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Medicare Extra for All is Dangerous Proposal

Center for American Progress proposes Medicare Extra for AllMedicare Extra for All

The latest proposal for the government to control healthcare comes from the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank masquerading as nonpartisan. The proposal is called Medicare Extra for All and it has the potential to be detrimental to seniors on Medicare.

The Center for American Progress mission as stated on their website reads:

The Center for American Progress is an independent nonpartisan policy institute that is dedicated to improving the lives of all Americans, through bold, progressive ideas, as well as strong leadership and concerted action. Our aim is not just to change the conversation, but to change the country.

But Medicare Extra for All is a proposal that is anything but nonpartisan. The Center has been aligned with former president Obama and candidate Hillary Clinton.




What is Medicare Extra for All?

Medicare Extra for All builds on Medicare to offer coverage for people who are not currently eligible for traditional Medicare. It is not a single payer plan but rather keeps the roles played by employer groups and the insurance industry. It provides employers and individuals to join Medicare Extra for All.

The proposal states that the plan would use  Medicare’s payment system “as a framework to pool working-age people and their families, low-income people now covered by Medicaid and seniors.”

Features of the proposed plan would include automatic eligibility for all US citizens and legal residents. Free preventive care, treatment for chronic disease and generic prescription drugs. Dental, vision and hearing services would be included.

Low income people would have no premiums while income would determine premiums for those considered not to be low income. The definition of low income needs to be worked out. Seniors with Medicare Advantage Plans could keep similar coverage through a plan called Medicare Choice. Choice members would gain dental, vision and hearing services as well as some long term care benefits.

Why Medicare Extra for All is especially dangerous for seniors

First of all this plan has to be paid for. Proposals to to help pay for Medicare Extra for All include rollback of some of the recently enacted GOP tax cuts for corporations and upper-income people, raising Medicare taxes on upper-income earners and tax increases on tobacco and sugary soft drinks.

When the number of insured climbs, the possibility for the benefits to be diluted increases. In a not so transparent attempt to appease seniors who ask to many questions the plan throws the bone of benefits for dental, vision and hearing services and long term care benefits. But dental, vision and hearing benefits are already available on many Advantage Plans. And with long term care costs averaging $225 per day as of 2016 it’s not likely that any long term care benefits included in Medicare Choice will be that generous. It’s just not going to get paid for.

It’s also a matter of fairness. Someone who ages into Medicare has paid a lifetime of Medicare taxes through payroll deduction while working. To give all US citizens and legal residents (and the definition of legal resident seems up to debate aka DACA) access to Medicare benefits without paying their fair share in many cases is simply not fair.

For the time being this proposal is not likely to go anywhere given that the republicans control both the House of Representatives and Senate but mid-term elections are not that far in the future. Keep your eyes on this one.

I’d like to know what you think. Leave a comment below.

 

15 comments

  1. I couldn’t agree more with what you’ve stated. Two points are especially pointed: 1) Obama and Clinton support of far Left Center for American Progress (claiming they are nonpartisan is ridiculous) and 2) Unfair to Seniors who have paid all their lives

  2. Thanks Bob.

  3. K. willam Seeto,MD

    What do you think of the idea that let free market insurances to compete the first 10k/year medical expense , let federal program to cover anything above 10k or disaster lever? So the free market insurance premium will dramatically reduced and everyone will get cover if they have a stroke or heat attack or cancer or in ICU . It is like you need home insurance but also government fire department or police department

  4. I suspect the “Medicare Extra For All” proposal will become law by 2021. Why you may ask? Because we are heading for a “French style Socialism” in the US that will again pick up momentum after the mid-term elections later this year. Facebook and YouTube and other social media platforms will continue to be major factors in spreading “fake news” and strengthening the resolve of students and Millenials, who have shown they are frustrated by the direction of the country we are leaving them.

    This bleak future can be avoided, however, if all Americans would be willing to put aside our differences and approach a meaningful dialogue to prioritize and address the major issues dividing our country. Through mutual respect and a desire to understand opposing viewpoints and solutions, maybe then the “Medicare Extra For All” proposal (for example) can evolve into a fair and equitable healthcare system for all Americans.

  5. Gary, You are entirely too reasonable! Everyone would need to stop yelling first…

  6. K. William,
    Interesting idea but before Obamacare and the requirement that health insurance policies include the “10 essentials” catastrophic plans sold by private insurance companies on the free market were dirt cheap. Why not allow those plans to be sold again (and qualify as creditable coverage) and let those that can pay the cost of routine services. Surely it would cost less than what premiums, deductibles and out of pocket costs have become.

  7. The goal of providing universal coverage is a good one. The means for doing so are what is at issue. Your point about coverage dilution is valid, but what is your alternative plan?

  8. K. willam Seeto,MD

    Nobody talked about who ultimately will pay for your care if you are sick in ICU for 3 months with bills for 5 mil. The government will pay for it unless you are billionaire. If you are sick for longtime, you will lose all you money, your job, private insurance will not cover you, that is why we need government to cover the disaster or expense over 10k. Private insurance is helpful only for someone who are not very sick , short term and low expense.

  9. K. willam Seeto,MD

    The reason for Obamacare to exist is because the private insurance market prior to obama was very bad. The problem with obabamare is failure to put Medicare for all to cover disaster. Hospital CEOs Benifit the most and cost goes up and private medical practices are drsappearing. Where are the voice of real physicians ?

  10. I disagree government is not the answer. Catastrophic coverage through private insurance companies can solve the problem.

  11. YOU, David, made it partisan in paragraph 3. State facts and let people discuss them. Snippets of potential solutions for complex problems isn’t very responsible. You disappoint.

  12. I favor any proposal that will lead to better health care for all of our citizens. Corporate tax cuts benefited primarily corporations and their major share holders and were improving profits in the recent bull market for 8 years before Trump took office. They would have continued to do fine without the generous tax cuts given by our current administration. What about the many who can’t afford medical care or medical insurance? A benevolent society should care about all of its people. Health care for all is important and should be prioritized in the federal budget.

  13. Lynda, I think you give me too much credit. My having an opinion on the proposal from a think tank that is well known for its progressive agenda did not make the Center partisan. Other people have been discussing the facts and their opinions on both sides of the issue by commenting. You are the only one attacking anyone. My sincere advice if you are a supervisor, educator or parent is that you refrain from attacking people. Point out your disappointment in their thoughts or actions… don’t condemn them personally. Some people don’t have thick skin like me.

  14. Thanks for sharing K Weaver.

  15. Dan, Maybe I’m splitting hairs but the idea of universal coverage sounds as though everyone gets the same coverage funded from the same source. I think the goal of everyone having health insurance is a good one. I do recognize that some people will need some level of subsidy. I just want it to be fair. When we talk about universal health care we seem to absolve the individual of responsibility. I personally don’t want my tax dollars paying for the care of someone who chooses a lifestyle that results in an unhealthy condition. It’s similar to me not wanting my life insurance premium influenced by the obese neighbor who has had several heart bypasses and still smokes and sit on his rear.

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