If you paid any attention to the presidential debates you may have heard the term “Medicare for all” thrown around, but you may not know exactly what that means. It’s time to change that!
Medicare is the United States government’s health insurance policy for older Americans that is supposed to cover the cost of healthcare for those 65 and older
Medicare for all is a policy or rather several policies that want to extend medicare to all or most Americans, as the United States remains one of the only industrialized countries to not have universal healthcare.
Bernie Sanders coined the term during his 2016 bid for election and made a formal proposal in the senate in 2017 for Medicare for all. Basically, medicare for all would cover everyone and create a single-payer system, with an emphasis on comprehensive coverage.
The idea behind a single-payer system is that rather than having multiple competing health insurance companies a single public organization finances healthcare for everyone. It’s a version of universal healthcare, this way everyone has healthcare but can still choose where they get their healthcare from. Hence the term Medicare-for-all.
This option is popular among 58% of Americans yet still many do not like change and fear getting their current healthcare being taken away. But the basis behind Medicare-for-all is that the main change to medicare is that everyone is covered. Currently, Elizabeth Warren is falling behind in the polls, after rising for the last couple of weeks, for her endorsement of Medicare-for-all. Despite the promises, people are worried about their healthcare failing if the system is restructured.
Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are currently the only candidates that want to get rid of private insurance. While the majority of the candidates do not believe private insurance has to go.
Bernie Sanders stated, “Private insurance as it exists today is nothing more than a confusing morass designed to make people jump through hoops before they can actually get the care they need."
When talking about something as essential as healthcare, it is important to take all the precautions you can. However, private companies have continued to exploit the American people by overcharging and not covering a holistic version of health that humans need. Creating a new healthcare system to cover everyone and cover them well is essential to our future as a country.
As Elizabeth Warren said "Yes, I would support government-run insurance. Health care is a basic human right, and we fight for basic human rights. We need #MedicareForAll.”