The unemployed/welfare recipients receive the same universal healthcare as it is now also available through Medicaid.

Universal healthcare doesn't prevent anyone from opting out and going to a private insurance carrier in the hopes of better service. It's an option everyone should have, however, basic universal healthcare should be available to every citizen.
MontereyJack
 
  2  
Reply Sun 17 Jan, 2016 12:08 pm
Real-world experience over the last century, in every developed nation on earth has proved that conservative free-enterprise economics has NEVER worked better or cheaper than single-payer healthcare. It's time the US joined the club. Go, Bernie.
Real Music
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Jan, 2016 01:04 pm
@edgarblythe,
I fully support Bernie Sanders in his desire to implement single-payer/ Medicare for all. If implementation and funding is done the right way, this would be wonderful for all of us. I am not sure, but I believe it would be funded by increasing the medicare taxes, which is technically a tax increase. What some people don't seem to understand is that although your medicare tax will go up, your deductibles, copayments, and private health insurance premiums will be for the most part completed eliminated. Ultimately taking everything in consideration which includes your medicare tax increase, you will still have more money in your pocket while receiving universal health care.

One other note. I am not sure of the specific details regarding medicare tax increases. I hope the plan is to base everyone's medicare tax on each person's income. I hope the medicare tax would be based on some type of percentage of a person's income. The greater your income the greater your medicare tax. The smaller your income the smaller your medicare tax. This way the Medicare taxes is unlikely to create any kind of financial hardship. The wealthier you are, the more you can afford in medicare taxes. The poorer you are, the less you can afford in Medicare taxes.

If you had 7 different people with 7 different income their percentage of their income would be the same. For example one person earn 10,000. Another person earn 20,000. Another person earn 50,000. Another person earn 100,000. Another person earned 1,000,000. Another person earn 1,000,000,000. And another person earn 10,000,000,000. Each one of the individuals would pay the exact same PERCENTAGE of their annual income. This way their is no maximum cap for those super wealthy.
0 Replies
 
Tes yeux noirs
 
  2  
Reply Sun 17 Jan, 2016 01:55 pm
@CalamityJane,
Quote:
Universal healthcare doesn't prevent anyone from opting out and going to a private insurance carrier in the hopes of better service.

In the UK you can't 'opt out' in the sense of avoiding paying for the National Health Service by having a private insurance plan (I don't think this is what you meant). You can, indeed, take out some kind of private plan, and your premiums will be in addition to your NHS contributions. The NHS raises money by renting out any spare capacity to private health providers so you sometimes find the bizarre situation of private patients being treated in an NHS hospital by NHS doctors and nurses.
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Jan, 2016 02:05 pm
@MontereyJack,
Quote:
It's time the US joined the club. Go, Bernie
Amen, Jack, Real, Jane

We're appalled by the med that costs 500 times more from one source to the next
0 Replies
 
Real Music
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Jan, 2016 04:47 pm
@CalamityJane,
Single payer/Medicare for all is a wonderful program that I fully support. As far as allowing anyone to opt out of the single payer would be a really bad idea for obvious reasons. People who have annual income in the millions and billions clearly would pay millions less in private insurance premiums leaving the rest of us with a much greater burden in our Single-Payer/Medicare taxes. Especially if each individual is taxed based on some kind of percentage of annual income to pay their Single-Payer/Medicare tax.

For example, let's say someone has a annual income of $10,000,000. Let's say hypothetically that person had to pay 5% of that income into the Single-Payer/Medicare taxes. That person would be paying $500,000 annually in Single-Payer/Medicare taxes. If you allowed that person to opt out, that person would obviously opt out to avoid paying $500,000 annually in Single-Payer/Medicare taxes. That wealthy person hypothetically would only have to pay annually something like $3,000 to $15,000 of private health insurance premiums depending on what type of private plan he chooses. If you ask why is that a bad thing. That's quite simple. If all of the wealthy people, who could afford to pay more opted out, the revenue from the Single-Payer/Medicare would drop by billions of dollars. As a direct result of billions of lost revenue, the people who can afford it the least, would have to pay much much much more in Single-Payer/Medicare taxes to make up for the wealthy people opting out.

I don't know what other people think about this. I am just fine with having someone who makes an annual income of $10,000,000 to have to pay a mere 5% of his income resulting in annual single-payer taxes of $500,000. Especially when that revenue source makes it possible for someone who has only an annual income of $30,000 to pay 5% totallying only $1500 annually into single-payer/medicare taxes. Single Payer would probably work better for more people only if you do not have an opt out option especially in regard to wealthy individuals. Also, Single-Payer would probably work better if each individual's single-payer medicare taxes was based on some kind of percentage of each person' annual income. That way there would be no kind of maximum cap the super wealthy would have to pay into the single-payer/medicare tax. If your annual income happens to be $100,000,000 or better yet $1,000,000,000, your mere 5% tax will greatly help fund Single-Payer for the millions of poor and middle class all over the nation.

I would have no problem with some wealthy person purchasing private health insurance as an additional insurance, but not okay with that person being allowed to opt out of Single-Payer/Medicare
0 Replies
 
revelette2
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Jan, 2016 05:08 pm
It depends on the details of his plan, if it is the one which has been described where the states have control of it, I see the same problems Obamacare had after the Supreme Court allowed states to decide if they want to participate or not. Moreover, by the time it comes out congress with all the input from people who do not want government health care, I doubt it will be anything like any plan Bernie Sanders may have. (said all this on another thread) I hardly think the insurance companies are just going to lay down and give in, they will have their lawyers and lobbyist doing everything they can to either stop it all together or get the most out of it that they can, which is what happened with Obamacare. I don't see a magic wand making all these problems going away.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Jan, 2016 05:28 pm
@revelette2,
revelette2 wrote:

It depends on the details of his plan, if it is the one which has been described where the states have control of it, I see the same problems Obamacare had after the Supreme Court allowed states to decide if they want to participate or not.


Boy, have you got that right.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Jan, 2016 06:03 pm
I have not seen the information, concerning the states' participation. I would expect that they would not get to deprive people of healthcare, or there would be no point in instituting such a system.
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Sun 17 Jan, 2016 07:54 pm
@edgarblythe,
Quote:
We must move to a universal single-payer system, as in almost every other advanced nation.

Actually Germany and the UK both have systems that are entirely different from single payer, and quite a few advanced countries choose to emulate one of those systems.


Quote:
Bernie’s plan isn't nearly as radical as it will be portrayed. It builds on the strengths of Medicare. Like Medicare, it's universal -- separating health insurance from employment, and enabling people to choose a health care provider without worrying about whether that provider is in-network: All they’d need do is go to the doctor and show their insurance card. No more copays, no more deductibles and no more fighting with insurance companies when they fail to pay for charges.

Medicare only covers part of people's medical bills. And it has copays and deductibles. People on Medicare who want true full coverage need to also purchase a Medigap F policy from a private insurer.

And sometimes there are procedures that Medicare will not pay for.

True though about Medicare not having "networks".

The Obamacare health exchanges also separate insurance from employment.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Sun 17 Jan, 2016 07:55 pm
@MontereyJack,
MontereyJack wrote:
Real-world experience over the last century, in every developed nation on earth has proved that conservative free-enterprise economics has NEVER worked better or cheaper than single-payer healthcare. It's time the US joined the club. Go, Bernie.

Germany and those nations that emulate the German health system have a competitive health insurance marketplace that seems to work pretty well for them.
0 Replies
 
revelette2
 
  2  
Reply Mon 18 Jan, 2016 08:58 am
@edgarblythe,
You do not understand my point. If Bernie Sanders plan is still the one where each individual state basically sets up the plan, even if in Bernie Sanders plan he says they have to participate, the plan runs the same risk as the Medicare expansion did when the Supreme Court ruled each individual state had the option to opt out if they chose.

For States That Opt Out Of Medicaid Expansion: 3.6 Million Fewer Insured And $8.4 Billion Less In Federal Payments

Quote:
The US Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act in 2012 allowed states to opt out of the health reform law’s Medicaid expansion. Since that ruling, fourteen governors have announced that their states will not expand their Medicaid programs. We used the RAND COMPARE microsimulation to analyze how opting out of Medicaid expansion would affect coverage and spending, and whether alternative policy options—such as partial expansion of Medicaid—could cover as many people at lower costs to states. With fourteen states opting out, we estimate that 3.6 million fewer people would be insured, federal transfer payments to those states could fall by $8.4 billion, and state spending on uncompensated care could increase by $1 billion in 2016, compared to what would be expected if all states participated in the expansion. These effects were only partially mitigated by alternative options we considered. We conclude that in terms of coverage, cost, and federal payments, states would do best to expand Medicaid.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Jan, 2016 10:16 am
@revelette2,
Bernie said that in his system states could not refuse the people their healthcare.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Jan, 2016 10:19 am
A friend of mine wrote this this morning:

Medicare for All has all infrastruture in place; it simply needs an expansion of personnel (jobs for those lost in private insurance companies, which will be suddenly obsolete). It does not -- I'm going to repeat that for the willfully blind -- does not dismantle a goddamned thing. That is a disingenuous and discredited premise.

If you want to argue against MFA, then say something truthful and accurate: it's going to create a lot of upheaval, none more so than for the stakeholders in private, for profit health care insurers, They will mount another lobbyist assault on Congress the likes of which will dwarf what happened in 2009 during the construction of the ACA. And far too many Congress critters will quake, tremble, and vote against it. Unless, that is, the people also give a Democratic president a Democratic legislative body with which to work.
0 Replies
 
revelette2
 
  2  
Reply Mon 18 Jan, 2016 10:39 am
@edgarblythe,
Bernie if he is president, will not be king. There will be those who will not (insurance companies and their lobbyist for just one) want universal healthcare and will use every means at their considerable disposal to fight it. In the end, the supreme court could decide just like they did before that states have the right to decide their own options. Or they could just conduct a massive campaign to deride Bernie Plan and the plan either will not pass or it will not resemble what Bernie envisioned for his health care plan.

You act as though we never had a Health Care Debate before Obamacare, there never was those town hall meetings, there never was lawsuits to fight all the best parts of the plan. In the end, Obamacare is by no means perfect and I doubt it is what anybody envisioned and there is a lot of room for improvement. But there is no way the insurance companies are just going to roll over and let themselves be cut out of their living and will fight to the death to keep it from happening. For years Obama has been trying to get people involved to fight the companies and to get more democrats in congress to try and fight all those things Bernie talks about. But the other side and special interest groups have their supporters too and Obama was not able to get a lot of the Hillary supporters to go to the gun for him during his eight years of presidency. I know Bernie has a lot supporters, lets not forget just how big Obama's inauguration speech crowd was. That did not translate into policies.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Jan, 2016 10:45 am
@revelette2,
See, you people keep telling me that because it is hard we should not even try. You all are defeatists, looking for every possible reason why we should instead go for the status quo, because there are obstacles in the way.

Obamacare is deeply flawed and is being manipulated to the profit of insurance companies. It will eventually become untenable in the present trend. It has to be taken that one more step for it to be successful.
revelette2
 
  2  
Reply Mon 18 Jan, 2016 10:48 am
@edgarblythe,
No I am not saying that. What I am saying is that you can improve the present health care system without throwing the whole baby out with the bath water which would end up being very costly and risky, there is no telling what it will end up being if we start from scratch.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Jan, 2016 10:52 am
@revelette2,
Not throwing out the baby. Improving what is already in place.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  3  
Reply Mon 18 Jan, 2016 10:54 am
@revelette2,
How is the fight for Single Payer health care different than the fight for Same Sex marriage? Both Single Payer health care and Same Sex Marriage are the right way forward for the country, and the way that we have been moving.

There have been strong special interests on the right fighting against each of these causes, and there has been the same opposition on the state level and battles in the Supreme Court.

Bill Clinton instituted half-measures when it came to LGBT rights. The "Don't ask don't tell" bill was the type of half way measure that Hillary is now pushing with health care. The idea is to accept that there is opposition and push for little measures in the right direction rather than moving toward the final goal. In my opinion this philosophy fails (and I have a former roommate who was kicked out of the service under don't ask don't tell when he was outed by someone else).

I want a president who strives to do what is right in spite of opposition. Bernie may not be able to bring us all the way to single payer. But he will move us more than someone who accepts the status quo and is unwilling to fight the entrenched interests (who happen to be giving her money).
 

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