Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Monday, December 03, 2018

In a new study, five economists conclude that even with the increased demand for healthcare services that would result from a Medicare for All system, overall healthcare spending would be reduced by nearly ten percent (10%), or $310 Billion per year, while providing universal and stable coverage.

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"B-b-b-but"
-the right

#1 | Posted by JOE at 2018-12-03 04:51 PM | Reply

Watching for all the Fiscal Conservatives here to jump for joy and aggressively support Medicare for all.

#2 | Posted by oldwhiskeysour at 2018-12-03 05:23 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

I assumed it would be a much larger savings, but I'm good with whatever. A quarter of hospital floor space is for billing. The average overhead on your health insurance is 25% (it's 2% for medicaid). Medicine in America is on average four times the price of the same medicine in Canada or Mexico. And all it would take is a single law to stop that: "you can't charge more for medicine in America than you charge in other countries".

But that's not important. What's important is that Trump secretly works for Putin, and we all need to scream helplessly at the sky.

And that's why it's pointless to vote Democrat.

#3 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2018-12-03 05:25 PM | Reply

As I said on this same topic last week, Medicare for All is inevitable, but articles like this don't really help matters since focusing on the "savings" without figuring how to pay for it in the first instance is worth little to advancing the discourse. It's like saying "I can save $5M on this $50M mansion if I act now" when I have no idea on how I am going to get the money to buy the mansion in the first instance.

Let's figure out how to pay for it (making both employees and employers do matching deduction off paychecks is a good first step) before exulting in the savings.

#4 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2018-12-03 07:20 PM | Reply | Funny: 1


Initially, a Medicare for all system would be swamped by all the people who have been avoiding medical care and prevention because they could not afford it.

After 10 years or so, that initial onslaught would subside.

After 20 years or so, when a new generation has been raised upon preventive health maintenance, the cost for Medicare for all would start a downward trend on a per capita basis.

The question is: will politicians look towards the next election and vote against Medicare for all because of that initial cost, or will politicians look towards the next generation and vote in favor of Medicare for all because of the longterm benefit?

OK, who am I trying to kid... Medicare for all is dommed.....

#5 | Posted by LampLighter at 2018-12-03 07:57 PM | Reply

articles like this don't really help matters since focusing on the "savings" without figuring how to pay for it in the first instance is worth little to advancing the discourse

Perhaps you should have read the study; they went in-depth on ways to pay for it. Your intentional ignorance is what does little to advance the discourse.

Americans already spent 3 and a quarter trillion dollars per year on healthcare. If M4A costs less than that, then it's pretty obvious how to pay for it.

#6 | Posted by JOE at 2018-12-03 08:16 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"Let's figure out how to pay for it (making both employees and employers do matching deduction off paychecks is a good first step) before exulting in the savings."

#4 | POSTED BY RIGHTOCENTER AT 2018-12-03 07:20 PM | FLAG: That already exists and is the FICA deduction on your pay and is matched by your employer. So, what you really need to say is that the FICA percentage of pay must be substantially raised.

"An employer's federal payroll tax responsibilities include withholding from an employee's compensation and paying an employer's contribution for Social Security and Medicare taxes under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). ... 1.45 percent Medicare tax (the "regular" Medicare tax); and...."
Employers' Responsibility for FICA Payroll Taxes - BizFilings
www.bizfilings.com

#7 | Posted by MSgt at 2018-12-03 09:09 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

erhaps you should have read the study; they went in-depth on ways to pay for it. Your intentional ignorance is what does little to advance the discourse.

I did read it last week when this was first posted, they suggest taking all the insurance funds, a 4% national sales tax, a 1% wealth tax and taxing capital gains as ordinary income...none of which will get through even a Democratic Congress and Senate.

#8 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2018-12-03 09:29 PM | Reply

Again. Americans already spend over $3 Trillion a year on healthcare. If you charge them less than that for M4A, it's not an increase in overall spending, no matter how hard Republicans will pretend it is.

#9 | Posted by JOE at 2018-12-03 09:33 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

You're also moving the goalposts from "discuss how to pay for it" to "their discussion is politically unpalatable." Republicans won't sign off on any spending increase that helps average people, so nothing is worthy of discussion under your framework.

#10 | Posted by JOE at 2018-12-03 09:35 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

I started off agreeing with you but pointing out that no serious discussion is being had (and the article is just rehashing old formulas that have no chance of really funding M4A) and you get your manties in a knot for no reason.

If you want to have a serious conversation, stop being a douche.

#11 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2018-12-03 10:37 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

I'm kind of curious how the number would add up if you took all the premiums paid by people and employers towards insurance and rolled it into a M4A program how far it would be into the red or black ink.

Without corprate middlemen trying to maximize shareholder value, how far does the existing pool of money go?

In other words, it profit motive is removed does keeping everything the same as it is now cover the cost?

#12 | Posted by jpw at 2018-12-03 10:44 PM | Reply

In other words, it profit motive is removed does keeping everything the same as it is now cover the cost? ~ JPW

Its only half the equation. Will doctors want to be paid less? If pay was so much less, over time would we get less Doctors? Less quality?

M4A is alot more than just taking the current state and applying simple addition and subtraction. Time and incentives must be understood, reading the study they had a "transition" but seriously avoided the hard issue of Doctor pay. They assumed that most administrative costs would diminish, but the Danish still pay (20%) almost as much as the US (25%). So its not a guarantee that it will be reduced, only speculated.

Serious question, the system has been built over 50-60 years, all sorts of ways to extract money from insurance companies, do you really feel this would just go away?

M4A should have been the first system right out of the box, but it wasn't. Now we are stuck with a good system for excellence, but poor for equality. Yet when I look at Canada, I see long wait lines. Is there really a perfect healthcare system? No... the question then is who is going to make money off it. I would rather the Doctors than the government or insurance companies, seems like M4A is about that latter than the former.

#13 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2018-12-04 12:39 AM | Reply

#11 LOL. I didn't even say anything objectionable. It's a fact that congressional republicans won't sign off on new government healthcare spending, so restricting a discussion of M4A to the politically possible effectively shuts down the discussion. Run off now and let the grownups talk.

#14 | Posted by JOE at 2018-12-04 06:53 AM | Reply

But that $310 Billion per year savings would come out of the pockets of the CEO's and other 1%ers so you know it ain't gonna happen.

#15 | Posted by 726 at 2018-12-04 07:33 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

I'm kind of curious how the number would add up if you took all the premiums paid by people and employers towards insurance and rolled it into a M4A program how far it would be into the red or black ink.

I think you'd also need to count the other out of pocket healthcare expenses people pay even though they have insurance. Between that, individual premiums and employer premiums we are at more than what it costs to run M4A, at least according to this study.

Will doctors want to be paid less? If pay was so much less, over time would we get less Doctors? Less quality?

Doctors in countries with better health outcomes than the US earn a fraction of what US doctors make, so your prognostication is not borne out by the data.

Average doctor salary by country:
USA: $218,173
Sweden: $86,607
Germany: $154,126

#16 | Posted by JOE at 2018-12-04 07:49 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

-Without corprate middlemen trying to maximize shareholder value, how far does the existing pool of money go?

great question and very hard to answer.

Medicare is touted as being efficient but one of the reason why it's efficient is that they pay for everything. They are easy to steal from. There is no underwriting for the purposes of pricing the premiums like we have in the marketplace.

Doesn't mean it's bad...it's just different.

And many of the big players in health insurance are mutual companies....not stock companies.

Do I think a medicare for all is better after all the pluses and minuses? yes. But it's difficult to compare.

we are so fat and unhealth as a nation, it's hard to know what to expect if we changed the distribution system....but I suspect our health outcomes would improve.

#17 | Posted by eberly at 2018-12-04 08:55 AM | Reply

Wow, just like obamacare, it's going to save us all money! ;)

#18 | Posted by MSgt at 2018-12-04 11:00 AM | Reply

"Doctors in countries with better health outcomes than the US earn a fraction of what US doctors make, so your prognostication is not borne out by the data."

And there may be a way for those in favor of government-provided healthcare to train up a new crop of doctors willing to accept a fraction of market value...but what are you going to do in the meantime?

"Medicare is touted as being efficient but one of the reason why it's efficient is that they pay for everything."

I don't know that "efficient" is the right term. My healthcare is provided by Tricare, which is similar in structure, but many doctors don't take it because it pays less than private providers. Those who would choose to opt in to M4A should understand that they won't likely be priority patients, and will at times fall below the cut line when placed in a queue with patients whose treatment will be of greater benefit to those providing the care.

#19 | Posted by madbomber at 2018-12-04 11:11 AM | Reply

Free healthcare is going to cut down on Dr visits? WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why didn't I think of that great savings?

#20 | Posted by Sniper at 2018-12-04 11:43 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Snippy how the hell do you propose we implement "free healthcare"? Do none of you robert lee-loving loonies understand what taxes are?

#21 | Posted by IndianaJones at 2018-12-04 12:17 PM | Reply

Free healthcare is going to cut down on Dr visits?

Nobody said it was free, and nobody said it would cut down on doctor visits. The study admits and factors in that demand for services will go up.

#22 | Posted by JOE at 2018-12-04 12:47 PM | Reply

#22 Don't bother Snoops with things like facts and reading.

#23 | Posted by 726 at 2018-12-04 03:38 PM | Reply

Do none of you robert lee-loving loonies understand what taxes are?

#21 | Posted by IndianaJones

No, tell us what taxes are. Nost of us loonies think they are something only the rich pay. You poor nimrods don't pay any income taxes.

#24 | Posted by Sniper at 2018-12-04 05:14 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

Nobody said it was free,

#22 | Posted by JOE

Half the people in the USA do NOT pay any income tax so I guess for them it is free.

#25 | Posted by Sniper at 2018-12-04 05:16 PM | Reply

We all know Sniper'z 1040EZ shows zero Federal imcome tax liability.

Oh who am I kidding, we all know he has negative liability.

But he's probably too lazy to file it.

You're missing your handout, bro!

#26 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-12-04 05:29 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

and with all those people live wouldn't they be paying taxes?

#27 | Posted by ichiro at 2018-12-04 06:11 PM | Reply

you guys are a riot! 😹

#28 | Posted by ichiro at 2018-12-04 06:14 PM | Reply

"Wow, just like obamacare, it's going to save us all money!"

Just to see if you're paying attention, can you tell me why health insurance companies didn't make a peep when "free wellness" was thrust upon them?

#29 | Posted by Danforth at 2018-12-04 06:16 PM | Reply

Half the people in the USA do NOT pay any income tax so I guess for them it is free

That's a sad reflection on how poor this country is. Maybe if they were healthier they could work and pay taxes? Just a thought :)

#30 | Posted by JOE at 2018-12-04 06:19 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

#19
so are we blaming the drs for the high cost of HC?

#31 | Posted by ichiro at 2018-12-04 06:39 PM | Reply

#25 | POSTED BY SNIPER

Oh no! The half of the country that doesn't receive an income doesn't pay income tax. Oh noooooo! Next thing you know, people that don't buy stuff won't have to pay a sales tax.

#32 | Posted by IndianaJones at 2018-12-04 06:53 PM | Reply

I love the question "how do we pay for it?"
How much do you pay for private insurance now or how much does your employer pay for it?
If you can't see the connection then you are not someone who can actually have an intelligent discussion.

#33 | Posted by danni at 2018-12-05 08:57 AM | Reply

"Half the people in the USA do NOT pay any income tax so I guess for them it is free."

Hey stupid....they already qualify for Medicaid or Medicare. Some qualify for both.

#34 | Posted by danni at 2018-12-05 08:58 AM | Reply

I love the question "how do we pay for it?"

#33 | POSTED BY DANNI

It's a valid question. It's the biggest reason I oppose single payer. Until our government shows it is capable of fully funding its current obligations AND addresses its unfunded liabilities tacking on such a massive new expense is wholly irresponsible and would quite frankly be disastrous.

The problem is tax increases are politically toxic. People in this country want their cake and want to be able to eat it too. Paul Ryan was one of the only pols on either side who talked soberly about our deficits, debt and the trajectory of our entitlement spending. When he became Speaker he pretty much stopped talking about it at all. His proposed solutions were a mixed bag but weren't politically attainable. We've been in a kick the can down the road mode for a couple of decades.

#35 | Posted by JeffJ at 2018-12-05 09:18 AM | Reply

"Until our government shows it is capable of fully funding its current obligations"

Oh for God's sake. STFU. You just supported a tax bill that BORROWED TRILLIONS MORE. Before that, YOU VOTED FOR the people who altered the fiscal sights of the USA from surpluses to debts. And then you voted for them again.

"Paul Ryan was one of the only pols on either side who talked soberly about our deficits, debt and the trajectory of our entitlement spending."

And then he borrowed 10% more of all of our debt since 1776, and gave his next paycheck a tax cut. The "deficit hawk" was really a deficit hack.

"His proposed solutions were a mixed bag "

Yeah. A combination of benefit cuts and tax cuts.

#36 | Posted by Danforth at 2018-12-05 09:30 AM | Reply

"tacking on such a massive new expense is wholly irresponsible and would quite frankly be disastrous. "

Yeah...it almost might cost as much as the tax cut! Or the Iraq War!

#37 | Posted by Danforth at 2018-12-05 09:32 AM | Reply

We have zero politicians currently talking about this in a sober manner. Zero. No Republicans and no Democrats. Of course you fixate on Republicans and adamantly defend Democrats. This is a bipartisan problem and until it gets addressed I absolutely will not support adding more spending.

#38 | Posted by JeffJ at 2018-12-05 10:11 AM | Reply

"Of course you fixate on Republicans and adamantly defend Democrats."

That's only because it was Republicans who altered the fiscal sights, and Republicans who just voted to make it worse.

Sounds to me you're the one who has a problem with reality.

"until it gets addressed I absolutely will not support adding more spending."

Supporting less revenue leads to the same math, whether you're willing to admit it or not.

#39 | Posted by Danforth at 2018-12-05 10:15 AM | Reply

Democrats aren't doing anything to address this.

I get that the GOP isn't either.

Why you are unwilling to acknowledge this is beyond me.

Partisanship, I guess.

#40 | Posted by JeffJ at 2018-12-05 10:18 AM | Reply

"I get that the GOP isn't either. "

No, you don't.

The GOP IS doing something about it: making it worse.

"Why you are unwilling to acknowledge this is beyond me."

My irony meter just pegged.

#41 | Posted by Danforth at 2018-12-05 10:20 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Jeff, you need to read Danni's post again. Like really understand it. It's not hard.

Between what Americans pay for insurance, what their employers pay for insurance, and what we pay out of pocket beyond premiums, the total is more than M4A would cost. How would we pay for it? The same way we pay for healthcare now - with money, just less of it.

#42 | Posted by JOE at 2018-12-05 11:16 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"How would we pay for it? The same way we pay for healthcare now - with money, just less of it."

Currently, 85 million are satisfied with the health insurance they get from their employer. Aren't those folks going to be asked to pay more, for what they believe is less?

#43 | Posted by Danforth at 2018-12-05 11:21 AM | Reply

I don't know. Are they?

#44 | Posted by JOE at 2018-12-05 11:27 AM | Reply

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