Tuesday, August 25, 2009

REPEAT AFTER ME: Medicare = Public Plan = Government-Run Health Program = Government-Sponsored Health Plan

The Republicans have shamelessly attempted to scare seniors away from Democrats by preaching the horrors of government-run health plans. This argument, however, is absolutely bankrupt, particularly because Medicare, the primary healthcare payer for all seniors, is the largest public plan in the nation. The federal government designed and enacted Medicare. The federal government determines the amount of reimbursement for doctors and the type of services that are covered. Taxpayers pay for the expenses associated with Medicare. Doctors and patients, as usual, get to select the treatments they pursue.

Prior to Medicare, seniors could only get full health insurance coverage at an extreme cost. Most seniors had only partial coverage or none at all. Full coverage in the private sector was not an option for most seniors, just as full coverage in the private sector is not an option for millions of Americans today.

Republicans, however, opposed Medicare and have always described it as one of the main problems of LBJ's administration -- joining social security enacted during FDR's administration. According to the conservative script, Medicare = social security = welfare = evil "entitlement programs," enacted by "big government" and "big spending" liberal Democrats. Today, however, Republicans are pretending to favor Medicare, while generally describing public plans as socialized medicine. Seniors should find this approach insulting. Sane Republicans should find it embarrassing.


Possible Part II: Veterans Administration = Public Plan = Government-Run Health Program = Government-Sponsored Health Plan.


Alcuria said...

There are some things can do well, very well, in fact.

Providing health-care for veterans, or active-duty military or senior citizens can be one of those things. Those populations are smaller.

I've read quite a bit of the House and Senate proposals. I just don't have faith that government-run health care for a larger portion of our population will succeed and believe it will ultimately reduce choices for many Americans.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

The amount of uninsured persons is about the same as the number of people on Medicare. But the number of people on Medicare is expected to increase astronomically in the next few years. So your argument is based on a factually incorrect assumption.

Also, the number of people on Medicaid - another goverment program -- is around 40 million (there are about 46-47 million uninsured). Again, your argument is based on a factually incorrect assumption.

Alcuria said...

Your point is well taken and I should have noted that my comments about veterans, active-duty military and senior citizens are made based on today's numbers, not what those numbers will be in the future.

But I also believe that health care for seniors in the future will not be well run and offer the best choices, due to the sheer numbers involved that you mention will continue to increase. I just don't have faith in government providing health care to ever increasing numbers of Americans. And I want to have that faith.

And the number of uninsured being pegged at 46-47 million -well, that's a discussion for another day...

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

My numbers were based on today's surveys too. I only mentioned Medicare numbers increasing because I seriously doubt seniors who are panicking over a "public plan" will ask the government to end Medicare today or in the future.

hampshire said...

you say Run health care plan .. i think the health care plan stand on the same place...

Real Time Analytics