How to fight the ‘death spiral’ of Medicare for All
The government is poised to unveil a new proposal to help states and municipalities get on the same page to address a growing concern over the sustainability of Medicare.
The proposal will be unveiled Thursday by the White House as part of the White Houses effort to promote the health care law, known as Obamacare, and it will outline the administration’s goal of creating a single payer system that would eliminate the high cost of prescription drugs.
The president’s plan calls for a single-payer system to be able to compete with the private health insurance industry and other traditional insurers, and would replace Medicare as the government’s single-highest-paying program.
But the proposal is far from complete.
While the White and Democratic leaders say they are on track to reach the president’s goal by the end of 2020, it remains unclear whether the system would be able or willing to compete in a world where the market is flooded with health insurance plans and consumers are increasingly willing to buy private coverage.
Many of the ideas put forward by the president and his Democratic allies, like the proposal to replace Medicare with a single payment system and expand Medicaid, are opposed by the private insurance industry, which has a vested interest in keeping Medicare costs high and has pushed for federal subsidies to help pay for the cost of private health plans.
The White House says it’s optimistic that it can meet the presidents goal of reaching a single system by the beginning of 2020.
But, the WhiteHouse said, it’s not clear when the administration will get there.
It also isn’t clear how a single plan would replace a large number of private insurers, as the private insurers have become a key part of Obama’s health care strategy.
“In addition to the myriad of innovative plans being developed by the public, the administration is committed to working with private industry and stakeholders to further address this issue,” the Whitehouse said.
“We’ll continue to engage with private health insurers as we continue to develop the best single-payment plan possible to ensure that they continue to have access to Medicare.”
In a statement, the National Health Council, which represents the health insurers, said it’s disappointed the WhiteSenate would not provide a timeline for the public to hear the president explain the process of designing the proposal.
The statement added that the administration and the health insurance and other health care industry will work closely with the Whitehouses leadership to ensure this important issue is addressed in a way that benefits all Americans.