‘Medicare for All’ Means Medicare for Nobody

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The Medicare in the Sanders Medicare-for-All bill is not the same program that retirees were taxed for their entire working lives, states the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS). In fact, it abolishes the current program and forces everyone, including seniors, into a new universal program that most resembles the Canadian system also called “medicare.”

Incidentally, it also repeals and replaces the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare), AAPS adds.

As Chris Jacobs points out in his book, The Case against Single Payer, the Sanders proposal provides, in Section 901 (a)(1)(A), that: “no benefits shall be available under title XVIII of the Social Security Act [Medicare] for any item or service furnished beginning on [the effective date of the new program].”

Further: “(d) TRANSFER OF FUNDS.—Any amounts remaining in the Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund…or the Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust…shall be transferred into the Universal Medicare Trust Fund.”

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. Jacobs points out that this would transfer seniors into a program with even less security than the current program.

As AAPS observes in the October issue of AAPS News, patients are trapped in the system for all “covered” services and can opt out and pay privately only by seeing a physician who is completely out of the system. This is much more restrictive than in Great Britain, where National Health Service (NHS) physicians may also have a private practice, and patients are allowed to have private insurance.

Bernie Sanders admits to the need for increased taxes, but proposed increases fall far short of bringing in adequate revenue, AAPS states. Elizabeth Warren has so far artfully dodged the question of higher taxes on the middle class or non-“rich.”

Warren states, “I’ve actually never met anybody who likes their health insurance company.” But AAPS notes that people are not stuck in an either-or dilemma of current insurance or “Medicare” for all.            

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a national organization representing physicians in all specialties since 1943.

Chris Jacob’s speaks at AAPS 76th Annual Meeting, September 20, 2019