“Medicare For All” would Save Hundreds of Billions of Dollars a Year
OK, so it’s just a pipe dream. The health insurance industry will never ever allow its congressional prostitutes to pass a law that saves lives AND saves hundreds of billions of dollars a year.
But as long as we’re daydreaming: the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act, HR 676, has been introduced by Rep. John Conyers Jr. and has forty-five co-sponsors. As the name implies, this bill would expand Medicare to include all Americans of all ages. A Canadian/European-type Single Payer system, in other words.
According to Gerald Friedman, a University of Massachusetts economics professor, this law would save approximately $592 billion during its first year, and $1.8 trillion over the next decade. During the first year, this law would save $476 billion by reducing the administrative waste and inefficiency associated with private health insurers. Reduced drug prices would save an additional $116 billion. The drug price savings would be made possible by the government’s increased bargaining power when negotiating with pharmaceutical companies. (And that’s another reason this law doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in Hell.)
Gerald Friedman said:
“These savings would be more than enough to fund $343 billion in improvements to our health system, including the achievement of truly universal coverage, improved benefits, and the elimination of premiums, co-payments and deductibles, which are major barriers to people seeking care…Paradoxically, by expanding Medicare to everyone we’d end up saving billions of dollars annually. We’d be safeguarding Medicare’s fiscal integrity while enhancing the nation’s health for the long term.”
The savings would also be more than enough to pay for the retraining of insurance company employees whose jobs will be eliminated when investor-owned profit-driven health insurance companies have gone the way of debtors’ prisons and the Salem Witch Trials.
Or we can just keep telling sick people to curl up and die and get out of the way.