Saturday, December 7, 2019

Dr. Johnson: Would Medicare for All Improve Americans’ Health Care Coverage?

Dr. Nicole M. Johnson writes in the Columbus Dispatch that she shares the frustration of patients with the pre-authorization process, where doctors must get prior approval from insurers before conducting even basic health care services. But she maintains Medicare for All is not the answer:

Many patients are fed up with rising and complicated health care costs. Some want to transform the current system into Medicare for All, where the government would be the single health care payer. Leading Democratic presidential primary candidates such as Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders would eliminate private health coverage.

. . .

As much as I’d like to reduce the involvement of insurers, banning them under a Medicare for All system is not the solution. This would only insert the government where insurers currently exist. The rationing, wait lists and tax increases associated with Medicare for All would not be worth any potential gains from turning the health care system into the Department of Motor Vehicles. We’ve already seen how a similar system has led to preventable harm and death for our military veterans.

A better solution would empower patients to pay for health care costs directly. This would get rid of burdensome third-party payers while strengthening the doctor-patient relationship.

Read the rest of the article here.

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