Change the present Medicare to make it a universal health care system


Published in Cape May County Herald.

Although President Donald Trump's first attempt at a new health care plan failed, he has assured that he will make a deal on this matter soon.

Americans deserve the best health care insurance with better quality and more coverage. Low-income Americans who are trying to make ends meet are the ones who are affected by not having enough coverage and an affordable plan. With health insurance premiums going up, low-income Americans are the ones who are suffering.
The present proposed health care plan by the Trump administration needs to be revised if they really want lower-income Americans to be covered.

Promising is one thing; implementing those promises will be the hardest part.
The House of Representatives was finding it difficult to pass its American Health Care Act and repeal the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare. The only way that the Senate and House will ever agree on a bill in the future is to make it so much like the Affordable Care Act with a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) scoring that shows little difference in costs or benefits.

There is an alternative. Below are features of such a health care system and my suggestions are as follows: it would be simpler to change the present Medicare to make it a universal health care system because the majority of Americans want health care for everyone. All employees should pay via payroll taxes 2 percent for incomes. Retirees and homeless will pay nothing. All essential health care must be covered. Preventative health services, including education, should be provided. Additional health care may be purchased by any American from health insurance companies. Medicare negotiates prices which will pay for health care providers and drugs.

Medicare monitors health care users to assure that they do not ask for needless care.
Hospital, physician and state administrative costs will be reduced because it is a “single payer” system, which will more than offset the additional Medicare administrative costs. Health insurance industry with associated costs is limited to elective insurance. Once all Americans have access to cheaper health care, they will be healthier and therefore more productive. The U.S. budget deficit will not be increased because no government payments for health care will be made from general revenues; i.e., payroll taxes cover all essential health care. There it is; a simple, self-paying health care plan available for everyone.

It needs a CBO estimate to assure that revenues just cover costs over a 10-year period. Any mismatch can be corrected by adjusting the payroll taxes. It is part of our efforts to make a healthier community and hence health care access to all is part of our economic development process. As we know, health insurance and extensive coverage prevent deprivation of millions of Americans for their right to survive because expensive health insurance will result in more social unrest and poverty.