Editor’s note: This commentary is by Richard Slusky, of South Burlington, who was the CEO of Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center in Windsor from 1982 to 2010, after which was director of payment reform for the Green Mountain Care Board until 2016. He is now the owner of Slusky Consulting.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought to light the many fractures in the U.S. health care system, particularly the inadequate access that many low- and middle-income people have to health care services when they are most needed, and their dependence on employer-sponsored health care plans. Perhaps it’s time to reconsider the concept of universal coverage for all Americans under “Medicare for All.”
Unfortunately, the mention of Medicare for All brings forth a firestorm of objections from the hospitals, the insurance industry, conservative Republicans, and lobbyists determined to protect their own self interests. They argue that Medicare for All costs too much, will result in millions of Americans losing their private health insurance coverage, will add trillions to the national debt, will result in tax increases for the middle class, and will bankrupt hospitals and hospital health systems. Here are some responses to these arguments that you might want to consider before dismissing Medicare for All. continue reading