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Weighing the pros and cons of Medicare For All–Will this be cost effective?

The debate over how to lower healthcare costs continues, and many feel that “Medicare for All” is the answer.

Medicare for all is the idea of having one national (government-run) health insurance plan for all Americans. It would effectively eliminate private health insurance. The government would pay for this insurance, rather than employers and private insurers. In order for this to happen Americans would need to pay taxes in order to help finance the system. Will this really be worth it when it comes down to cost? Here are some thoughts to consider when it comes to Medicare for All:

Arguments in Favor of Medicare for All

  • It guarantees coverage for all, especially for economically vulnerable people
  • It would pay for every medically necessary service
  • It could increase wages and salaries for U.S. workers due to the fact that money for healthcare is taken from most employees’ paychecks
  • Americans could switch jobs without losing their existing plan or health care coverage
  • It would eliminate out-of-pocket costs
  • Hospitals and doctors would be required to provide the same level of service at a low cost
  • It would eliminate the cost of working with multiple private health insurers

Arguments Against Medicare for All

  • Congestion in the healthcare system due to it being more affordable
  • Americans would pay higher taxes
  • Doctors may have less incentive to provide quality care if they aren’t being paid well
  • It may be slow to explore newer & more expensive treatments
  • The government won’t be able to bargain the cost fast enough
  • The government will have to limit health care spending to keep costs down.

So how much will this really all cost? Many studies believe it will cost close to 30-40 trillion dollars. While other studies suggested net health care savings. Actual costs will really depend on the plans features and implementation. One proposal is to raise additional taxes on Americans making more than $250,000 to help pay for the program. Though Medicare for All would likely lower the healthcare costs in the economy overall, you could end up paying more if you make more money.

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