Medicare for All is the answer
Re: “Need health insurance? Mountain Family can help,” by Tamara Tormohlen, commentary, Aspen Times, Jan 7.
Ms. Tormohlen suggests that people needing affordable health insurance might find it through Connect for Health Colorado. I looked for plans posing as a 45-year-old single male making $50,000 a year. Interpreting the results boggles the mind of this old brain surgeon. I can’t imagine anyone but an insurance broker making sense of it.
The least expensive plan, after the advanced premium tax credit, has an annual premium of nearly $4,000, with a deductible of $7,500. That means that, should you need health care, you’d have to pay $11,500 before any insurance kicks in. And when insurance does kick in, it only pays a portion of the bills, and only to doctors and hospitals in the plan’s network. Very few people making $50,000 a year could afford that, which is why most personal bankruptcies and GoFundMe campaigns are due to medical bills.
In contrast, estimates suggest that, under Medicare for All, this same individual would pay under $3,000 a year, with his employer paying half of his 8% payroll tax. For less than $3,000, this person would have access to nearly every doctor and hospital in the country. There would be no deductibles, and prescription drugs, vision, dental and hearing care would be included. No shopping and plan and price comparisons would be needed, as this one-size-fits-all plan indeed would fit every American’s needs. He would pay this in taxes, so his taxes would go up, but he could easily pay those with the $4,000 he would otherwise be paying for just a private insurance premium, and have money left over.
In proposing Medicare for All, it’s not just the money that makes sense. It’s that every American would have the peace of mind and the health care they need, when they need it. No one worries about paying to have their house fire put out. We all pay for it with taxes, and the service is available 24/7. Why should we have to worry about paying to have our illnesses and injuries treated?
Dr. George Bohmfalk