We are hearing a lot of talk about Medicare for All. First of all, it is completely misnamed. Under Medicare, the cost of healthcare is paid by a combination of the federal government, private health insurance and the individual. What is being proposed is that the government pick up virtually the entire tab.
The big question is how it will be paid for. There aren’t enough rich people to pay for it so everyone will see a hefty tax increase. They also plan to sharply reduce reimbursements.
Getting free health insurance will mean a dramatic increase in demand for healthcare. Many hospitals and doctors will be unable to afford to stay in business because of the lower reimbursements. More patients and fewer doctors is a recipe for disaster. Wait times will dramatically increase and the quality of health care will suffer.
Eventually providers will opt out of the system. Private health insurance will reemerge. We will then have a two-tier system. The wealthy will use the high-quality private system and the rest will be stuck with the government run system.
My scenario has happened in many countries. I have worked with insurance companies around the world who are offering coverage for the private healthcare system.
The cost of healthcare has been a real burden for me but that’s not my main concern. I have incurable lymphoma. Getting quality healthcare is a matter of life or death for me.