Friday, 16 August 2019 19:03

The Real Costs of the U.S. Health-Care Mess

Written by Matt Bruenig | The Atlantic
Rate this item
(0 votes)
The Real Costs of the U.S. Health-Care Mess Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

With more than 20 people vying for the Democratic presidential nomination, it can be difficult to get a handle on the policy terrain. This is especially true in health care, where at least eight different plans are floating around, including from candidates whom few support, such as Mike Gravel, who wants to provide everyone Veterans Administration–style health care, and Michael Bennet, who wants to offer a public health plan in the small individual-insurance market.

Among the candidates polling in the double digits, three have offered actual health-care proposals (as opposed to vague statements): Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and Bernie Sanders, whose Medicare for All plan is also supported by Elizabeth Warren. These plans are similar in the most general sense, in that they expand coverage and affordability, but they are dramatically different in their particulars and in what they tell voters about the respective candidates. To understand any of that, however, you have to understand how insurance works right now.

Americans get insurance from four main sources.

The first source is Medicare, which covers nearly all elderly people and some disabled people. The “core” program consists of Medicare Part A, which pays for hospital treatment, and Medicare Part B, which pays for doctor visits. Medicare Part D covers prescription drugs, but is administered only by private insurance providers. Private Medigap plans provide supplemental insurance for some of the cost-sharing required by Parts A and B, while private Medicare Advantage plans essentially bundle all of the above into a single offering.

The second source is Medicaid, which covers low-income people and provides long-term care for disabled people. Medicaid is administered by states and jointly funded by state and federal governments. The Affordable Care Act expanded Medicaid eligibility up the income ladder a bit, but some states did not go along with the expansion.

Read the complete article at: https://medium.com/the-atlantic/the-real-costs-of-the-u-s-health-care-mess-ceff58514fbb

Read 2324 times

Latest Medicare for All News

  • Default
  • Title
  • Date
  • Random