Medicare for All

 

Healthcare is a human right, and we should do what we can to ensure everyone has access.  While I support pieces of this plan, I think we need to look at the bigger picture instead of being blinded by the pretty band aid.    

Spending 10 years of my childhood in the foster care system, I grew up on Medicaid.  As an adult, I used to spend hundreds of dollars per month for my doctors’ visits and prescriptions with private insurance.  Today, I am fortunate enough to have Tribal Healthcare.  If it weren’t for being an American Indian, I would likely be living on the streets right now or dead.  I understand how important it is for everyone to have access to healthcare because I have struggled without it on many occasions.  I believe in helping those who need it and I wish everyone could have access to the type of healthcare I have.  While it isn’t quite possible, I do know there are many ways we can address temporary needs on a case-by-case basis.

Please read through everything as it is very important for people understand what parts of this plan I support.  In addition, I also have strong arguments about other parts of this plan. 

What I Support:

  1. Where each of us stand right now, someday we will face the struggle many seniors are facing today.  We can easily ignore the problem because it doesn’t impact us yet, or we can choose to fix the problem now so we don’t have to face it when we reach retirement age.  If we don’t fix it now, we can kick ourselves in retirement for not addressing the issue when we had the chance.    Some of my thoughts on this:

    • Many of us pay into Medicare from the time we start working.  Our employer matches that same amount.  This happens with every paycheck until we retire. 

    • The Medicare system we pay into currently doesn’t cover much of anything. 

    • What if we were to continue to pay that insurance throughout our lives and it actually benefitted us at retirement?  Medicare needs to be restructured so that anyone over the age of 65 is fully covered.  Wouldn’t it be nice to not have to worry about healthcare when we retire?  We are already paying a premium our entire working lives…why not make it work to our advantage?

    • The new goal should be full Medicare benefits after age 65.  There should be no out of pocket costs whatsoever.  If people don’t want it, they don’t have to enroll.  It is there if they need it.  Why wouldn’t you want it though if you already paid for it?  We should make that Medicare deduction work to our advantage.  We may not see the benefit now, but we will have it in the future.  Something like this would be the difference of not having to pay hundreds to thousands in medical bills like so many seniors are forced to do today.  Many seniors are forced to suffer and go without.  Do you want this to be you too when you retire? 

  2. I support people with disabilities having automatic access to this plan.  If they want it, they can enroll in it.  If not, it’s there for them should they decide to take advantage of that resource.

    • I grew up with many people who had disabilities.  Many of us take for granted that we are able to work and that we have the ability to do many things that others aren’t.  It is important that we help others who aren’t as fortunate and do need support.

    • Growing up and watching people with varying disabilities really opened my eyes to how fortunate I am.  I truly sympathize with people who don’t have the same advantages as everybody else.  In addition to my foster mother, I also had a foster brother who was wheelchair bound.  There were also two other kids who had intellectual disabilities.  In another home I lived in, there were other types of disabilities.  This exposure as a child really gave me a true sense of what these individuals have to go through to thrive in the world.  Most often times, they would face these struggles with a smile on their face.  Something many of us wouldn’t be doing if we suddenly came into the same circumstances as we have grown accustomed to our simplistic way of living.  This is life for many of these individuals who were born with these conditions.  They had to learn to accept it for what it is.    

    • Many of these individuals are prideful and may not want help.  I know because I have seen it firsthand.  Regardless, the resources should be available if they decide to take advantage of them. 

    • We also need to acknowledge how expensive it can be to have a disability.  I remember my foster mom once looking at a wheelchair (nothing fancy) and it would have costed her $60,000!  To have a lift installed that would have helped enhance her quality of life, that would have been nearly $15,000.  Most people with disabilities don’t have that kind of money or people who can help them with that kind of money.  If we can help individuals who want the help, we should.  This could be any of us someday.  Nobody should go broke or become homeless trying to afford something that could enhance their quality of life.   These things are very expensive, and we need to make sure that individuals don’t have to jump through hoops to get the necessities they need to thrive in the world. 

    • Some may argue that they can pay for these things themselves or that they can use our current welfare system.  I used to pay $300-$500 a month for healthcare WITH insurance.  You have to truly understand how stressful it is when a huge chunk of your income goes to something you need in order to survive and/or function in the world.  You make big financial sacrifices just so you can get by.  I remember there being times where I could barely afford groceries just so I could maintain my healthcare needs.  Not everyone hits the lottery when it comes to being fully functional.  Welfare will only support you so much and some needs are far beyond anything welfare can provide.  Nobody should have to go broke trying to survive in the world. 

  3. The last group I would support is an “Emergency Medicare” program.  This would be on a case-by-case basis and would need to be approved as quickly as food stamps or any other type of emergency welfare.  The people that would fall under this bracket would be:

    • Cancer Patients

      • Nobody battling something like cancer should have to worry about how to pay for it if they have no other resources.  We are all humans and no human should have to suffer.  We should help our fellow humans instead of working against them.

      • The number one focus of a cancer patient should be to get better.  There is no reason they should have to try to work, pay medical bills, and fight a hard battle at the same time. 

      • Much like food stamps, this should be available without any sort of an approval period.  If someone can prove they have cancer, give them coverage and have them focus on getting better. 

      • As with any other support, many may not use it, but it’s there if they need it. 

    • There needs to be access for people with mental health issues.  There is no tougher feeling than to be battling demons and being unable to get help for it.  If someone loses a job, their insurance, or whatever the case may be, there needs to be something to help them.  For anyone taking a prescription medication, there is almost always an important reason for it.  As you may have read in some of my other sections, people shouldn’t be without their meds.  Especially when it comes to behavioral medicine.  It is not only dangerous for them to be without – it can be dangerous for people around them too.  I speak on this topic from personal experience.

      • I know from personal experience how hard it is to function while quietly battling mental health struggles that nobody knows about.  I remember having to comply with the waiting periods for pre-existing conditions.  I also remember starting a new job and waiting to qualify for healthcare benefits.  In situations like this, there is great risk hoping that you can make it through these waiting periods to try and get the very much needed healthcare that you so desperately need. 

      • I personally understand the repercussions of coming off certain medications when you have nowhere to fill a prescription or you’re unable to pay for it.  To prevent people from losing their job and/or going homeless, this is not something that can be overlooked.  Mental health should be covered if there are no other resources available.  Mental health coverage should be as easy to get as food stamps.  Having to wait for any form of approval is not acceptable.  This should be approved same day. 

      • The last part of this plan would be for people who have situations like diabetes.  If someone needs some form of medication and went through some situation where they no longer have insurance, we need to help them.  There needs to be resources and emergency access available.  Insulin is very important and diabetics should always be able to access support if their life circumstances change.  Again, the red tape needs to be cut and approvals need to be quick.  Time is of the essence and waiting is unacceptable when it comes to something people need to survive. 

 

My arguments against Medicare for All:

  1. If you haven’t viewed the ‘Documentation/Proof’ tab of my website, I encourage you to do so.  I have released several pages of my mental health records from my childhood.  These records pertain to various hospitalizations at West Hills.  With each of these visits being paid for by Medicaid, you will see exactly what kind of corruption exists when the government fully funds your healthcare.  They can convince you or someone you love that these institutions will help them.  Once you’re in there, they will drug you up since the government will fully pay for your medications.  Then when you start having problems on the medication, they recommit you and continue profiting off your mental health.  This is a real world look at what a future with fully government sponsored health insurance could look like.  It even includes corrupt actions from my pediatrician.  While I don’t think the government would be the problem in this situation, it is the healthcare providers and big pharma milking the system you would have to worry about. 

  2. Healthcare providers deserve better than what Medicare is willing to pay for their services.  I worked briefly for a medical billing company and everything is based on the Medicare rate, which isn’t much.  By passing Medicare for all, you are telling providers that they should have to only accept money from the government.  You are taking income away from them when they can make significantly more with private insurance.  Do you really want someone operating on you after you reduced their income?  What about if they start finding bizarre things wrong with you?  Are these things really wrong or are they just trying to milk the system since they know the government will pay for it? 

  3. A program like this will open more doors for corruption.  Whether it be with medical providers, big pharma, politicians, etc.  We will be putting our lives at risk by allowing the government to take over ALL healthcare. 

  4. For many, around 30% of our income goes to taxes.  Some may pay more, while others pay less.  If ‘Medicare for all’ is implemented, our taxes will have to go up at some point.  How soon before 50% of our paycheck goes to taxes?  30% is a lot of money taken from us now and we have no certainty that we will ever get what we put into social security.  The Medicare program we pay into is complete crap and doesn’t do much of anything.  Our federal taxes we give away and hope the government spends them the way we want.  With inflation, medical equipment will keep increasing in cost.  Providers and hospitals will ask for more money at some point.  Who is going to pay for these things?  The taxpayers will and our taxes will keep increasing until our entire paycheck goes to the government.  We can’t let this happen. 

  5. Employers should be doing more to take care of their employees.  They deduct benefit costs and the benefits are often crap.  Congress needs to work out a system where only certain plans are tax deductible.  If a plan has no out of pocket costs and the employee premium is little to nothing, then yes, employers should absolutely be able to write it off.  But if people can’t afford to maintain the insurance, they will have to turn to the government for support.  When they turn to the government, it is imperative that their employer is paying taxes since the burden will now fall on taxpayers.  So there needs to be an incentive for employers who ensure their employees are able to comfortably afford their healthcare needs.  Otherwise, it shouldn’t be deductible since taxpayers are going to have to foot the bill for a plan the employee can’t even afford to utilize. 

  6. Again, healthcare providers are the ones who would be getting beyond screwed with this.  Insurance only covers so much of a provider’s fees.  If you pay your medical bills with insurance, you should be grateful your doctor accepts it.  Again, most insurance pays based on the Medicare rate, which isn’t much.  What your doctor bills your insurance, often isn’t even close to what they actually get.  Do you really want your healthcare providers to be paid even less?  Do you think they will keep up with their education or care as much if they are forced to accept the Medicare rate for all their services?  It is tough enough to go to school and endure such a rigorous program.  They deserve every penny they can get. 

  7. Lets keep our healthcare providers happy.  If they want to accept Medicare, that is their choice.  Nobody elses.

Instead of fighting for or against Medicare for All, congress should be finding ways to help companies afford to provide their employees with quality healthcare benefits.  They should also be helping to reduce the out-of-pocket costs for Americans.  Between the premiums, prescription costs, copays, deductibles, and coinsurance, it is ridiculously expensive.  The focus should be on how we can save people money.  Instead, Democrats are fighting for something that will only create more chaos.  Republicans are fighting against even talking about it.  Both aren’t focusing on what they can do to help put money back into the pockets of the people they represent.  We need to get the costs down on all levels and keep government involvement in our healthcare minimal. 

Lastly, I would like to see better plans for self-employed people like myself.  To pay that much for insurance is ridiculous and then having to pay deductibles and such on top of it all isn’t worth it.    Most are better off paying cash for their healthcare when they need it.  It is significantly cheaper if you know how to “work” the system, but you have no peace of mind should something happen.  Also, many don’t know how to “work” the system like I do.  I am very resourceful and have been around enough to know the ins and outs of how to get my needs addressed.

To sum up everything, I support full coverage for people over the age of 65.  Things like diabetes, cancer and mental health cannot wait and need to be acted on quickly.  While I don’t support Medicare, “for all,” I do support Medicare for, “those who need it.” Congress should be focusing on 2 things:

  1. Putting money back into the pockets of many hardworking Americans.

  2. Helping businesses afford to insure their employees with plans that have little to no out of pocket costs.

Finally, I don’t think a business should be able to deduct healthcare benefits from their taxes if they aren’t really benefiting their employees.  If people have to spend a significant amount of money out of their own pocket on top of the premium, they will eventually have to rely on government funded insurance.  If the company is paying little to no taxes, then the burden falls solely on the taxpayers.  In that case, the government needs to charge the business taxes so it can take care of their employee when businesses fail to do so.  Companies like Wal-Mart and Amazon for example.   If an employer does cover health benefits and they truly have little to no out of pocket costs, then those amounts should absolutely be deductible.  This would be the incentive to motivate more companies to ensure their employees aren’t having to pay too much for their healthcare.