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Thursday, August 09, 2012

Medicare for All - A National Insurance Plan

Suppose Americans could buy health insurance with the following benefits?

1.  Coverage without regard for pre-existing conditions.
2.  No caps on coverage.
3.  Unlimited access to emergency and outpatient services.
4.  Price for services is correlated with cost of care.
5.  Provider administrative cost regulated.
6.  Affordable premiums published in national literature so everyone knows what the plan costs.
7.  Major benefits offered by the plan are evaluated and outcomes are publicly disclosed in quality reports.
8.  Ability to choose preferred providers.
9.  Publicly disclosed consumer satisfaction surveys
10. Reasonable co-pays for services- all co-pays disclosed prior to receiving services.
11. Wellness and preventive care paid for in procedures like mamograms and colonoscopies, without needing a diagnostic purpose for provider reimbursement.

It's surprising how many Americans don't know that Medicare provides all of the above. To be eligible for Medicare today, a beneficiary must be a person who is, either, 65 years or older, who contributed at least 40 quarters to Social Security during their working career, or disabled and receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) provided by Social Security.

But, Medicare doesn't need to be restrictive about who receives the benefit, if the US Congress would pass a law to open the plan to anyone who wants to pay the premiums.  

In the above letter to the editor to the Maine Sunday Telegram, it seems like the message about access to health care through "Medicare for all" might finally be getting out. 

"Medicare for all" should be a national bumper sticker.  Perhaps it would be, if people only understood how the benefit works!

Contributor Julie Keller Pease writes, "We need a health care system that provides access to every one of us, no matter how sick, poor, old or unemployed we may be. We need reduced costs. We need improved health outcomes."

The letter writer criticizes President Obama's Health Care Reform Affordable Care Act (ACA) for not providing enough access to health care.  Therefore, Medicare for all, as an alternative to the ACA, would have avoided the brouhaha created by the Hillarycare, Romneycare or Obamacare reforms.  

Clusters of first person letters to the editor would move "Medicare for all" forward because more people would pay attention to facts about the coverage, rather than to rhetorical political posturing and labeling.

 "Medicare for all" is a simplistic solution to providing insurance coverage for everyone who wants to pay the reasonable premiums.  

Medicare is already in place! With the national debate about health care reform still on the front burner, even after decades of attempts and failures to bring about reforms to help cover the uninsured, Medicare is the solution, it's efficient and it works. 

More letters to the editor, please!  I'll be glad to help anyone who would like to write a personal story.



Blogger rebbica jackson said...

These benefits are enough for US people. This blog is very useful and everyone must think about it once.


10:26 PM  

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