Thanks to Nick Welch for last week’s column on health care. I agree that we can’t solve all the problems of health care by just increasing what we spend or even by providing coverage for everyone. (Although, by the way, among the grim statistics about our current health hodge-podge is that its financing ranks 55th in the world.) However, we can take a huge step forward that should get support from fiscal conservatives and moderate Democrats alike, but doesn’t: enacting an improved, expanded Medicare for everyone.
By eliminating the need for private insurance coverage, we rid ourselves of the silly notion that we have to “choose” the right plan for us. Medicare would be expanded to cover all medically necessary services, including dental, for everyone.
Medicare is constitutional, has very low administrative costs, and is popular among those currently eligible. It controls costs much better than private insurers. So why do so many politicians turn a blind eye to a system that would cover everyone for everything while saving at least $450 billion a year in health administrative costs? It’s the outrageous political influence of the medical industry, protecting their obscene profits.
Anyone wanting to push our politicians to enact real change needs to join one of many organizations supporting single-payer Medicare for all. If the people don’t demand it, it won’t happen.