Healthcare and its cost have been very important since the year 2020. This year was when a global pandemic was on the rise, putting millions of the world’s population at risk. With this, many people have become aware of the effects and importance of affording healthcare.
Unknown to many, some people are still uninsured. According to studies in 2019, 28.9 million individuals are uninsured—a million less from the past year. The uninsured usually come from families that have only one worker—generally, the low-income earners.
Because of poverty, economic inflation, and the status of businesses in the current days, having a proper personal fund allocation for health has been less of a priority. With a family to feed, rent to pay, and bills to be responsible for, people tend to be careless, and the only focus is to get by.
With this current status of most individuals, a universal healthcare system among the current people of the United States of America is being considered by a circle of lawmakers. This bill has been named “Medicare for All Act.”
In this article, you will know what “Medicare for All” stands for and its current status in today’s political view and the public’s opinion.
What is Medicare for All?
Medicare for All is a proposal that US Senator Bernard “Bernie” Sanders wrote. However, you may think, what is it exactly? Is it something that its name suggests? Here are all you need to know:
The Medicare for All Act is a plan to have a single-payer healthcare system in the United States. It is a bill the government is proposing that will expand Medicare to uninsured people, especially the elderly, people with disabilities, as well as low-income individuals and their families.
In simpler words, Medicare for all is a government initiative to provide one health insurance for each subscribing resident of each community.
Since the candidacy of Sen. Sanders in 2016, the call for Medicare for All has been in light. An individual’s employer is most often the one paying for his/her health insurance, and a part of it comes from the individual’s pockets. By having Medicare for All, healthcare and medical fees can become close to zero or the insurers won’t have to pay at all. This kind of program is being implemented in some parts of Europe and Canada.
By having uninsured and underinsured people, the bill authors, with their supporters, believe that this should be considered a “health crisis” and should be taken seriously and immediately in a much larger prospect. This Act aims to help Americans, especially low-income earners, be provided with the same quality healthcare that the wealthy are being provided with.
However, arguments rise at the same time with having this program in the works. With facts siding this bill, can it work for the people? By how long? And is there a catch?
- The healthcare costs will decrease as the government will be the one to handle it. This change aims to give more control and regulation with regards to the prices.
- With insurance agencies acting as “middlemen,” the cost that it incurs will be eliminated. The healthcare professionals will only be in talks with the government, resulting in lower healthcare costs.
- You will be free from worries with changing requirements, rules, and coverage per issuing company. Since the eradication of insurance agencies, there will be a standard coverage and billing procedure. This change can save you from time-consuming activities such as finding an insurance policy that can work for you. The process would be a lot easier when it comes to applications, processing, and claims.
- This Act would eliminate the current restrictions that Americans have in their policies like age requirements, annual deductibles, monthly premiums, and the prescription of high-cost medicines.
- A standardized billing will result in standardized costs for each health care provider. Medicare for All will give opportunities to people in lower ranks of society to be provided with the same healthcare that the wealthy are being treated with.
- An affordable healthcare system can create a healthier population.
- Analysts believe that it will take longer than promised to bargain and lower down costs of healthcare providers.
- The community can increase negligence for health maintenance because of the free cost.
- Doctors, nurses, and more other healthcare workers may limit their services for each patient because of the low cost.
- There would be a possibility of limiting healthcare services for low success rating of health services and may not cover severe but rare conditions.
What is Medicare for All’s coverage?
This Act is supposed to replace all insurance policies present, which have exceptions like cosmetic surgery. Consequently, this would also overwrite the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare, insurance provided by employers like Medicaid and the current version of Medicare.
If ever the Medicare for All Act will be implemented soon, the bill providers indicate coverages to help the uninsured and the underinsured Americans.
Are there any alternatives to it?
Since not all people support the idea of Sen. Sanders in having Medicare for All, some proposals for a single-payer healthcare system are also in the works, like the National Health Insurance Act. Some senators are also working to expand the coverage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
How much does it cost?
How much does Medicare for All cost, and will your income define how much you pay for the healthcare services provided?
Since the bill is still in the works and talks, out-of-pocket costs can sum up to only $200 annually. However, it will depend on the income bracket that an individual belongs to. On the other hand, some proposals would have minimal to almost no costs for lower-income generating people and can bill more to higher-paid individuals up to $3,500 annually and a family for up to $5,000.
Who will pay for it?
In the current bills and proposals mentioned publicly, Medicare for All will provide healthcare costs through the federal government once the transition has been finished. But, by thinking about it more, the funds can come from taxes.
With this insight, the taxes you are paying now might increase to cover these healthcare changes. Knowing how insurance companies make money, the government would be having an income-generating activity or an increase in tax contribution to attain a continuous result and proclamation of this bill.
What do Americans say about it?
For over several years now, the Medicare for All Act has been discussed in all places in America. These talks produce mixed reactions among the community, which includes opinions, expectations, and worries.
Some say that this proposal for the supposed-to-be healthcare improvement can make the United States of America go bankrupt.
But, as per the results of a Kaiser Family Foundation survey in 2019, around 65% support the public option and 53% of American adults support the whole Medicare for All policy. For democrats, 88% support the public option, and 77% approve of the whole Medicare for All Act.
Experts compare this to the 2017 results that overall American individuals favor having single-payer healthcare, and 62% of the takers favor passing the bill of Medicare for All Act.
However, whenever a tax increase is brought up in describing the Act, but will still have no out-of-pocket costs, the results of the 2019 poll decreased up to 48-50% of adults supporting Medicare for All.
What is the current status of this plan?
Three hundred organizations from the local and the state support the Medicare for All Act of 2021 up to the national levels as of this date. These organizations are joined by healthcare professionals such as nurses, doctors, unions, business owners, and justice organizations within the United States.
As a piece of additional information, 14 committee chairs also act as co-sponsor for this Act.
As the pandemic went on during the past year of 2020, healthcare became a hot topic among candidates for government positions. Some say that the Medicare for All Act will eliminate other forms of health insurance, and some will have other supporting plans and varying details for this proposal.
The main point is to have a low-cost healthcare system that even low-income earners can provide for themselves and their families.
Having this Medicare for All Act of 2021 has national healthcare cost issues raised to everyone’s concern. However, the implementation still concerns financial analysts and experts on how the government can maintain this much funding and continue until the upcoming generations. A professor even said that it could work but in “no time soon.”
If you find this helpful, here are more related articles that might be of your interest:
- Is it illegal to not have health insurance?
- What is a qualified health plan? Types, cost, and comparison
- 3 tips to find the cheapest insurance rates
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