The Health Care Puzzle

 

I don’t suppose Bernie’s bill to make Medicare available to Americans of all ages will become law. Not as long as Republicans control Congress, anyway. But it would be a great boon to this society.

The main stumbling block is opposition from health insurance companies. Understandably, they don’t want to lose their multibillion-dollar market.

If I had my way, the legislation wouldn’t prohibit the insurance industry from offering plans to compete with Medicare. If the government is as inefficient as conservatives insist, the private insurers should have no trouble competing against a government-run alternative.

But there’s no way the Republicans would accept such a proposal.

Do you think they would consider a compromise similar to Medicare Advantage? The government could let private insurers offer managed care programs funded by Medicare.

I belong to a Medicare Advantage plan, which gets the money Medicare deducts from my Social Security. And while it’s far from perfect, it’s a lot better than nothing.

With their failure to agree on anything remotely acceptable as replacement for Obamacare, you might think the Republicans would welcome a compromise like this. After all, Medicare Advantage was dreamt up by Republicans during the George W. Bush presidency, so they wouldn’t be accepting one of those dreaded “socialist” schemes Democrats come up with.

Of course you might wonder why Medicare doesn’t just offer managed care plans without going through private insurance companies. It would be so much simpler.

Obviously, Medicare Advantage is a boondoggle designed to benefit the health insurers who contribute so much to Republican politicians. But it helps seniors like me, too.

More about Bernie’s bill

More on the politics involved

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com

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