Last week, after Democrats asked the Congressional Budget Office to layout parameters for single-payer health care, the CBO reported that it would be “challenging and potentially destructive” to move 160 million people from single payer to Medicare for All. Really?
Banning Private Coverage
If elected president, Bernie Sanders is promising to ban private coverage that competes with the government. As the WSJ notes, after all, you can’t have people using their own money to buy better health care.
Reducing Quality of Care
Medicare for All would cut reimbursement rates to Medicare levels. According to the CBO, cutting reimbursements rates could “probably reduce the amount of care supplied and … also reduce the quality of care.”
Getting Health Care through the DMV?
Who would decide what treatments and who gets innovative new treatments? The Government. Just what most of Americans want: getting health care through a government bureaucracy like the DMV.
From the CBO:
Under any of the pricing approaches discussed below, a single-payer system could decide to exclude certain drugs or place those drugs on a nonpreferred drug list because they are too expensive or because they do not have any additional benefit.
(U)nlike a system with competing private insurers, the public plan might not be as quick to meet patients’ needs, such as covering new treatments.
Questions yet to Be Answered
What happens, asks the WSJ, to the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or Tricare, the Pentagon health insurance program?
How to Save Money: Cut Payments to Doctors and Restrict Care
“Government spending on health care would increase substantially,” reports the CBO. But honest private estimates “suggest it would take at least a doubling of individual and corporate taxes,” according to the WSJ.
Proponents say the country will save money through lower administrative costs, which CBO says may materialize.
But the real savings would have to come from where the money is: cutting payments to doctors and restricting care.
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