Where the Democratic Presidential Candidates Stand on “Medicare for All”?
The universal health care is a system arranged by the government in any country to ensure all its citizen acquire the same quality of medical services. This program is offered to all people regardless of their ability to pay the health care. In the United States, the universal health care system are sometimes called as “Medicare for All”.
Compare to other 32 developed countries in the world, United States is a developed country which still doesn’t have any universal health care system until now. In 2010, the US federal government had issued a new healthcare system well-known as Obamacare. Despite there are some similarity with universal health care, Obamacare program is actually different from universal health care.
Obamacare or The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) that is shortened to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is provided Medicare for every residents who wanted to have it. While the total monthly payments ranges from $70 for a single, $130 payment for family with only a single-parent, $140 for a couple and $200 for other families.
We can analyze that there is only very small difference between Obamacare and other healthcare proposal offered by the previous US president from Democratic Party. We can see the same rhythmin their healthcare proposal such as Harry S. Truman in 1945, Jimmy Carter Jr. in 1976, Bill Clinton in 1993 and Obama in 2008.
Though it can be seen that most of the previous presidents from Democratic Party offered the same rhythm for their healthcare system, we can hope that maybe the next democratic presidential candidate will offer you the different rhythm. This hope, actually, had been explained well in Democratic presidential candidates debating on Thursday, September 10, 2019.
Presidential Candidate from Democratic Party Bernie Sanders
On Thursday, the presidential candidate from Democratic Party, Bernie Sanders had proposed a new concept for universal healthcare system in the United States using single-payer system. This Medical for All design is proposed by the U.S senator from Vermont. His design will completely change the entire healthcare program.
By applying this concept, it means that all of the private insurances inside the country will be abolished. This is done in order to maintain the single government-run healthcare program which will cover all of the Americans. This, according to independent analyses, will cost the government budget for more than $30 trillion for over 10 years.
To fulfil the budget, Sanders proposes higher taxes that families and employers are obligated to pay. He argued that by applying this program, middle-class family able to save more money in overall because they don’t need to prepare health expenses which can be very high in the United States.
This system in overall will alter Medicare into a universal health care in the United States. This regulation also includes the prohibition for the employers to offer healthcare plans for their employees in order to compete with the universal health care system by government. Therefore, all the patients, whoever they are, don’t need to spend some expenses when they access medical services in healthcare facilities such as hospital.
Although, the plan look like a dream come true and very nice if truly happen, there are some rivals from Democratic Party itself say that this plan is very unrealistic. One of the rivals argued that this plan is unrealistic was Joe Biden.
Presidential Candidate from Democratic Party Elizabeth Warren
Elizabeth Warren is a one of the Democratic presidential candidates for 2020 that has released the regulation proposals including detailed health care system. She is a U.S. senator from Massachusetts who agreed with Medicare for All policy proposal being proposed by her presidential rival Bernie Sanders.
Though she agreed with Medicare for All policy proposed by Bernie Sanders, she has proposed her own ways in order to reach universal coverage. In June presidential debate, Elizabeth Warren raised her hand when the candidates being asked whether they want to abolish the existence of private health insurance or not.
Elizabeth Warren had a notion that Medicare for All policy actually will make middle-income families save more money since they don’t need to spend pricey price in medical expenses. The impact of this application can be seen in United Kingdom that has single-payer universal healthcare system.
Presidential Candidate from Democratic Party Joe Biden
Joe Biden is one of the presidential candidates that argued the Medicare for All policy. He argued that this plan is only an effort to demolish the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or more popularly known as Obamacare. Instead of proposing a new healthcare system, Joe Biden choose to improve the policy in Obamacare by adding a public option.
He “vowed” in the debate that he will build on the previous ACA by adding a public option. The addition policy itself will leave the current system in private insurance company in place. Not only adding a public option as a new element inside the ACA policies, Joe Biden also proposed to expand the subsidies for ACA especially in private policies.
Increasing the subsidies in ACA policy will transform ACA become more generous. It also make ACA able to cover more people.
Presidential Candidate from Democratic Party Andrew Yang
Then we come to the middle ground party who proposed more moderate alternatives. This middle ground party is not openly opposed Medicare for All plan like Joe Biden did, but not strongly stated the affirmative of the plan. Andrew Yang, despite his support for Medicare for All plan, he also choose to not prohibit any private insurance in the country.
As an entrepreneur, he understands that many businesses today are offering job-based insurance and forcing their employees to stay in the jobs despite they dislike it. Therefore Medicare for All policy plan from him will abolish this system from businesses environment.
Andrew Yang is sure that despite he didn’t ban private insurances, they will face hard problems to stay “alive” in healthcare system since they need to compete with no-cost government plan. Unfortunately, Andrew Yang did not give the detailed plan of his single-payer system to the public.