Could a Voucher System Work for Medicare?

In a voucher system (which the Republicans prefer to call “premium support”), you would be given a certain amount of money to spend on your health care.  You would choose your insurance.  Anything that your insurance did not pay would come out of your pocket.  Is such a system better for you than our current Medicare system?  The answer is unequivocally no.  Under the Medicare system, the government has huge leverage to reduce medical costs since it is a single payer.  It has already used that leverage successfully.  Payment for medical care in the hands of many different insurance companies has not been shown to reduce costs and there is no reason in such a system for them to even try since you cover everything they don’t.

In 40 years of medical practice, I have seen the cost of medical care rise dramatically.  New devices and new drugs are extremely expensive and the cost is passed on to the patient.  Numerous people have to choose between eating and medication.  Under a voucher system, the choice will be even more difficult.

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