Medicare for all? Review the pros and cons.

In the March/April 2020 issue of ONYX Magazine, Larua Dorsey pens an informational article that asks the question, “should Medicare be for all?” Check out our chart of pros and cons and read the entire story in the current issue.

PROS

  • Universal healthcare lowers health care costs for the economy overall, since the government controls the price of medication and medical services through regulation and negotiation.
  • It would also eliminate the administrative cost of working with multiple private health insurers. Doctors would only have to deal with one government agency, rather than multiple private insurance companies along with Medicare and Medicaid.
  • Companies would not have to hire staff to deal with many different health insurance companies’ rules. Instead, billing procedures and coverage rules would be standardized.
  • Hospitals and doctors would be forced to provide the same standard of service at a low cost, instead of targeting wealthy clients and offering expensive services so they can get a higher profit.
  • Universal healthcare leads to a healthier population. Studies show that preventive care lowers expensive emergency room usage. Before Obamacare, 46% of emergency room patients were there because they had nowhere else to go. The emergency room became their primary care physician. This type of health care inequality is a major factor in the rising cost of medical care.

CONS

  • Some analysts are concerned that the government may not be able to use its bargaining power to drive down costs steeply and quickly.
  • Other analysts are concerned that insulating people from costs of care will drive up usage of medical care. Drew Altman, who heads the Kaiser Family Foundation, pointed out that “no other developed nation has zero out of pocket costs.”
  • People may not be as careful with their health if they do not have a financial incentive to do so.
  • Governments have to limit health care spending to keep costs down. Doctors might have less incentive to provide quality care if they aren’t well paid. They may spend less time per patient in order to keep costs down. They also have less funding for new life-saving technologies.
  • Since the government focuses on providing basic and emergency health care, most universal healthcare systems report long wait times for elective procedures. The government may also limit services with a low probability of success, and may not cover drugs for rare conditions.

Subscribe to ONYX Magazine today.

You May Also Like...