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Sen. Bernie Sanders is skimming over the facts in claiming that his “Medicare for all” plan will lead to big reductions in what Americans spend for health care.
In a recent tweet, the Vermont independent insists the plan will cut $2 trillion from the nation’s health care bill.
But that’s based on a scenario in which hospitals and doctors accept significantly lower payments for many patients. It’s a big asterisk, and one that Sanders fails to disclose.
originally posted by: schuyler
When has ANY government program's budget NOT been significantly underestimated? Doesn't matter if it's the cost of a new bridge, a ship, a building, an entitlement program. The projections are always wrong. The government is fundamentally incapable of staying within a budget.
originally posted by: carewemust
Democrats have the right idea, but as usual, attempting to shove it down every American's throat, BACKFIRES on them big time.
If Bernie (or any Democrat) would simply say that they want to "adjust" the Medicare law to enable anyone who wants to, to buy into the program, that Democrat would have a WINNER in their bag of promises.
On July 30, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University released a working paper on the 10-year fiscal impact of the Medicare-for-all plan sponsored by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). The report was written by Charles Blahous, a former economic adviser to George W. Bush and a public trustee for Social Security and Medicare from 2010 through 2015.
In doing his research, Blahous decided to follow the text of the Sanders plan and assume that providers — doctors, hospitals, drug companies and the like — would face an immediate cut of 40 percent in their payments. That in theory would reduce the country’s overall level of health expenditures by $2 trillion from 2022 to 2031. But he makes clear that it’s a pretty unrealistic assumption.
Medicare reimburses office visits at around $85 per visit , though precise reimbursements vary by region. At $85 per visit, a primary care physician seeing nothing but Medicare patients could expect to receive $293,760 in annual reimbursements. Subtracting out the physician’s annual overhead provides an estimate of the physician’s salary. According to this physicians’ overhead spreadsheet, 50% is a good target for a primary care physician’s overhead. Overhead cannot fall below 100-150k for most physicians, as many expenses are fixed. This would leave our example physician with net income of roughly $147,000 annually.
This isn’t a terrible income, as it’s more than triple the average American income, but it is slightly less than primary care physicians’ average pay nationwide. These numbers do show conclusively that it is possible for a family practice physician to make a living on Medicare patients alone!
A big problem, even for those who do live in Medicaid expansion states, is that there are not enough primary care physicians to treat people on the government insurance plan. This was a problem even before the expansion.
Over ten percent of all doctors and nurses on the CMS blacklist end up on it because they defaulted on government-backed student loans. Medical workers on the blacklist are barred from treating Medicare and Medicaid patients or receiving federal reimbursements for a predesignated time period.
Do U.S. doctors support this concept?
Surveys show most doctors would welcome it.
Yes. Doctors are increasingly fed up with the bureaucratic hassles, paperwork and meddling imposed on them by today’s private-insurance-based system. They want to regain autonomy over patient care – to do what they were trained to do. They are also acutely aware of the human suffering caused by the lack of access to care under our existing arrangements.
National and state surveys of physician attitudes have shown a marked shift over the past few decades toward support for a single-payer plan.
A national survey published in Annals of Internal Medicine in 2008 showed that 59 percent of U.S. physicians support national health insurance, an increase of 10 percentage points from five years before.
In August 2017, a survey conducted by Merritt, Hawkins and Associates, a physician recruiting firm, found that 56 percent of U.S. physicians either strongly support or somewhat support a single-payer system.
When the American Medical Association — one of the nation’s most powerful health care groups — met in Chicago this June, its medical student caucus seized an opportunity for change.
Though they had tried for years to advance a resolution calling on the organization to drop its decades-long opposition to single-payer health care, this was the first time it got a full hearing. The debate grew heated — older physicians warned their pay would decrease, calling younger advocates naïve to single-payer’s consequences. But this time, by the meeting’s end, the AMA’s older members had agreed to at least study the possibility of changing its stance.
“We believe health care is a human right, maybe more so than past generations,” said Dr. Brad Zehr, a 29-year-old pathology resident at Ohio State University, who was part of the debate. “There’s a generational shift happening, where we see universal health care as a requirement.”
What will happen to malpractice costs under single payer?
They will fall dramatically.
First, about half of all malpractice awards go to pay present and future medical costs (e.g. for infants born with serious disabilities). Single-payer national health insurance will eliminate the need for these awards. Second, many claims arise from a lack of communication between doctor and patient (e.g. in the Emergency Department). Miscommunication/mistakes are heightened under the present system because physicians don’t have continuity with their patients (to know their prior medical history, establish therapeutic trust, etc.) and patients aren’t allowed to choose and keep the doctors and other caregivers they know and trust (due to insurance arrangements). For these and other reasons, malpractice costs in three nations with single payer are much lower than in the United States, and we would expect them to fall dramatically here.
So in essence I think what would be more helpful is for the US to work out the installation costs rather then lumping it all together with so many mysterious trillions. If you could see the breakdown you would know where they are going wrong. Of course that would stifle the whole Corporations vers common sense debate lol
originally posted by: WhateverYouSay
You have to do two things in order to get costs down. Move to Medicare for all, and government mandated salaries for doctors (which does not cap the salary).
One of the reasons we have such a huge percentage of our GDP going to healthcare is that doctors get a cut of all their tests, and of course insurance pays for it. This leads to unnecessary testing (you can verify this by the fact that patient outcomes in similar countries that have socialized medicine, are actually marginally better).