Obamacare, aka The Affordable Care Act signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2010, is said to have some 1,147,271 words in the bill’s language. I have just two words that would dramatically change and fix our health care system for good. Remove “Over 65″ from current law regarding Medicare.
While the benefits of reforms in Obamacare far outweigh those of our previous health care system, I must admit it could have been even better. Since the law is now in jeopardy with a potential partisan Court ruling in July, perhaps we should start talking about this two-word plan.
With Americans paying directly from their paychecks like they already do with Medicare, we know that the costs of medical services would be spread out, and dramatically less for everyone. With one single coverage provider, essentially a government insurance company, taking profits out of the equation, additional cost savings would be seen by all. Paul Krugman said it best:
The great advantage of universal, government-provided health insurance is lower costs. Canada’s government-run insurance system has much less bureaucracy and much lower administrative costs than our largely private system. Medicare has much lower administrative costs than private insurance. The reason is that single-payer systems don’t devote large resources to screening out high-risk clients or charging them higher fees. The savings from a single-payer system would probably exceed $200 billion a year, far more than the cost of covering all of those now uninsured.
The cost of health care is going up dramatically more in the United States than in other developed nations, including those “socialists” in Canada, Britain and elsewhere.
In a “Medicare for all” scenario, private insurance companies still have their place in supplemental coverage and for non-essential services. For example, here in the U.S. many people over 65 still have their own private insurance in addition to their Medicare, partially to cover gaps, deductibles, etc. Medicare does not provide everything to everyone at no cost, but it does provide an acceptable minimum of health care services every person deserves.
Democrats really missed an opportune moment to make this happen in 2009. Polling indicated that up to 60% of Americans were open to the idea. What good did “working with Republicans” do? It’s borderline psychotic conservatives have such a problem with the “individual mandate” in Obamacare when this was originally their idea as an alternative to the Medicare for all approach. Going as far back as Richard Nixon in the 70s, Newt Gingrich and the Heritage Foundation in the 90s, and even the presumed Republican nominee in 2012, mandated private insurance has always been seen as the conservative choice for health care reform. It is living proof that Republicans today have no principles, other than standing in the way of any sort of success Democrats may have while in power.
Well, they asked for it. If Obamacare is struck down by the Supreme Court, I say we give them what they really didn’t want. Remove “over 65″ from Medicare. Medicare for all! Certainly it would be Constitutional, because it would be the same as Medicare is now, only covering everyone. Man, that would really piss off some conservatives.
Justin is the publisher The Nevada View, which has earned the recognition in the Washington Post’s “Best State-Based Political Blogs,” as well as being awarded the “Most Valuable Blogger Award” by the local CBS affiliate in 2011. Follow him on Twitter @McAffee