Discuss: US Healthcare...Medicare for all? ACA? Private? Insurance & Politics


2 replies


Topic of the discussion

• Community manager
Posted on

In the United States, there are many things one must consider of when it comes to healthcare insurance and using it.

For example, an individual needs to have health insurance (in most cases); ensure the doctor/provider is in-network (or take the hit for out-of-network); estimate out-of-pocket expenses; and if the insurance is through a job, be cautious about any changes in employment or gaps in coverage.

The complexity, the high cost associated with being sick/injured, and the fact that 27 million people go without health insurance have caused some Democratic hopefuls for 2020 to support universal coverage... "Medicare for all".

The idea of universal public healthcare goes back to before the first World War, according to Howard Markel, professor of the history of medicine at the University of Michigan. After the second World War, fears of communism did away with the project, leaving instead a system founded on employer-provided health insurance. 

Today, government health insurance covers about 112 million Americans (approx. 1/3 of the population) and approximately 157 million Americans get insurance through employment (approximately 1/2 of the country). The rest are either not insured or have bought their own private insurance plans.

"A lot of people are satisfied until they get sick," said Tricia Neuman, senior vice president and director of the program on Medicare policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation. Problems typically include surprise medical bills, accidentally going out of network without realizing it, rising deductible and copays and out of pocket expenses.

Former president Barack Obama's health care reform law, which passed in 2010, did not fully bridge the gap that exists in healthcare and healthcare costs have continued to climb faster than the US economy 
can keep up. The United States spends 18 percent of its gross domestic product on health, compared to 11 percent on average in other wealthy nations. Additionally, Republican-led efforts to replace the Affordable Care Act have been met with difficulties, as it is quite a challenge to cover everyone, while lowering prices, and sticking to a private health insurance system.

The main advantage of a single-payer system would be that Medicare could negotiate lower rates than those typically agreed between insurers and hospitals, according to economist Colleen Carey, assistant professor of public  policy at Cornell University.

Bernie Sanders proposed a "Medicare for all" platform during the 2016 election, and since then the climate in America has changed to many supporting the idea, including Americans on both sides of the political aisle. More and more say they are open to expanding it to people beginning at age 50 (77 percent, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll), or even to all  (56 percent). But that support begins to fade at the prospect of raising taxes to finance universal coverage. Not to mention the resistance mounted by powerful pharmaceutical companies and health care lobbying groups, which wield considerable influence in Congress.

Even if a Democrat is elected to the White House in 2020, a major health care revolution is anything but certain and an uphill battle.


What do you think of the current healthcare system in the United States? The politics ongoing with the healthcare of millions of Americans at the center?

Do you support a move to universal coverage... "Medicare For All"?

This is a discussion to exchange and share different viewpoints and opinions on the current trends and politics of healthcare in the United States and all discussion shall remain amicable.


Beginning of the discussion - 2/11/19

Discuss: US Healthcare...Medicare for all? ACA? Private? Insurance & Politics

Posted on

This a great topic and one I am sure has many differing opinions. I think the on one end that medicare for all will help solve a lot of problems: everyone will be insured (no more hearing horror stories of people losing everything after years and years of work because they lost their job because they became sick with cancer or some chronic condition and thus lost insurance), pre-existing conditions will continue to be covered (cannot believe there was a time in America where this was not law), prescription and medical costs will begin to lower because the largest insurance company would be the government (no more hiking prices up because of such rich insurance companies and big pharma).

However, I think there should still be an option to obtain private care, like in most countries that socialized medicine. Everyone should be given the base-health insurance that covers hospital visits, ERs, surgeryes, etc., and then you can also go out to the private system and get private health insurance so you can by-pass any limitations or hinderance from the government insurance with the private.

I just think the most important is that everyone has health insurance. 

Discuss: US Healthcare...Medicare for all? ACA? Private? Insurance & Politics

• Community manager
Posted on

Hello members, this is a very popular topic currently in the United States. Feel free to discuss, and always, keep it friendly :)