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What You Need to Know about Medicare for All, Part I

Quite a few Democratic candidates for office this year are campaigning on the idea of enrolling everyone in Medicare. It’s 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. 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. Medicare’s 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. That’s 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.

John C. Goodman is a Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute, President of the Goodman Institute for Public Policy Research, and author of the widely acclaimed Independent books, A Better Choice: Healthcare Solutions for America, and the award-winning, Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis. The Wall Street Journal and the National Journal, among other media, have called him the “Father of Health Savings Accounts.”

New from John C. Goodman!
A BETTER CHOICE: Healthcare Solutions for America
Obamacare remains highly controversial and faces ongoing legal and political challenges. Polls show that by a large margin Americans remain opposed to the healthcare law and seek to “repeal and replace” it. However, the question is: Replace it with what?

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