Medicare for All

January 30, 2019

Just as socialism is incredibly popular with people who are unable to define what it is, so “Medicare For All” is currently a popular cry for the umpteen Democrats already running for President and their followers, none of whom understand how much it would cost or how it would work.  Its boosters proudly point to one poll showing that 71% of Americans back “Medicare For All” when told it will “guarantee health insurance as a right for all Americans.” They also like it when they’re told it would eliminate premiums and lower out-of-pocket costs. Problem is, that’s all they’re being told.

A brand new survey by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation puts support for “Medicare For All” at 56%.  Still a frighteningly large number.  But when respondents were told that government-run health care would also lead to higher taxes (they didn't realize that someone has to pay for all that “free” health care?), support dropped to 37%.  And when told it could lead to delays in treatment, support dwindled to 26%.  

“Medicare For All” is like house brand wieners: the more you know about what’s in it, the less appealing it becomes.    

https://townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenson/2019/01/24/reality-bites-support-for-singlepayer-healthcare-craters-when-americans-discover-higher-taxes-longer-wait-times-n2539941

I wonder if they also know that Democrats like Senator and Presidential hopeful Kamala Harris aren’t even bothering with the Obama-era hooey about being able to keep your current plan.  She’s already promising to destroy all private health coverage and give you only the government to provide care -- and to appeal to, if you don’t like their decisions about your medical care:

https://townhall.com/tipsheet/mattvespa/2019/01/29/and-there-it-iskamala-harris-wants-to-gut-private-health-insurance-n2540406

I also wonder if respondents were informed of the estimates of how much taxes would have to rise to pay for it?  For instance, our current annual federal budget is just over $4 trillion, and we already have to borrow $1 trillion of that.  The first 10 years of “Medicare For All” is estimated to cost up to $38 trillion, or $3.8 trillion a year, which would nearly double the entire federal budget that we already can’t afford.  And that’s if you can trust the projected cost estimates of Medicare.  Just providing it for seniors cost us far more than we were initially told it would.  Imagine the cost of providing it for “All.” 

Well, all except Congress members.  Somehow, I have a feeling that top quality private health coverage will survive, if only just for them. 

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Comments 1-22 of 22

  • Teresa Carstensen

    02/01/2019 09:34 PM

    This was a surprisingly interesting article on three common misconceptions in economics. (I think I was guilty on all three counts.) It should be a "must read" for all! (...and shared with your well-informed readers!??) :)

    https://www.libertarianism.org/columns/three-widely-believed-economic-fallacies?fbclid=IwAR2dvJXIVE9cHSjU3rdCqeLsWTDmaW5xSGWwmt6C9Mk2oyWNN-50gQ-EaoA

  • Thomas Topolski

    01/31/2019 06:58 PM

    Mike,
    Since 1964 healthcare has gone up, every single year under every president and has increased 3.5% in the last two years under Trump. You disassociate yourself with the word "Government". If healthcare is run by the government, it's run by you, I and everyone. If a government run system isn't working it's because we're not effectively involved in making it work for us. Socialism isn't popular when people talk about healthcare but what is popular is eliminating bankruptcies, month long waits only to see a physician's assistant instead of your doctor, being denied coverage and/or surgeries, increasing deductibles / co-pays, premiums, losing your job due to an illness and not affording coverage. Mike, you defend a "For profit / free market system" that's been broken for 60 years, why? You're part of the problem and not part of solution.

  • Keith Jones

    01/31/2019 06:01 PM

    Concerning Medicare for all. I recently retired and of course applied for Medicare. I suppose I was somewhat naive about Medicare because I never realized it was so expensive. My wife and I have paid into SS & Medicare our whole lives and its no small sum. But when my wife & I applied for Medicare I discovered that it was just a few dollars less per month than what I was paying for medical coverage at the corporation I retired from. So along with a life of paying into Medicare I now pay (including supplemental coverage which is a must) just over $500 per month for my wife and I. Essentially it is no different than good medical insurance coverage at roughly the same price. The difference being years of payments to fund what I now am paying for every month.
    I say all this to ask, how in the world can any common sense person think Meicare is or can in any way be free? Beside the fact that those who have paid for it their entire lives are now expected to pay for those who haven’t. Right now corporations and their employees share the cost of medical insurance. The cost for free medical care means it will not be free at all. Nor will it do what it is intended to do.

  • Ann Bouchard

    01/30/2019 10:08 PM

    Well, yeah the numbers do add up no matter which way the money flows, in or out. Thinking about the money that is shoveled out the door in big increments pronounced like the big dollars amounts you pronounce. In any case, we are being drained by what should be for us to take care of our own. That amount would cover those costs which we can’t seem to find in the budget now. The income taxes wouldn’t have to be raised by much if any. Just sayin’.

  • Sherry Lockman

    01/30/2019 05:43 PM

    This so weird that you posted this today because just this morning I wrote the following on my wall. "Lately am seeing many of the more progressive politicians advocating Medicare for all but not giving any details. These are a few facts about Medicare to think about. 1. It costs on average $250 to $350 a month PER PERSON, not family, to have Medicare coverage. Medicare only covers 80% and you are required to buy supplemental insurance to cover the other 20%. You have a choice of different supplemental plans at different prices. 2. You also have to buy a separate drug plan. 3. There are advantage plans that cover the cost of the drug and supplemental but you have much higher deductibles and hospitalization copays. 4. Medicare doesn't cover the total cost for all diseases. 5. Even with these payments and the Medicare tax that is taken out of every paycheck it is estimated that Medicare may be broke in about 15 years. The most conservative cost for Medicare For All is 32 TRILLION per year. And there is no possible way that a higher tax on the most wealthy will even begin to cover it. So who do you think will have to be taxed a lot more to cover it? I do believe that we need some type of plan so that everyone can have good health care but please don't let people who are trying to get elected sell you on an idea that even they know isn't feasible. When people are running for office they are very quick to tell you how smart they are and I think it's time for them to prove it. Congress, come up with a sensible plan."

  • William Gosselin

    01/30/2019 05:32 PM

    If you want a hint of what government run health care for all would look like, just look at the VA. The one group that actually DESERVES free health care gets some of the worse treatment imaginable. Or, ask your average Canadian, as I have done numerous times, how they like their “free” healthcare. The stories of incredibly high taxes and long waiting lists are scary. People need to realize that health care is not a right, it is a service. And like every service, you get what you pay for.

  • Lois Marshall

    01/30/2019 05:24 PM

    When it comes to “free” medical free isn’t good. Who pays the nurses? What kind of pay will they get? Do you really want a nurse that ‘volunteers’? Try living in a nursing home. See how compassionate some of those wage earners are! Want a surgeon that has a watered down education or degree from some unknown medical school, and no coat? Gets paid only for the first 2 surguries of the day? How long a wait for your medicine or treatment can you wait? 2 weeks up to 2 years? ! Hospitals close and doctors are few—they dont work for ‘free’. Learn from our Canadian friends!

  • Peggy Thilburg

    01/30/2019 04:49 PM

    You make so much more sense than the people pushing this failure of medicare for all. If they would look at other countries who have tried the free medical agenda they would see that it doesn't work. Democrats' thoughts only go down a one way street, spend, raise taxes and make the American people pay for it all!

  • Cheryl Jongeneel

    01/30/2019 03:56 PM

    The thing is, it has already delayed treatment... ALL seem to be coming to see my doctor and I can no longer see him when I need him. Fortunately I have a secure 6 month visit set in stone because I am diabetic; but getting to see him between those times for other problems is nearly impossible. And seeing someone else is a waste of my time because they do not know me. The last one ordered a drug for me that would have harmed me!! Thank goodness for my pharmacy. It is already a disaster out there.

  • Judy Williams

    01/30/2019 03:56 PM

    I’m thinking that if all the politicians who currently support “Medicare for All” were required to use that plan and could not use any other, they would be much less likely to vote for it. They should have to follow all the laws and regulations that their tax-paying constituents have to follow.

  • Bonnie L. Quick

    01/30/2019 03:26 PM

    I suggest the people screaming about medicare for all be allowed to only participate in those health programs. They should not be allowed to choose their physician or be required to pay for medications their insurance will not cover, and learn how much time it takes to be given a referral to a specialist, like a person suffering with extreme headaches who cannot get into a neurologist for months...
    Maybe they should check out reality? Sadly, I feel that has not occurred. Guess that makes me a racist, rapist or for sure a deplorable. Signed an older, well educated recipient of medicare for which I worked and paid for many years. GET A GRIP. Thanks Mike Huckabee for a wee bit of sanity...

  • Larry Glass

    01/30/2019 02:35 PM

    Perhaps yo can provoke a fact based study of the Canadian, British and European healthcare programs that provide essentially full benefits without premium to the citizens of those countries.... I work for a global company seated in Amsterdam (The Netherlands) and found that their system is not utopian and is very expensive, with the elderly care being paid via taxes coming mainly for the younger workers who needed less care. The truth be known, our system is not perfect, but having choice is a great benefit.

  • LORI ANN REGO

    01/30/2019 01:54 PM

    GOV. I WISH ALL US CITIZENS WOULD BE TOLD WHAT HAPPENS WITH MEDICARE FOR ALL. THEY DON'T REALIZE THE CONSEQUENCES. ALL THEY KNOW IS FREE SERVICES OR NO ONE WILL BE WITHOUT INSURANCE.

  • Gretchen Grant

    01/30/2019 12:40 PM

    My husband left England when he was 19 for a better life in America. He believed National Health care was great while young, healthy and living there. Then his mother, back in England, was found to have heart disease. Nationalized Health care killed his mother. She was treated for no more than angina. While he skiing in Canada a Canadian friend fell on cement steps and hurt his knee. He was in a lot of pain. An ambulance was called. This friend asked if the emergency was told his is bleeding. My husband said, but you're not. He then informed the guys that since they were not told he was bleeding it would be hours before an ambulance would come and it was. Yes, "free healthcare" is wonderful if you don't mind paying with your life. Of course, politicians, as they are now, would be exempt from the "free healthcare" we'd receive, not to mention the 90% taxing to pay for, say it again "free healthcare."

  • Kenneth J Jay

    01/30/2019 12:05 PM

    I have both Medicare/Humana and use the VA for certain things. First before anything else the Federal government takes $135 out of my social security check every month for the privilege of having medicare. On top of that, because Humana thinks I'm keeping to much on my measly check they require $15 a month also. Of course when I go to the doctor I have to pay a co-payment to get in and if I need lab work or test like an MRI a percentage of that bill. I recently had an MRI and my share after the insurance company chipped in was $226. On to the VA. I go to the VA who supplies meds that would cost me $2600 a year if purchased through WalMart or my local Walgreens etc. At the VA i see a PA not a doctor every 6 months to keep those meds coming. I go to an outside cardiologist paid for by TriWest but must jump through hoops to keep them and all labs must be done at the VA and I worry that the results will get back to my cardiologist in time for my appointment which always works well for my heart condition. So before you jump on the free medicare for all plan remember it is not free. There are payments to the Federal government for the right to use, co pays, payments for things that medicare doesn't pay full tilt on, deductibles not to mention long wait times and less than great care.

  • Brenda Willis

    01/30/2019 11:53 AM

    They don't have a clue, free does not mean free for everyone. Someone has to pay for this "free" stuff. I am a senior, but I have to pay for my Medicare. I guess they think this just somehow appears out of thin air. Thank you for keeping us
    informed.


  • Barbara L Bush

    01/30/2019 11:53 AM

    Three things are necessary for survival: food, clothing, shelter (not free medical care, free college tuition, etc.) So concerned socialists ought to be promoting free housing, open government run grocery stores—take whatever you want to eat—and open government run department stores—help yourself. After everyone has the essentials, then talk about free transportation (cars, airplanes, trains, buses), free childcare, free entertainment, and on and on. The “government” (people like Harris, Sanders, Warren) will own you all. What a horror.

  • james randolph

    01/30/2019 11:43 AM

    Hey Mike -
    One of the pillars of socialism is "everybody works"... right"
    So all the basement dwellers and professional students will be employed.
    America needs more low-skill / no-skill minions to pick up dirty needles and feces ...
    So, since your health care is free, each will have time to SERVE the machine...
    But the machine (the elites in power) will determine your job description, not the individual.
    The collective requires way more expendables than management (think your basic beehive).
    SERVE the collective; then die - nature's beehive model...
    ...
    No thanks,

  • Linda Black

    01/30/2019 11:40 AM

    Were they told you can "age out" of certain treatments? Did anyone mention it can take a year and a half to receive a hip replacement? Not only do you not get to "keep your own doctor" you will see whatever doctor is the next available when you visit the government clinic. If you need a specialist it takes three to four months for an appointment. If they find surgery is needed you wait another three to four months to see a surgeon. You then wait several more months for a space in the surgery line.

  • Donna M Patty

    01/30/2019 11:39 AM

    I am a senior citizens who has Medicare, I still pay over $100 a month and it only covers 80% of my medical cost. I still have to have a supplemental insurance to pick up the rest. Also I still have copays at doctors visits.

  • tom jeffs

    01/30/2019 11:29 AM

    why doesn't someone propose a law to restrict local judges from issuing injunctions against PRESIDENTIAL actions ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

    both parties should agree that an individual judge should not be allowed to over-ride the president - - - - - - -

    there will be a democratic president some day and this problem should be resolved - - - - - - -

    Nancy Pelosi will be put on the spot if she objects, correct ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

  • Anita Smith

    01/30/2019 11:23 AM

    My son moved from Kentucky to Canada and has Universal Health Care. Unfortunately, what people who support "free healthcare"don't seem to understand is that you get what you pay for. You see the Dr. assigned to you and wait times are often so long that patients with heart problems and cancer die before they get the tests and treatments they need. Can you imagine needing open heart surgery or chemo therapy and having to wait for months to get treatment? Even with "free healthcare" someone has to pay and often it's with the patient's life...