February 22, 2018

EXCEPT IT DOES NOTHING TO GROWN WEALTH:

BEYOND 'OBAMACARE': NEW LIBERAL PLAN ON HEALTH CARE OVERHAUL (RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, 2/22/18, Beloit Daily News)

A nonpartisan expert who independently reviewed the Medicare Extra plan said it could provide Democrats with a middle way to achieve their longstanding goal of coverage for all.

"It's an attempt to capture the enthusiasm for a single-payer system among the Democratic base, but trying to create a more politically and fiscally realistic roadmap," said Larry Levitt of the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.

To be sure, taxes would rise and the federal government would take on a larger role.

"It is in some ways 'repeal and replace,' but from the left rather than the right," Levitt added.

Medicare Extra envisions a complex transition that would take the better part of a decade. Among its major elements:

--All U.S. citizens and lawful residents would be automatically eligible for coverage.

--Preventive care, treatment for chronic disease, and generic prescription drugs would be free. Dental, vision and hearing services would be included.

--Low-income people would pay no premiums or copays. Premiums and cost-sharing would be determined according to income for everyone else.

--Employers would have the option of maintaining their own plans or joining Medicare Extra. Workers could pick the government plan over their employer's. The proposal would preserve the tax-free status of employer-provided health care, subject to a limit.

--Seniors with private Medicare Advantage insurance plans through Medicare would be able to keep similar coverage, although the program would be redesigned and called "Medicare Choice." Seniors would gain coverage for vision, dental and hearing services not now provided by Medicare. Long-term care services would be covered.

--Government would negotiate prices for prescription drugs, medical devices and medical equipment.

All developed democratic electorates agree health care is a right, but universal HSAs would provide that while making succeeding generations universally wealthier as well.

Posted by at February 22, 2018 3:57 AM

  

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