Hillary Clinton has embraced Bernie Sanders’ plan to create a new health care entitlement – Medicare, regardless of age, for all citizens of the United States. President Obama has jumped onboard to support this and states that “Congress should revisit a public plan to compete alongside private insurers.”
Adopting this plan will lead to the demise of many private health insurers. Many insurers will not be able to compete against a Medicare for all ages program that will not be constrained by a need to be profitable or efficiently run.
The Democrats have to move Obamacare to a Medicare for all ages plan in order to insure that Obamacare’s future collapse is not a reality that they will have to own as a political legacy.
Unfortunately, the Democrats do not share any details on how a Medicare for all ages plan will be structured or paid for.
The state of Colorado has already decided to give its citizens the option of replacing Obamacare with a state-wide single payer system. This is motivated by the failures of Obamacare and the uncertainty of Obamacare’s survival.
The Kaiser Family Foundation has found that Obamacare’s long-term survival is still in question, with premium prices looking as if they could soar by a double-digit percentage in 2017.
On November 8th, Colorado citizens will vote for Amendment 69, “ColoradoCare.” The Obama administration has pledged $13 billion in funding for ColoradoCare. That leaves a $25 billion deficit that the citizens and employers of Colorado will have to pay in new taxes.
The ColoradoCare system would operate using the cooperative business model — it would be owned by the members (Colorado residents), who would elect a board of trustees.
Amendment 69 states that: “Colorado will finance health care through ColoradoCare, a political subdivision of the state governed by a twenty-one member board of trustees that will administer a coordinated payment system for health care services and control the per capita cost of health care … ColoradoCare is not an agency of the state and is not subject to administrative direction or control by any state executive, department, commission, board, bureau, or agency.”
So, it seems that the state of Colorado will tax its citizens in order to finance a healthcare cooperative that is “a political subdivision of the state” but “not an agency of the state” and “is not subject to [state] administrative direction.” That does not seem to be workable.
Obamacare health care cooperatives have not had a successful history. More than half of Obamacare’s health care cooperatives have had to close their doors because of mismanagement and a lack of promised Obamacare funding. Only 8 of the 23 original Obamacare cooperatives have survived. Those still remaining are all struggling to survive.
I see no reason why the ColoradoCare cooperative will not have the same difficulties to face.
Naturally, all physicians and surgeons would have to contract with ColoradoCare and accept its reimbursement levels. My guess is that these will be lower than the physicians and surgeons need to survive and will ultimately cause many to flee to other states. Time will tell.
So, I think we have to wait to see how well Amendment 69 does on November 8th. That will give us a good reading on whether the citizens and employers of the United States are ready to bear the burdens in taxes and inconvenience that will result from a Federally run single payer health care system.
Don’t forget that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is a single payer system. How is that single payer system doing?
Another major problem I see with this is that no one seems to care about the impact these changes have on the physicians and surgeons who deliver care.
Politicians, political activists and academicians cannot continue changing and disrupting the medical profession and health care delivery system. Sooner or later physicians and surgeons will have had enough.