(UnitedVoice.com) – Over the last six months, Democratic candidates have been squabbling about whether Medicare for All or a public option is the best type of healthcare plan for America. With only a few days to go until the Iowa Caucus’, a new poll was released on Thursday by the Kaiser Family Foundation. It says that a slim majority favors Medicare-for-All. However, it also said that even more people prefer a public option.
Far-left candidates Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) say that a government-run healthcare system would give immediate access to healthcare for every American. But, at what cost?
Moderate candidates Joe Biden and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) argue that Obamacare ought to be updated with a public option and that Medicare for All is unaffordable and unrealistic. However, will it really bring down prices and increase coverage and access to care?
What’s in the Poll?
The Kaiser poll found that 56% of overall respondents said they want Medicare-for-All and 68% favored a government-administered “public option.”
A Medicare-for-All plan is strongly favored by:
- 44% of Democrats
- 35% of Independents
- 14% of Republicans
A public option is strongly favored by:
- 49% of Democrats
- 41% of Independents
- 19% of Republicans
Additional details in the poll include:
- 80% think taxes will go up
- 62% believe more people will have insurance under a Medicare-for-All system
- 53% believe more people will have insurance under a public option
- 87% say lowering prescription drug costs ought to be a priority for Congress
- 80% say protecting people from high out-of-network medical bills is the next highest priority
- 45% of respondents said that under Medicare for All, those with employer-sponsored insurance would not be able to keep their current health insurance plans
Perhaps the most revealing aspect in the poll was the perception of how health insurance would be paid for… 50% believe that employers and individuals would not continue to pay for health insurance premiums and 33% believe there will no longer be deductibles and co-pays.
The Costs of Government-Run Healthcare
In October 2019, the Urban Institute, a well-respected liberal think tank among Democrats, projected costs for Medicare for All at approximately $34 trillion in new federal spending over the first ten years. For perspective, the Congressional Budget Office says that’s more than the total cost of social security, Medicare, and Medicaid… combined. It’s also double the amount that the CBO projects the federal government will collect in payroll taxes that support Social Security and Medicare over ten years.
Sanders has not said how he will specifically pay for his Medicare for All plan. However, he did say that taxes will have to be raised on the middle-class. Warren says she will soak the rich and that the middle-class will not pay for her proposal.
To justify that their plans will save Americans money and provide more access to healthcare, Sanders and Warren both say that anyone using the healthcare system will not pay at the time of service. However, what they fail to say is how much more one might spend over the course of a lifetime in taxes than they would on insurance, co-pays, and deductibles.
The Biden campaign said about Warren’s plan, “For months, Elizabeth Warren has refused to say if her health care plan would raise taxes on the middle class, and now we know why: because it does. Senator Warren would place a new tax of nearly $9 trillion that will fall on American workers.”
Klobuchar has said that Medicare for All is too expansive and intrusive, adding… “I have a better way, a way that will insure more people and bring premiums down. And that’s with the nonprofit public option. And it doesn’t trash Obamacare. It builds on Obamacare. And I think you have to show how you are going to pay for things.”
By Don Purdum, Freelance Contributor
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