One of the big issues in the upcoming 2020 election will be Healthcare Insurance. Bernie Sanders and some of the other Democratic Presidential candidates are beating the drum for Bernie’s Socialistic, Single Payer plan he calls “Medicare for All”. This is a misnomer as Bernie’s plan is nothing like today’s Medicare plan. I’ll explain later.

What we have now is Obamacare that is not well liked, by most folks, because it is expensive and was jammed down our throats by a Democratic Congress and President who admitted they hadn’t read the entire law before voting on it. Sort of like getting a pig in a poke. Obamacare caused most employer-based insurance plans to skyrocket, both in the Premium and the Deductible, paid by the employee.

The GOP and Donald Trump won in 2016 partially because they promised to get rid of Obamacare. That isn’t what happened. The reason the GOP controlled Congress and Trump could not get rid of Obamacare, was they didn't have another plan to move folks to, so millions of folks would lose their healthcare coverage and be in serious trouble, both medically and financially.

Thankfully for those folks, there were enough GOP House Representatives and Senators who realized this problem and didn’t vote to get rid of Obamacare, at that point in time.

A far better plan that would get rid of Obamacare and have all legal Americans on a healthcare plan would be to put any working person, who does not get insurance from their employer, on today's Medicare, along with us seniors. The unemployed and poor are already on Medicaid. Those with employer provided healthcare insurance would stay on those plans. This approach would be far less expensive than Bernie Sanders Socialist new version he calls Medicare for All, and it would be a realistic way of getting all legal Americans healthcare coverage.

Realize that Bernie Sanders “Medicare for All” is not Medicare as we now get it. It’s a different program entirely.

Today's Medicare plan is a hybrid system, the first part is the Medicare part that is provided by the government, as an insurance plan, that each of us pays into via our paychecks. When you finally reach the age of 65, you then get to collect on those benefits you've paid for all those years of working. Medicare, as we have it today is not an entitlement. You and every other working American paid the premiums for this insurance plan.

So, this is not a gift the government is giving you or me. Things like Welfare, Food Stamps, School Breakfast / Lunch programs, Head Start, CHIPS, etc., are entitlements. They are gifts from the taxpayer to offer a helping hand to those who need some help.

So, the first part of Medicare is the government part. The other part of today’s Medicare is supplemental insurance, that those of us who now are getting Medicare buy, from private healthcare insurance companies, to cover things that Medicare does not cover. So, today’s Medicare plan is a hybrid, one-part government, the other part the free market insurance companies.

Bernie's "Medicare for All" is not that, it is a Single Payer plan like Canada's. So, it would eliminate the private insurance industry and be 100% provided by the government. That is far more expensive than today's Medicare plan.

So, had the GOP been willing to do something like putting working folks, who do not get insurance from their employer, onto today's Medicare back in 2017, we'd probably no longer have the high costs of Obamacare. Your employer's plans also would have dropped in cost thus lowering your premiums and deductibles, because they'd no longer be required to offer all that FREE stuff, that the cost of which gets passed on to you, the employee. This is a win/win for everyone.

The other thing that goes hand in hand with this plan is for the law to be changed so that the government can negotiate drug prices with Big Pharma so that Americans are no longer paying more for their medications than anyone else on the planet. We all are being robbed by the drug companies and that needs to stop today. Yet, neither DEM nor GOP Congresses ever seem able to get enough “fortitude” to change that law. Big talk, but no action. They seem to have a difficult time turning down all that money that greases their palms from Big Pharma. The only way to end that problem is to stop any and all lobbyist from legally being allowed to contact Congress and offer gifts or money. Of course, Congress would have to pass such a law. This is a true Catch-22 situation. This might explain why so many Americans, both conservative and liberal, are upset and angry. They’re tired of all the talk, and want Congress to earn their big paychecks, perks, benefits, and retirement by doing their jobs, just as all of us must do in our jobs. That is not an unreasonable request.

Mike Cannatelli’s column appears every other week in the print edition of the Avon Grove Sun and Kennett News.
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