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  • Writer's picturesuryasrikumar2

Medicare For All

In the 2019-2020 political season, many different bills had been established in a attempt to gain political leverage and power for a respective party. One of the most successful attempts at this had been the democratically acclaimed bill of "Medicare for All" dubbed "M4A" for short. According to TIME magazine, the idea of Medicare for All started in 1971 with the idea of the first national health insurance plan. However in modern day, the idea of Medicare for All came from socialist policies proposed by Bernie Sanders. In the 2019 political season there were 2 versions of the Medicare for All bill proposed (Jayapal and Sanders bill). Overall both bills are very exact in telling you the descriptions of what the bill will encompasses. The main push for the bill right now is seen as other centralized powers such as the UK, Australia and Canada all have adopted the single payer system and consistently outrank the US on Medical standing charts. But each system has a good and bad side to it.

The Good:

Medicare for all has many different benefits for it. One such being that it is a tried and tested system. As we have seen the system work in many other countries one can see that it does have positive effects and does help with the quality of medical care. One such reason is because of increased access. With the current healthcare systems, many Americans remain uninsured or underinsured due to high costs. This causes them to reject care and stay away from the medical system was they deem debt to be worse then the disease that they are infected with. By making the government pay for it, the people do not need to worry about costs and thus they can get the care that they need. Which is why the Lancet concludes that in total 68,000 lives will be saved by the fact that the Americans will get access to care. Another major pro, is the ending of the opioid epidemic. The opioid epidemic has been an issue due to the pumping of opioids into American healthcare systems and how the bribe doctors to prescribe opioids. Medicare for All solves this as the main reason opioids are prescribed is because all the alternatives are too expensive. Now that the government pays for the drugs and medicine, the doctors are able to prescribe the expensive medicine and bit by bit end the epidemic plaguing this country. This saves the exponentially increasing number of 64,000 opioid related deaths. The final biggest pro for Medicare for All can be seen in the economic benefit for the government. The elimination of deductibles and copayments put more money in the pocket of the Americans. This means that they can spend this money on other necessities. Which is why, the savings from this system will lift 20% of people out of poverty.

The Bad:

Medicare for All also has a lot of bad deep in the system despite their being a lot of good. The first problem is the lack of care. Currently, the US system is not equipped to hold a lot of patients and Medicare for All will add another large group of people into the system. This is really bad because it means that there will not be enough doctors to hold up the system and thus doctors will have to pick and choose patients. Due to this being to doctors choice it makes discrimination in the system all too prevalent and also increases corruption and doctors will take bribes to prioritize care to some people over others. Another major issue is hacking. Hacking of the medical systems will take place as currently federal systems are already being hacked. This means that when you adopt Medicare For All, a centralized system, where all data, is held in one place, 1 hack releases the information of the entire registered population. That is really bad as now it will need just 1 successful hack for wide scale identity theft to happen. The most common problem with the Medicare For All system is taxes. Taxes will go up as section 701 of the bill says that it will be funded through taxes. This is really important as taxes offset the monetary gain of the system. When taxes are increased to the approximate 26,000 per household average, to pay for a 34 trillion dollar system, it causes 87% of Americans to be financially worse off. Another problem from this system will be the lack of innovation. The majority of medical innovation comes from small pharmaceutical companies and thus in the Medicare for All bill it says they will negotiate prices with companies, implying price restrictions. With price restrictions, small businesses cannot sell the medical devices at a higher price and thus they lose a lot of their revenue and cannot innovate as much because they do not have as much money to invest into research and development causing them to make less effective drugs and so on in a circle. This vicious circle is estimated to cut R and D down a lot and with an increase amount of drug resistant bacteria, a decrease in R and D will be fatal in the future. The final and least probable problem with Medicare for All is ocean mining. In order to create medical devices and drugs you need rare earth minerals, or minerals found scarcely at the bottom of the oceans. To get these minerals you have to mine at the seabed level destroying the ecosystem of the seabed and killing marine life down there. Doing this will harm the many that rely on the seabed for life and food as you take away their food source.

Overall:

While there are a lot more con's to the system then pro's, many of the cons are purely hypothetical. Such as the REM and Doctor Corruption. Others such as Taxes are solvable by making it payroll taxes taking more of the employer then the employee. The only issue that is guaranteed to happen is the issue of hacking and while that has happened in other countries the Medicare for All, the effects of large scale identity theft have not been seen. So while it is probable that it will happen, the impacts are not as big. Due to this, I believe that adopting a Medicare for All system in the US will work and give more access to care and save the lives of many.

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