Who Hijacked Our Country

Thursday, August 08, 2013

“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.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like the first thing it does is overturn the Bush Medicare Plan, that's a lot of instant savings


August 8, 2013 at 3:42 PM  
Blogger jim marquis said...

Maybe I'm being too optimistic but I'm hoping the wrinkles get worked out of Obamacare, people start to support it and then Hillary gets elected in 2016. And then we start talking about at least a government option.

August 8, 2013 at 5:41 PM  
Blogger Jerry Critter said...

The fact that this bill will never pass is proof that republicans are more interested in profit than people. Profit has no place in primary health care.

August 8, 2013 at 7:24 PM  
Blogger jadedj said...

I would love to have this happen, but as I see it, the main stumbling block is that first, we as a species, would somehow start acting in a caring, rational and intelligent manner. The knuckle-dragging genes are far too embedded in many of us for that to occur.

August 9, 2013 at 6:52 AM  
Blogger MRMacrum said...

Stop making sense.

August 9, 2013 at 7:26 AM  
Blogger Jerry Critter said...

The problem is not we as a species. It is we as Americans. Most of the rest of the species already gets it.

August 9, 2013 at 12:34 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Erik: Imagine, tax dollars helping real people instead of a few pharmaceutical giants.

Jim: That might be too optimistic, but it's not impossible. Let's hope.

Jerry: Not that we needed any more proof, but this does prove it. Republicans only care about their largest donors.

jadedj: LOL. There definitely is a dominant knuckle-dragging gene in Homo Sapiens. Maybe we'll evolve, or maybe we're already devolving.

MRM: OK, it won't happen again.

Jerry: I hope you're right.

August 9, 2013 at 2:28 PM  
Blogger jadedj said...

Jerry...good catch. You are correct!

August 9, 2013 at 2:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rationing usually does save money

August 12, 2013 at 8:45 AM  
Blogger Snave said...

The GOP will try to sabotage Affordable Health Care as much as they can in the next few years, and they will at least try to stall it. But as more of it takes effect, more people will like it... thus, the desperation of the Republicans.

Keeping the White House in the hands of a Democrat in 2016 and maybe 202 as well would keep things going in a positive direction. As more people like Affordable Health Care, fewer people will like those right-wing politicians who try to destroy it... so like Jim, I am also optimistic that it will take hold to the point where it is entirely a "losing prospect" for the GOP to try and destroy (kind of like it's a losing proposition for them to attack Social Security and Medicare).

But what Conyers proposes really does sound great! :-)

August 12, 2013 at 8:58 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Snave: I think you're right about the Affordable Care Act. As it gets gradually implemented and people realize there aren't "death panels" or Soviet tanks rolling across the country snuffing out the last breath of free enterprise, the GOP will lose credibility. The Affordable Care Act will be a given, and most of the public will look back on the GOP's frantic attempts to appeal it and derail it and wonder "who are those people?" "What was their problem?"

August 13, 2013 at 11:33 AM  

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