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Stop subsidizing private health care insurance – A Comment

December 17, 2019

No progress is possible until private insurance ends

Recently, a friend blasted the skeptics who have been poo-pooing Medicare for All as proposed by Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

His argument pours cold water on the halfway measures that other candidates like Peter Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar are promoting. Here’s his succinct and compelling reason why.

“Medicare for All would solve many of the national health care issues in the United States. One of them is the public cost of Medicare Advantage and the plethora of other private supplemental insurance programs on offer.

The reason they can offer vision, hearing and dental coverage (Medicare does not at this time) is because the government is subsidizing them. If the subsidy did not exist, vision, hearing and dental coverage could be included in the standard Medicare program even without Medicare for All.

The health insurance subsidy, like the fossil fuel industry subsidy, was a real coup for the Republicans and corporate capitalism. It not only deprives standard Medicare subscribers of important vision, hearing and dental care, but it actually finances the competition to standard Medicare and undercuts support for it by making private insurance programs more attractive in the health care market.  No progress can be made toward national health care for all until the insurance companies are eliminated from the industry.

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