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Study shows how Medicare for All can benefit
Florida Times-Union - 1/6/2020
Florida has 3.6 million people uninsured. Obtaining health care coverage should concern all Floridians.
Some Democratic presidential candidates have been running away from Medicare for All prior to the February Iowa caucuses. Politically, given lobbying from the health-industrial complex, that's understandable. But it's incorrect morally and technically based on the numbers.
A University of Massachusetts Amherst study, authored by Robert Pollin and other authorities, details how U.S. single payer is cost-beneficial. As a long-time fiscal conservative, I found this well-researched document to be invaluable.
Unfortunately, this study has been ignored by conservatives and moderates in both parties.
For example, Joe Biden has misleadingly stated that Medicare for All would cost Americans $33 trillion over a 10-year period, a figure cited by many establishment politicians. He purposefully forgot to add that it would cost even more without single payer and that our current system is not sustainable.
The study found that in 2017 we would have saved $310 billion with Medicare for All.
This 200-page document indicates exactly how these savings would be achieved.
Overall demand would rise by 12 percent because 9 percent of U.S. residents are currently uninsured. This uninsured percentage is much higher in Florida (13 percent) and red states that are not expanding Medicaid.
In addition, 26 percent of us have inadequate insurance policies, causing us to be underinsured (a situation encouraged by Trump policies).
Systemwide health care costs would fall by 16 percent.
Cost savings would be generated as follows:
• Administration (total administrative costs fall by 9 percent).
• Pharmaceutical pricing (total pharmaceutical expenditures decrease by 5.9 percent).
• Medicare rate-setting for providers (uniform rates generate a 2.8 percent overall savings).
• Waste and fraud savings (1.5 percent in year one and 1 percent in other years).
Total health care spending for the nation will go down, as will costs for middle-class families (between 3 percent and 14 percent).
The report indicates that there would be many unquantifiable benefits as well. For example: healthier people are more productive and more health care professionals will be employed to treat patients added under Medicare.
The study concludes by indicating that savings over 10 years would exceed $5 trillion via conversion to Medicare for All.
Isn't that worth considering? Why haven't most politicians in Florida and the nation objectively examined single payer rather than simply dismissing it due to ideology?
Jack Bernard lives in Peachtree City, Ga.
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