Medicare for All vs. Medicare As Is: Eight Key Differences
Journal of Aging Law & Policy, pp. 115-140 (2021)
University of Illinois College of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 21-23
26 Pages Posted: 17 Sep 2021 Last revised: 29 Sep 2021
Date Written: September 17, 2021
This article examines eight principal differences between the Medicare-for-All proposal championed by Senator Sanders, inter alia, and the Medicare program as it actually exists. In doing so, the article shows how the current program bears little resemblance to what the Medicare-for-All proponents are trying to enact. Those key differences include: (1) Medicare is a real program, (2) Medicare is only health care financing, (3) Medicare is an earned entitlement, (4) Medicare is not a simple program, (5) Medicare has a significant co-insurance component, (6) Medicare’s financing relies on non-Medicare enrollees, (7) Medicare’s coverage of long-term care is minimal, and (8) Medicare can accommodate expansion without major disruption. The article concludes that the differences between Medicare as it is and Medicare-for-All are too significant to elide and may make the effort to enact Medicare-for All less likely to succeed.
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