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Medicare for All

NO Medicare for All
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Kerby Andersonnever miss viewpoints

Medicare for All has been in the news for months, and it will be a key campaign issue in the upcoming elections. Although I wrote about some of the problems with the concept months ago, that was based upon predictions about what might be in the legislation. Since the Medicare for All Act has been filed, we can clearly see what implementing this might mean for you and your family.

Bioethicist Wesley J. Smith has written an excellent summary of what he calls the “most destructive features.” Although there are nine in his summary, let me just mention four of the nine.

First, it would “drown the country in red ink.” Even that is an understatement. Last year’s version authored by Senator Bernie Sanders was more limited in coverage than this bill. Even so, that legislation was estimated to add $32 trillion to the budget over ten years.

Second, Medicare for All would require rationing. The bill creates a Physician Practice Review Board that is supposed to “assure quality, cost-effectiveness, and fair reimbursements.” You should know that “cost-effectiveness” is code for rationing. If you are young and need to set a broken arm, no problem. If you are old and need a heart transplant, that probably won’t be cost effective.

Third, doctors and hospitals “would become government contractors.” Strictly speaking, the government would not employ doctors directly. But they must sign a very restrictive “participation agreement” to be eligible to receive payments from the government.

Fourth, the government “could steal pharmaceutical patents.” The government would negotiate the price of medicines with drug companies. But if the company refused, their patent could be taken or transferred. This would likely stifle innovation and the development of future life-saving drugs and treatments.

There’s much more, but I hope this brief overview shows you what is wrong with Medicare for All.

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