On Monday I proposed a easy solution to the issues of the Obamacare website: the John McCain wellness program.
Paul Krugman has a different solution: enroll everyone inside Medicare:
Imagine, today, a much easier program inside that the government simply pays the main healthcare expenses. In this hypothetical program we wouldn’t need to store for insurance, neither might you need to supply many individual details. The government will be a insurer, plus you’d be covered automatically by virtue of being an American.
Of course, you don’t need to imagine such a program, considering it absolutely exists. It’s called Medicare, it covers all Americans 65 plus elder, plus it’s tremendously favored. So why didn’t you merely extend which program to pay for everyone?
Here’s the answer I gave inside a previous post: There is not a single main issue inside Obamacare which will be solved by moving everyone into Medicare. And any minor difficulties which may be improved by universal Medicare might have been conveniently solved by tweaks to Obamacare also.
Paying for Medicare for all. Sometime back, the NCPA calculated which you might pay for nationwide wellness insurance with a 15% VAT taxes. However when it were effortless to impose these a taxes, the Democrats might have financed Obamacare like that. The simplest method to fund universal Medicare is the same technique you are funding Obamacare. That means: all same taxes, same costs, etc., including somehow capturing the active boss contribution as well as the state’s contribution to Medicaid. Note: New taxes about everything from tanning salons to pacemakers to wheelchairs plus crutches are not going to disappear.
Individual mandate. For the same factors which Paul Krugman informs you Obamacare insurance need to be essential, universal Medicare might have to be compulsory. Otherwise, folks might just join whenever they are sick. To result in the budget balance, persons might need to pay a premium which, found on the average, means the expected expense of their care. Just like Obamacare, there might need to be subsidies for lower-income families. With community rating, the healthy will be over-charged as well as the sick will be under-charged. Incentives to game the program will be monumentally destructive without a mandate. Note: None of the issues with all the individual mandate have gone away.
Employer mandate. For folks at the job, there will be massive stress to continue the company contribution by requiring companies to purchase their employees into Medicare. That might raise the problem of exempting business, exempting part-time employees, etc. Note: None of the issues of the boss mandate have gone away.
Cuts inside Medicare spending found on the elderly as well as the disabled. Almost half the funding for Obamacare originates from reduced spending about active Medicare beneficiaries. Since the cash usually nonetheless be required, these cuts will likely not go away.
The exchanges. Medicare absolutely has an exchange: it’s how enrollees receive into Medicare Advantage plans. Note: These plans are not going to disappear beneath universal Medicare for the same cause they are not going away below Obamacare.
Here’s the upshot: In moving everyone into Medicare, we are going to not have solved a single condition of any value which you began with inside Obamacare.
[Cross-posted at Psychology Today plus John Goodman’s Health Policy Blog]