Class Warfare Blog

August 2, 2017

Medicare for All: Let the Hand Wringing Begin

Filed under: Morality,Politics — Steve Ruis @ 12:34 pm
Tags: , ,

Now that a “Medicare for All (MFA)” movement is gaining steam, it seems a day can’t go by without a great deal of angst being proffered by various and sundry columnists. I think this attitude is professional in nature as a “happy days are here again” attitude doesn’t sell papers, as they say.

There are all kinds of “problems” with MFA that are brought up. How will we pay for it? What happens to the insurance companies? How will businesses now providing health insurance cope with the issues?

I am reminded of a story of a very good friend of mine who remembered setting the dinner table with his young daughter one time and started mumbling to himself “wine, wine, wine,…” as he contemplated what bottle to open and his daughter burst out in tears saying “I can’t help it….” Like that young lady, these columnists can’t help but whine.

Yes, there will be massive institutional problems involved … so what?

Consider: How to pay for it? Currently most Americans receive health insurance as a fringe benefit through their work. Instead of that money going to health insurance companies directly from their employers, those funds will have to be paid to the employees. With those funds, they will be able to pay the taxes necessary to pay for the MFA plan. Those taxes will not be anywhere near as large as the cost of that private plan. For one reason, the Medicare folks have about a 3% overhead and 0% profits while the private insurers overhead and profit taking are closer to 20%. Also, if you haven’t noticed, Medicare doesn’t pay 100% of all medical expenses, it pays about 80% (at least on paper—my co-pays have been almost zero as most practitioners accept my Medicare payment as payment in full).

The rest of the money employees receive in lieu of employer provided health insurance will go to a supplemental policy to add to the basic coverage provided by Medicare. I hope that the government will make an adjustment to our income taxes and not confiscate a substantial portion of the “new income” that the direct payment to employees constitutes and allow us to deduct all taxes and payments for medical treatments, insurances, etc. I also hope that MFA continues to be basic and not get blown up into some “Cadillac version” by pandering politicians. Possibly the system could be run by a nonpartisan commission, much as many public pension system are.

The insurance companies will be very busy providing supplemental policies from minimal to lavish in scope, I am sure. Their profit margins will go up because they will not be spending so very much money researching the best ways to get away with denying honest claims.

So, will there be transition problems if we opt for MFA? Yes, of course. Only an idiot would think otherwise. Are those problems so daunting to have us consider not going down that road? Only an idiot would think that. The founders of this country basically created a representative democracy from scratch. Creating a modern health security system should be a much lesser task and is quite worth doing. Will the rich still have it better than the poor? Are you fucking crazy? Of course they will. They will spend quite a bit of money to guarantee that whatever the best care is, they will get it. (Their Medicare Plus plans will be Medicare Plus Plus (Platinum), I am sure.) The poor will have to settle for pretty damned good care, which is far, far better than they have ever had.

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12 Comments »

  1. Pinkop Communist Australian, Canadian, Brit, Sweede, Dutch, German, Frenchie, Spaniard, Italian, Belgian, Norweigan, Fin….

    Comment by john zande — August 2, 2017 @ 3:05 pm | Reply

    • Apparently I am one of those socialist pinko commies my parent’s generation were so opposed to.

      On Wed, Aug 2, 2017 at 3:05 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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      Comment by Steve Ruis — August 2, 2017 @ 9:45 pm | Reply

      • So, your parents hated Australians? Kiwis I can understand, but Australians!?! 😉

        Comment by john zande — August 3, 2017 @ 4:48 am | Reply

        • But not you, John, it was never personal in my parent’s generation. They just hated what they were told to hate. None of them, I think, ever met a communist and wouldn’t know what to say if they did.

          Comment by Steve Ruis — August 3, 2017 @ 12:58 pm | Reply

  2. As much as I would like to think you are correct, I fear it will never happen till we have health care executives in all their myriad forms and their running dog political allies beheaded on television for the entertainment of the unwashed masses. Vive la Revolution! But then again I am an optimist!

    Comment by Holding The Line In Florida — August 2, 2017 @ 3:24 pm | Reply

    • Seems a small price to pay. We should give them a chance to retire or quit first, though, just to be humane.

      On Wed, Aug 2, 2017 at 3:24 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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      Comment by Steve Ruis — August 2, 2017 @ 9:46 pm | Reply

  3. What about the insurance companies? They can all fold up their tents and fek off to where ever. They’ve made their money and yours too.
    I’ve zero sympathy for those who profit from human misery.

    Comment by persedeplume — August 2, 2017 @ 4:41 pm | Reply

    • Agreed, but there is a role to play, as I mentioned, in offering supplemental policies, essentially bilking the rich.

      Whatever happened to ordinary bad fucking luck. If your numbers up, people used to just commiserate and wish you the best on the next world. Now, no matter what is wrong … “We have to do something!!!!” No we fucking don’t. If I get a diagnosis that is 100% fatal, I will ask for no medical treatment, other than the standard painkillers: Jamison’s and Old Chub Scotch Ale.

      On Wed, Aug 2, 2017 at 4:41 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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      Comment by Steve Ruis — August 2, 2017 @ 9:49 pm | Reply

      • That’s exactly what happens very successfully in much of Europe. Wealthy people pay extra as to guarantee not having to sit in waiting rooms with the plebs.

        Comment by The Pink Agendist — August 3, 2017 @ 7:22 am | Reply

        • That I am not worried about. What I am worried about is those wealthy people making it so that the plebs don’t even get into the waiting room. These people do not want democracy. They do not want the vast unwashed majority making laws and rules to take away their money and their “freedoms.” Their “freedom” is defined as letting them get as rich as they want with no obligation to the people working for them or along side of them. Originally their “freedom” included the right to own people and exploit them as they would. I am not so sure that their goal isn’t very close to that state. (They own their workers by keeping them in a state in which they have no power over their working conditions or pay and they are also trying very hard to either take away their votes or at least make their votes irrelevant by controlling the process by which candidates are selected for ballots.

          On Thu, Aug 3, 2017 at 7:22 AM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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          Comment by Steve Ruis — August 3, 2017 @ 1:03 pm | Reply

  4. Americans pay a trillion dollars a year in private health insurance. This is not Medicaid included. The real cost of healthcare is much cheaper in other countries without the middle man. Insurance IS the problem.

    Comment by jiminpanama — August 2, 2017 @ 4:58 pm | Reply

    • Not the entire problem as the US pays almost twice per capita as the next most profligate country (France) which has much better health outcomes. Our system is set up to bilk the customer. Doctors developed a distain for their customers long before stock brokers did. Unnecessary tests, unnecessary procedures, overpriced pharmaceuticals (massively–my asthma inhalers are 1/3 the price bought through Canada as they are here and the bastards have the temerity to provide 25% more medicine for that lower price–what cheek!). There is very much wrong with our system and way too many people sucking off of the public’s teat.

      On Wed, Aug 2, 2017 at 4:58 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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      Comment by Steve Ruis — August 2, 2017 @ 9:53 pm | Reply


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