Quite a few Democratic candidates for office this year are campaigning on the idea of enrolling everyone in Medicare. Its not just the left. A significant number of doctors in the American Medical Association are for it. Public opinion polls show that 70% of Americans like the idea.
Here are ten things you need to know.
- 1. Medicare is not really government insurance.
Almost everybody on the political left thinks that Medicare is a government plan one that is completely different from private insurance. Yet that view is wrong.
Although Medicare is largely funded with tax dollars, it has never been a strictly government program. Medicares original benefit package copied a standard Blue Cross plan that was common back in 1965. And Medicare has always been privately administered in many places by Blue Cross itself. Thats the same Blue Cross that administers private insurance sold to non-seniors.
Moreover, in recent years, one-third of all seniors and perhaps as many as half of young seniors are enrolled in plans offered by Humana, Cigna, UnitedHealth care and other private insurers under the Medicare Advantage program. These private plans are virtually indistinguishable from the private insurance non-seniors have.