It was the Republicans who got elected on the promise to “repeal and replace” Obamacare. They didn’t do it, and they blamed the Democrats.
Who’d have thought that the Democrats might just get it done—quietly.
“Medicare for All” would replace everything, including the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare), Medicare, and Medicaid. Although “single payer” might have been Obama’s ultimate objective, the ACA is based on retaining private insurance. A “public option” was proposed and discarded.
The main difference among Democratic candidates is how quickly private insurance and private payment would be eliminated—or crowded out.
Medicare for seniors eliminated alternatives very early, in order to assure the success of the program. It is unlawful to sell policies duplicating Medicare benefits; seniors can only buy supplemental or “Medigap policies.” Medicare-for-All proposals would extend this restriction to all.
While the universal program would still be called “Medicare,” the Medicare Trust Funds would be absorbed into the Universal Medicare Trust Fund. In essence, Medicare for All would amount to Medicare for Nobody.
The Mercatus Center estimates that the proposed program would be only 40 percent funded using existing resources—Medicare, Medicaid, ACA subsidies, and tax subsidies for employer-owned insurance. This would transfer seniors into a program with even less security than the Trust Funds, which are projected to be bankrupt within several years, according to Chris Jacobs in his new book, The Case against Single Payer.
For further information, see the October issue of AAPS News.