and their spokesman Barack Obama, insist that everything about health
care would be wonderful if only the government would take it over.
Their preferred plan, embraced by Obama, is to throw Medicare open
to everyone, and then over time force everyone into it. They say
if you have employer-provided insurance, you can keep it. But that
choice will be up to the employer, not you. As the government forces
costly regulatory burdens, like guaranteed issue and community rating,
onto private insurance, employers facing the soaring premiums will
just dump their workers into Medicare. These costly regulatory burdens,
plus the taxpayer subsidies for Medicare, will eventually drive
out all private insurance alternatives.
This is what
the left has been proposing for many years now. They have called
it "Medicare for All." No point in denying that now, when
they have got the President and Congressional majorities to pass
it. The question to consider is, "Is Medicare for All a good
Is Already Bankrupt
Board of Trustees released their latest annual report earlier this
month. It shows that Medicare is already hopelessly bankrupt. We
don’t know how we are going to pay for all the Medicare promises
we have already made.
Report estimates that the unfunded liability for Medicare alone
is $89 trillion. Social Security adds another $15.1 trillion in
unfunded liabilities, for a total of $104 trillion. And that doesn’t
even count Medicaid. The entire American economy right now only
produces about $14 trillion a year.
By 2018, less
than 10 years from now, Medicare Part A alone will be running a
deficit of close to $100 billion. General revenue contributions
for Medicare Parts B and D that year are now projected to be $364
billion. Consequently, the deficit for Medicare alone that year
will be close to $500 billion. And this assumes a scheduled reduction
in doctor and hospital reimbursements under Medicare of over 20%
starting in 2010.
also be costing the federal government close to $500 billion per
year by then, with another $300 billion spent on the program by
the states. That is a total burden on general taxpayers for these
two programs alone of $1.3 trillion by 2018, in addition to payroll
taxes and Medicare premiums. Medicare premiums by 2018 are projected
to be about $750 per month per beneficiary, covering only 14% of
expenditures. Medicare will be spending by that year close to $17,000
A will run out of funds to pay promised benefits by 2017, with a
20% shortfall in revenues. Paying all promised benefits for Part
A alone over the long run would require raising the total Medicare
payroll tax from 2.9% today to 12%. That is in addition to the Social
Security payroll tax of 12.4% today, which would have to increase
to close to 18% to pay all promised benefits for that program. That
would result in a total payroll tax rate of 30%.
overwhelming financial disaster, does it make sense for the government
to take on even more financial burdens through Medicare? Medicare
is supposed to be for retirees. What would all these new financial
burdens for everyone do to the program originally intended for them?
has to ask, do the Medicare for All nuts even understand numbers?
Or are they what they appear to be, numerically illiterate?
Health Care Rationing
pays for health care for the poor, shows where Medicare for seniors
is headed. Medicaid promises free health care for the poor, but
then refuses to pay the doctors and hospitals for it, or at least
pay them enough to provide quality health care for the poor. As
a result, about 40% of doctors and hospitals already refuse to take
into real suffering for the poor on Medicaid. They have to scramble
to get appointments with the doctors who will see them, and the
doctors give them shorter appointments and less attention to fit
what the government is willing to pay for them. They have to wait
longer to see the essential specialists or for admissions to the
hospitals willing to take Medicaid patients. The end result studies
show is that the poor get less adequate health care, and suffer
worse health outcomes, including more and earlier deaths from heart
disease and cancer. This should be no surprise, because it is the
inevitable result of all government-run health care throughout history
the world over.