“Medicare for All” doesn’t necessarily mean socialism says Peter Ubel. Canada has socialized payment but not socialized providers. The UK is system is fully-socialized. People conflate Medicare-for-all with single-payer. Under Medicare, 33% of recipients have private healthcare. Ubel says there is a bipartisan way to do Medicare-for-All that would expand the marketplace, allow for public / private choice, the GOP would get an expanded private marketplace and Dems would get universal coverage.
- Does a hybrid public / private healthcare system make sense?
- Is healthcare hampered by ideological purity?
- Do you believe that there is a way to effectively cover all Americans?
Attendees hold signs while waiting for a health care bill news conference to begin on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017. Fifteen Senate Democrats are flirting with a single-payer health-care system that would expand Medicare coverage to all Americans, marking a shift within the party on what was once viewed as a politically treacherous issue that attracted little support from lawmakers. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
Everyone thinks of “Medicare for All” as a liberal idea, an extremely liberal one embraced by the socialist wing of the Democratic Party. It’s an idea Democrats were hesitant to embrace in the Obama era, for being too far out of mainstream political thought. It was thought of as an idea that was too easy to demonize as socialism.
What everyone seems to be forgetting is that “Medicare for All” could end up being a politically moderate way to bring more market competition to the U.S. healthcare system. Think I’m kidding? Give me a chance to explain myself.
Deciding Whether Medicare is “Socialism”
When we call a healthcare system socialized, we need to clarify what part of the system we are talking about. For example, Canada has a socialized payment system, which they (unoriginally) call Medicare. But Canada doesn’t have a socialized provider system. Instead, Canadian hospitals and clinicians work in private enterprises, billing Medicare for their services.