The Real Deal with Medicare for All with Robert Reich

Republicans and even some Democrats are out to scare you about Medicare for All. They say it’s going to dismantle health
care as we know it and will cost way too much. Rubbish! Here’s how much the typical American family now spends on health insurance premiums each year. And here I add in the co-payments and deductibles
that doctors, hospitals, and drug companies also charge you, and typical out-of-pocket
expenses for pharmaceuticals. But that’s not all, because some of the
taxes you now pay are for health insurance too — for Medicare and Medicaid and for
the Affordable Care Act. So let’s add them in, again for the typical
American household. That’s a whopping $8,975 a year. Oh, and this number is expected to rise in
the coming years. Not a pretty picture. If you’re a typical American, you’re already
paying far more for health insurance than people in any other advanced country. And you’re not getting your money’s worth. The United States ranks near the bottom for
life span and infant mortality. Or maybe you’re one of the 30 million Americans
who don’t have any health insurance coverage at all. You see, a big reason we pay so much for health
insurance is the administrative costs involved in private, for-profit, corporate insurance. About a third of what you pay goes to the
people who oversee billing and collections. And then, of course, there are the marketing
and advertising expenses, and the profits that go to shareholders or private equity
managers. Now, what happens if we have Medicare for All? Let’s first consider a limited version that
keeps private insurance — as proposed by candidates, including Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg,
and Kamala Harris. Now the insurance costs remain the same, because
it’s the same private insurers and the same co-payments and deductibles. The only difference is more of this would
be paid through your taxes, rather than by you directly, because the government would
reimburse the insurance companies. This could help bring down costs by giving
the government more bargaining leverage to get better prices. But we don’t know yet how much. Now, let’s talk about a different version
of Medicare for All that replaces private, for-profit, corporate health insurance, as proposed by
Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. In this version, total costs — including
a possible combination of premiums, co-payments, deductibles, or taxes — are even lower. So, you’d come out ahead. And everyone would be covered. This option is far cheaper, because it doesn’t
have all those administrative expenses. Or the marketing and advertising. It’s public insurance that reimburses hospitals, doctors, and pharmaceutical companies directly and eliminates the bloat of
private, corporate insurance companies. You’d keep your same doctor or other health care provider, and you could still buy private insurance to supplement Medicare for All, just like some people currently buy private insurance to supplement Medicare and Social Security. The only thing that’s changed is you no longer pay the private, for-profit corporate insurers. Economists at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst
say Medicare for All that replaces private, for-profit insurance would reduce costs by
about 10 percent, mostly from lower administrative and drug costs. The Urban Institute estimates that households
and businesses would save about $21.9 trillion. over ten years, and state and local governments
would save $4.1 trillion. Any Medicare for All is better than our present
system, but the second version is far better, because — like Medicare and Social Security
— it is based on the simple and proven idea that we shouldn’t be paying private,
for-profit corporate insurers boatloads of money to get the insurance we need. It’s time for true Medicare for All. At the rate that health care costs are growing, by the time you are 45, you are going to be spending a third of everything you earn on health insurance, or co-payments and deductibles. How does that make you feel? No great, Bob! Not great. Well, then, we gotta do something about it. I think so. And that’s why Medicare for All is absolutely, critically important. I agree. What do you think? Head to the comments and tell us about your experiences with your insurance company. If you found this video informative, please
also watch our video “It’s Time for Medicare for All.” And as always, thank you for watching, and please
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