I wonder how far off we really are.89Hen wrote: ↑Fri Feb 21, 2020 1:19 pmThe exact question Mrs89 asked me last night. She said regardless of the FACT that Bernie can't pay for his plan, does he or anyone who supports him really believe we're better off if folks who have great insurance have to give that up to get mediocre insurance for everyone? Fuck that.
If you capture all the revenue from all the health insurance companies (that includes the profits), and add that to the current Medicare program, theoretically, everything should be the same for the people currently covered. The profits can be used to help cover those that are not currently covered.
Obviously there are serious hurdles here.
How can the health insurance companies' revenues be captured? Do you directly pull it from the companies or do you require the companies to proportionally compensate the employees with increased wages and pull it from the employees? I think the latter is the way to go since the company insurance costs and employee counts vary with time.
Anyone on Medicare now knows that all costs are not covered. So that gap would have to be accounted for. Some would come from the capture of revenue and profit from supplemental insurance companies. This issue dovetails into the quality of health care. Medicare currently pays a set price for things (not sure if there is a geographic adjustment made, but that's another issue). If your doc charges more, that's on you and your supplemental insurance company. There are going to be better doctors, equipment, etc. than other places that should be able to charge more. Not sure how that could get resolved.
The last gap is the people that are currently not covered. Many of these people go to hospitals and never pay or go to free clinics. Hospitals would have to kick in some money to the program if they want to be reimbursed (since they would no longer be on the hook for the freeloaders). Free clinics would go away since they would not be needed. Not sure if the operational costs of the free clinics could be captured. Prolly not unless you create a tax deductible contribution category for Federal healthcare. But who would make a donation to a Federal program?
I guess my point here is that I don't think the overall "cost" (the gap) of the program would be as high as the estimates. The key is to somehow capture what is already being paid on health insurance and somehow redirect it to Medicare. Sure, it would cost more for all citizens but I wonder how much more.