Currently it seems the number one issue being debated among Democrat candidates for the Presidency is the issue of Medicare For All. That said, what seems to be left out of the equation is that the current Medicare program for people over 65 (including me), does not pay all the medical bills, but usually takes care of about 80% of health care expenses. The other 20% can be taken care of by a Medicare supplement purchased from a private company.

In my case the combined public and private programs pay for all my bills and at the age of almost 76,there is a bunch of bills.

 

Medicare for All under the Sanders approach would do away with the need for private insurance all together and dramatically increase the government’s cost, estimated by some to be in the trillions over the next few years.

As a former lobbyist I am certain the companies that would be put out of business would bring a full court press to defeat the legislation. However, if all that was done were to expand the current system to everyone and leave the ability to buy additional coverage from the private sector, I would assume the opposition would drop dramatically.

The trick in working within the legislative process is to not expect to get all one wants (that rarely happens) but to get what is acceptable to enough legislatures to get something passed.

By partisanship had been sorely lacking the past few years, hopefully it will return for the public’s benefit on this issue.

Although I am far from being an expert on various health care programs, one I would urge policymakers to look closely at is the German program. It seems to be based on public private partnerships, with government, business, and some costs still the responsibility of the individual. Another consideration is that the cost of German health care is still high at a little over 10% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), but substantially less then equivalent US number which is about 17% of our GDP.

For additional insight of the German program the Wikipedia web site provides good information under “Healthcare in Germany”.

Hopefully after a new Congress is sworn in next year progress can me made.

Dick Goodson