What’s so complicated about Medicare for All, one might ask, especially since only two real factors are involved: coverage and funding. However, big money in politics is never simple. The so-called “moderate” Democratic candidates for the party’s presidential nomination, who are in the “deep pockets” of Big Money donors, have made healthcare reform quite complicated.
Universal Means Universal
First, Medicare already is universal healthcare for all (all older Americans, that is), except that you have to apply. To extend that to everyone else should be rather simple. Nevertheless, the politics of campaign finance intervenes. Let’s face it. Big-Money donations are bribery.
Second, “for all” is self-explanatory—it means everyone is eligible for care as long as they’re still breathing. That is, anyone can get treatment, period. Under universal healthcare systems, everyone is covered — no “buy-in, no “enrollment,” no “choosing” between complicated plans that take a brace of lawyers to interpret and extensive litigation nobody can afford to get the “insurer” to pay for any but the most routine (inexpensive) treatments or to “approve” treatment of a “pre-existing condition.”
Universal healthcare forces nobody to do or not do anything. You can get medical treatment whenever you need it by just going to the doctor or hospital as needed. Period. It is not that you must; it is that you can! Taxes on everyone pay for healthcare for anyone, no middleman parasites needed.
Now, it is interesting (and raises some suspicions) that so many candidates have come up with such complicated schemes as their proposals for Medicare for all “who choose” to enroll in it. If everyone is eligible, why does anyone have to “enroll” at all? Well, I am quite certain that nobody will force you to go to the doctor under Medicare for All!
Really, Mayor Pete. Your obfuscations are pretty transparent. Why would anyone have to “buy in” if coverage is automatic and universal? Because you are pandering to the Big Donors such as the insurance companies, leaving an opening for them to stay in power, that’s why! What politician whose interests lie with the people has to meet with a bunch of zillionaires at an opulent wine-cellar banquet in Napa-Sonoma wine country to fund his campaign?
Bottom line: Follow the Money. With Pete Buttigieg, it’s rather obvious, given his penchant for Big-Money campaign contributions. Under real universal healthcare, nobody would have to “choose” between their automatic healthcare rights and paying some private insurer. If somebody feels the need for private insurance of some kind, let them pay for it, just as in Costa Rica, Great Britain, or most European nations, where, by the way, total healthcare costs are much lower and health outcomes are much better in comparable nations than in the U.S.
Remove Political Bribery from Healthcare
The simpler his or her Medicare-for-All plan is, the less beholden the candidate will be to insurance companies, the AMA and hospital groups. Large campaign donations are thinly veiled acts of bribery.
The candidates all know that around 70-80% of the people want universal healthcare. But they don’t want the nation’s biggest financial interests opposing that goal by putting up candidates who equivocate and then do nothing to achieve it once elected.
It seems to me that all the diversions like “How do you expect to pay for it?” are just smokescreens meant to confuse and terrify voters that they may “lose” the meager coverage they still have, or their favorite doctor. “Obama Care” (the Affordable Care Act) was a better than nothing compromise that at least got more people covered with inadequate insurance, high premiums, and co-pays. The overhead costs (insurance company profits and inflated medical charges) remain huge and of no value to the people. The so-called “moderates” want to keep compromising to get those large donations, instead of just doing it right.
Change is always a source of anxiety and if you mix in fear in the context of an ever more complicated and deceitful corporate-political complex that always values profit over the lives and health of people, it is not so difficult to terrorize those who are already victims of the system or know plenty of other folks who are.