Medicare for All has dominated the Democratic presidential campaign. Some candidates support Sen. Bernie Sanders' plan, but others have different ideas for how to get to universal coverage. WSJ explains what Medicare for All is, what it isn't, and how some of the major health care plans out there would change the health insurance industry.
#WSJ #MedicareForAll #DemocraticDebates
Comedian, Jimmy Dore, explains how Progressives could force Congress to take up Medicare For All. Former NRSC Regional Director Liam Donovan and former DNC deputy press secretary Jose Aristimuno join 'America's Newsroom.' Pelosi and Schumer called for invoking the #25thAmendment to the #Constitution to force #Trump from office before President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated on Jan. 20. What is the 25th Amendment and how does it work? Here is an explanation. Demands mounted Thursday from lawmakers, business leaders and former government officials for the immediate removal of President Trump after a violent mob of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attack that left four people dead. Many have called for Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump. So what is the 25th Amendment? Here's a synopsis of the constitutional provision that allows for the president's removal under certain circumstances.
- [Narrator] During the first Democratic Presidential Debates in June, moderator Lester Holt asked the same question to both sets of candidates. - [Both] Who here would abolish their private health insurance in favor of a government-run plan? Just a show of hands. - [Narrator] This question was referring to Medicare for All, a proposal by Senator Bernie Sanders that would create a new federally-run health care system and make the U.S. government the sole provider of health insurance in the United States. Under Senator Sanders' plan, most employee-sponsored private insurance would be eliminated, and Medicare would be replaced with an entirely new program, one that covers health care costs for every single person in the United States. This question about private insurance has dominated the presidential debate on the left. All candidates say they want universal health care, meaning they want every American covered, but they're split on how to get there. Just look at how they answered the question. Senators Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, and Senator Elizabeth Warren all raised their hands to say they would eliminate private insurance, but several co-sponsors of Medicare for All legislation from both the House and Senate were on stage both nights and didn't raise their hands, and Kamala Harris walked back her answer after the debate by saying she'd misunderstood the question. That's because several candidates have expressed concerns about Medicare for All and are embracing different approaches to universal coverage, showing that this debate isn't just Medicare for All or nothing. We're going to explain what Medicare for All is, what is isn't, and what other Democratic health care proposals would do to health insurance in the United States. (pleasant electronic music) - The problem surrounding the conversation around Medicare for All is that many people really just don't understand what Medicare for All means, so while Medicare for All really does kind of refer to one specific broad idea, there are a lot of percolating ways to get there that have been kind of carried under the umbrella of Medicare for All. - [Narrator] You can think of health care as a spectrum. On one side, you have Medicare for All's single-payer system, and on the other side, you have private insurance. The current system in the United States falls in between the two, with a mix of private and government-sponsored insurance that operate alongside each other. - Democrats have gotten themselves boxed into this corner about whether their health plans would get rid of private insurance. That's kind of been the issue that has taken over the general focus. - [Narrator] This is significant because the vast majority of Americans have private health insurance. A little more than 156 million Americans receive employer-sponsored insurance through work, and private health insurance covers over 1/3 of all medical costs in the United States. Medicare For All would introduce public insurance that would muscle out employer-sponsored insurance over four years. It would also cover the uninsured, creating a single-payer system by leaving very little room for what private insurance could offer. - The question about whether your health plan would get rid of private plans has taken up a lot of air in the room when, in fact, if you look at other countries, the vast majority have a system that still allows for private plans for supplemental coverage. - [Narrator] Medicare for All would ban most private insurance from offering the same coverage as the government, but England has a universal health care system that allows private insurance to offer duplicate coverage. This private insurance provides access to private hospitals and reduces wait times for certain treatments. Senator Sanders has pointed to Canada's health care system as a model his plan would emulate, but Canada has a private insurance industry that offers supplemental health insurance to cover things the government doesn't like vision and dental care. About 2/3 of Canadians have supplemental health insurance. Medicare for All would be more expansive than its Canadian counterpart, covering dental and vision services. The only out-of-pocket expense would be a copay on prescription drugs that would be capped at $200 per year. Patients with government-funded insurance in both France and Australia also incur some sort of out-of-pocket cost, but private health insurance is available in both places to cover these costs. About 95% of people in France have this complimentary private insurance in addition to government insurance. - Under the, for example, plan by Senator Bernie Sanders, it does have a very, very limited role for private insurance, more limited than what you would see in other countries. A big question about Medicare for All is how you pay for it. The idea that has been proposed by Senator Bernie Sanders does have some ideas attached to it, no specific funding mechanism, but it looks at a progressive tax, a tax on companies. He has said that taxes would increase overall to pay for the plan. - Yes, they will pay more in taxes but less in health care for what they get. - Thank you, Senator. (crowd applauding) - There's a lot of other plans out there that Democrats are supporting, including options that would let everybody or a limited number of people buy into a plan like Medicare. - I believe we need to get to universal health care as a right, not a privilege, to single-payer. The quickest way you get there is you create competition with the insurers. - [Narrator] While Medicare for All aggressively builds a new single-payer system from the ground up, other plans expand the existing Medicare program to cover everyone in the U.S. - Those ideas are considered more of a stepping stone to this idea of universal health care that the Democrats do support as their overall goal. - [Narrator] Under these plans, private insurance remains. The Medicare for America Act automatically enrolls the uninsured and newborns into Medicare but allows employers to continue to offer private insurance. However, workers can also choose to enroll in Medicare. Premiums would remain but with caps, and those close to the poverty line would receive subsidies. (pleasant electronic music) The Choose Medicare Act allows Medicare to be bought through health care exchanges set up by the ACA. Private insurance could remain as long as it was gold-level coverage, a level of coverage where insurance covers 80% of costs. Out-of-pocket costs would be capped at $7900 per year. The goal would be to level the playing field and make private insurance compete with a public option. - Some of the research that has been done on Medicare buying plans do show that the premiums for these would be lower than what's currently offered on the individual markets. One of the hope of supporters of some of these buying options is that, because they would be more affordable, that more people would buy into these plans. They would find them palatable, they would find them things they could afford, and this would be a kind of slow on-ramp toward a universal health care system or Medicare for All. This is really the first time in our country's history that we are looking at a total revamping of the U.S. health care system, and it's the first time it's become really part of the public debate. It could affect you, the consumer. It could affect how much you pay out-of-pocket, your ability to get access and coverage. Even after the election, no matter who wins, this is gonna be an issue that continues to get debated for quite some time. (bright electronic music)