What Is (and Isn’t) Medicare for All | WSJ


– [Narrator] During the first Democratic Presidential Debates in June, moderator Lester Holt
asked the same question to both sets of candidates. – [Both] Who here would abolish their private health insurance in favor of a government-run plan? Just a show of hands. – [Narrator] This question was referring to Medicare for All, a proposal
by Senator Bernie Sanders that would create a new
federally-run health care system and make the U.S.
government the sole provider of health insurance in the United States. Under Senator Sanders’ plan,
most employee-sponsored private insurance would be eliminated, and Medicare would be replaced
with an entirely new program, one that covers health care costs for every single person
in the United States. This question about private
insurance has dominated the presidential debate on the left. All candidates say they
want universal health care, meaning they want every American covered, but they’re split on how to get there. Just look at how they
answered the question. Senators Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio,
and Senator Elizabeth Warren all raised their hands to
say they would eliminate private insurance, but several co-sponsors of Medicare for All
legislation from both the House and Senate were on stage both nights and didn’t raise their hands, and Kamala Harris walked back her answer after the debate by saying she’d
misunderstood the question. That’s because several candidates
have expressed concerns about Medicare for All and are embracing different approaches
to universal coverage, showing that this debate isn’t just Medicare for All or nothing. We’re going to explain
what Medicare for All is, what is isn’t, and what other Democratic health care proposals would
do to health insurance in the United States. (pleasant electronic music) – The problem surrounding the conversation around Medicare for All
is that many people really just don’t understand what
Medicare for All means, so while Medicare for All
really does kind of refer to one specific broad idea, there are a lot of
percolating ways to get there that have been kind of carried under the umbrella of Medicare for All. – [Narrator] You can think
of health care as a spectrum. On one side, you have Medicare for All’s single-payer system,
and on the other side, you have private insurance. The current system in the United States falls in between the two,
with a mix of private and government-sponsored insurance that operate alongside each other. – Democrats have gotten
themselves boxed into this corner about whether their health plans would get rid of private insurance. That’s kind of been the issue that has taken over the general focus. – [Narrator] This is significant
because the vast majority of Americans have
private health insurance. A little more than 156 million Americans receive employer-sponsored
insurance through work, and private health
insurance covers over 1/3 of all medical costs in the United States. Medicare For All would
introduce public insurance that would muscle out
employer-sponsored insurance over four years. It would also cover the uninsured, creating a single-payer system
by leaving very little room for what private insurance could offer. – The question about
whether your health plan would get rid of private plans has taken up a lot of air in the room when, in fact, if you
look at other countries, the vast majority have a
system that still allows for private plans for
supplemental coverage. – [Narrator] Medicare for All would ban most private insurance from offering the same coverage as the government, but England has a universal
health care system that allows private insurance
to offer duplicate coverage. This private insurance provides
access to private hospitals and reduces wait times
for certain treatments. Senator Sanders has pointed
to Canada’s health care system as a model his plan would emulate, but Canada has a private
insurance industry that offers supplemental health insurance to cover things the government doesn’t like vision and dental care. About 2/3 of Canadians have
supplemental health insurance. Medicare for All would be more expansive than its Canadian counterpart, covering dental and vision services. The only out-of-pocket expense would be a copay on prescription drugs that would be capped at $200 per year. Patients with government-funded insurance in both France and Australia also incur some sort
of out-of-pocket cost, but private health insurance is available in both places to cover these costs. About 95% of people in France have this complimentary private insurance in addition to government insurance. – Under the, for example, plan
by Senator Bernie Sanders, it does have a very, very limited role for private insurance, more limited than what you
would see in other countries. A big question about Medicare
for All is how you pay for it. The idea that has been proposed
by Senator Bernie Sanders does have some ideas attached to it, no specific funding mechanism, but it looks at a progressive
tax, a tax on companies. He has said that taxes
would increase overall to pay for the plan. – Yes, they will pay more in taxes but less in health care for what they get. – Thank you, Senator.
(crowd applauding) – There’s a lot of other plans out there that Democrats are
supporting, including options that would let everybody or
a limited number of people buy into a plan like Medicare. – I believe we need to get
to universal health care as a right, not a
privilege, to single-payer. The quickest way you get there is you create competition
with the insurers. – [Narrator] While Medicare
for All aggressively builds a new single-payer system
from the ground up, other plans expand the
existing Medicare program to cover everyone in the U.S. – Those ideas are considered
more of a stepping stone to this idea of universal health care that the Democrats do support
as their overall goal. – [Narrator] Under these plans, private insurance remains. The Medicare for America
Act automatically enrolls the uninsured and newborns into Medicare but allows employers to continue
to offer private insurance. However, workers can also
choose to enroll in Medicare. Premiums would remain but with caps, and those close to the poverty
line would receive subsidies. (pleasant electronic music) The Choose Medicare Act
allows Medicare to be bought through health care
exchanges set up by the ACA. Private insurance could remain as long as it was gold-level coverage, a level of coverage where
insurance covers 80% of costs. Out-of-pocket costs would
be capped at $7900 per year. The goal would be to
level the playing field and make private insurance
compete with a public option. – Some of the research that has been done on Medicare buying plans
do show that the premiums for these would be lower
than what’s currently offered on the individual markets. One of the hope of supporters of some of these buying options is that, because they would be more affordable, that more people would
buy into these plans. They would find them palatable, they would find them
things they could afford, and this would be a kind of slow on-ramp toward a universal health care system or Medicare for All. This is really the first
time in our country’s history that we are looking at a total revamping of the U.S. health care system, and it’s the first time it’s become really part
of the public debate. It could affect you, the consumer. It could affect how much
you pay out-of-pocket, your ability to get access and coverage. Even after the election,
no matter who wins, this is gonna be an issue that continues to get debated for quite some time. (bright electronic music)

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100 thoughts on “What Is (and Isn’t) Medicare for All | WSJ

  1. What do you believe is the most important factor in the Medicare for All Debate: price, coverage, the role of private insurance?
    -Carter McCall, WSJ

  2. This is an example of why NO ONE listens to corporate media. The owners of these media's are in bed with big pharma. The only losers in medicare for all are the insurance companies, who make money by DENYING your claims! Only FOOLS would listen to this BS!

  3. the US will never have socialized healthcare like euro nations have. why? We have a HUGE hurdle they dont, Dr Pay. US doctors make hundreds of thousands to millions more per year than social medicine nation Dr's earn. I have a family member that is a UK Dr for 30 years now. She has been here to medical events and met many US Dr's. She said she is appalled at the constant focus of profits and earnings of Dr's here. She said a nurse here can make more than surgeon in the UK. Dr's in the UK go into the field because they have a desire to do the work. Dr's here go in for the pay off. no social system can work with Dr's earning the extreme levels of pay we have here. so for better or worse, you can forget any notion of social healthcare in the US.

  4. Clearly Bernie isn't on Medicare. He's on the "Special" insurance that senators get for free.
    The first requirement for all senators and representatives is to refuse their expensive medical insurance that us taxpayers provide for them.

  5. When you have a very bad medical problem, current private insurance falls short because of deductibles, copays and high drug costs.; It doesn't cover your bills.
    Why do people in the US pay on average almost 2X what is paid in the other major countries? Life expectancy is higher in the other countries with lower healthcare costs.
    People fought against Medicare when it was first enacted and labeled it as socialist. Same thing happening today with Medicare For All/?
    Losing private insurance with Medicare For All doesn't mean you won't be able to see a doctor. It means your bills will be paid for in a different simpler way.

  6. Ask a veteran about socialized healthcare, education benefits. Ask your local police department, fire department and teachers about their socialist healthcare and retirement benefits

  7. I didn't keep working to qualify for Medicare just to have some woke politicians wreck the program by offering it to every illegal alien who takes a dump in the United States.

  8. I think before we advocate for Medicare for All, we should teach Americans how to be more responsible about their health. If the public funds health care while we continue to chug down alcohol, shoot ourselves up daily, stuff burgers down our throats, and poison the water supply, the system will be doomed from the start.

  9. Very clever propaganda piece here by WSJ.
    They framed it as if private insurance would end up the David to the medicare for all Goliath.
    The only sloppy part of this hit-piece was when they actually said 'howya gonna pay for it'. Wow. The system we currently have costs more, we would save money with Bernie's plan. How you gonna pay for the bloated system we already have!!!??? Sophists.

  10. Federal spending and taxes should be separate issues. As for spending, we already pay for this– through private sector premiums. That burden could be removed from the private sector entirely.

  11. No expanding of the existing plan. The co-pays and premiums are already bad and it has to be assumed that working people that are uncovered cannot afford healthcare as it currently is. Stop letting the medical industry rip taxpayers off or price them out of healthcare.

  12. A more truthful slogan for them: "let's bankrupt the country for the benefit of ILLEGALS and interlopers"

  13. Here in the UK the NHS is beloved by all, left or right. And that's not an over exaggeration. You ask the average Brit on the street what makes them proud to be British and you can be assured a good proportion will say the NHS.

  14. the government finances health care for the military, government employees, elected officials, medicare, medicaid, state and local government employees, school districts, Hill Burton coverage, Obama care subsidies. Employers deduct their health insurance payments of taxes. What percentage of health care is being paid directly by the people?

  15. For me it's about how different my life would have been if my family had decent healthcare. My college fund went to pay for my mom's medication. When that was gone I got a job to pay for it, picked produce, drove forklift, whatever it took for ten years, until I finished an online degree from a decent college. I am now one of the lucky few with amazing healthcare. The downside is I have tend of thousands in student loans to pay for the privilege of my online essentially self taught college education. I lost my childhood, my college experience, and ten years of my life because my parent's job couldn't provide decent healthcare. I'm not saying this so people feel sorry for me, I'm saying this because I'm lucky I only lost ten years. Some people loose a lifetime or their lives because they don't have any other options. To me it's not about the cost, it's about giving everyone the ability to have the medical treatment they need to go about their day to day lives. In my life I paid thousands of dollars and ten of my best years just to have the privilege of paying over 4000 per year for insurance. It's crazy to say not every American is as lucky as me.

  16. People need to be more self accountable and quit depending on the working class tax paying Americans to pay for them and their healthcare needs except for truly disabled people

  17. The government cant even manage the post office and these politicians think they can manage healthcare. Hahahahahahahahahahahaha

  18. Bernie wants everyone to have free healthcare and a minimum wage of fifteen dollars an hour EXCEPT the people who work for him

  19. The reason Medicare For All is such a great plan is we have proven it is unnecessary and downright foolish to waste your money by leaving the home you grew up in just to start all over again with another one, so it doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out you don't need to waste your life working for something you may get in twenty years for something you could have now for free!

  20. What I don't understand is why would anyone want the Government to control Healthcare. Look what the Government has done to Social Security and the VA. Also why don't the candidates practice what they preach. They have some of the best Healthcare in the USA. Let them give up their Healthcare and start using the VA which is a Government run Healthcare program. You'll see them change their tone real quick.

  21. The capitalist parasites and their propagandist lapdogs in the WSJ will resist social and democratic progress at every turn, but they shall, as we've seen time and time again, be wiped away by the unassailable waves of history.

    Let us continue the neverending struggle for democracy – political democracy, social democracy and economic democracy!

  22. Is WSJ embarrassed by how little you know about Medicare-4-All, or is all this bologna just meant to fool your uninformed viewers?

  23. The desire to provide adequate medical care for a minority will through MFA screw up the existing medical care for the majority. People with workplace insurance get good care, do not have to wait, and don't know what all the fuss is about. They are in a "defined benefit" system meaning they get quick access to medical care. If the government gets involved, they will use a "defined contribution" model. Salaries for doctors are limited, only so many cat scan machines, only so many hip replacements per year. This is why people wait in Canada and Europe for simple procedures such as a cat scan. The wait could be months. Older people in Europe gradually lose benefits as they age. If you are 85 yo and need a hip replacement in Europe, good luck.

    The candidates in favor of MFA reduce the impact to a soundbite based off the morality of the issue. But the change will be very profound.

  24. As a newly Medicare dude this is what I am seeing. #1 I have about $138 with held each month to pay for 80% of my coverage. Of what ? I haven't experienced that yet. However I need a plan to pay the extra 20%, right? So I am being quoted $200 + up to $1200 a month to pay the 20% of ??? First and center is if $138 pays 4/5ths so 138 ÷ 5 = 27 or $27 I should be able to cover the 1/5 or $50 with premium care. Dream a dream. Next I had the same carrier different company for some 30+ years, then on retirement??? Who are you! That carrier quoted me an extremely high amount for monthly continuation 👎 . These are two places to start. Carriers of careers will continue at low rates, high when working, low when not. Figure too why individuals who paid 15,20, 30, 40 years are jacked up in the end. Nope Everyone understand also, college is high, cars are high, wisdom teeth braces, insurance and life, so too seems death. Good luck! Go Figure.

  25. Very frankly disappointed with the cherry picked facts by you guys.

    Next time you put out hit pieces, please mention "Opinion" in huge & bold letters on every screen in the video.

  26. cost of
    md + hospital + medicine < md + hospital + medicine + state bureaucracy
    Bureaucracy always swallows large sums of money on people not interested in competitive business. The state is never a good owner of anything.

  27. Why can’t health insurance be like all other insurance where I buy what coverage I want/need, and then use my HSA dollars to pay everything else?

  28. HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANIES ARE EVIL!!! HEALTH CARE FOR PROFIT IS A MARKET FAILURE! STOP LETTING THEM STEAL AND KILL!

  29. Billionaires against Medicare for All – jeez, I'm so surprised. Not against Wall Street bail-outs, obviously.

  30. Medicare for all is the only way to go. Don’t buy into the bs promises of other plans. A public option is the best case scenario for private insurance. They can finally deny insurance to all those sick people and can skim all the profits from healthy people. Of course sick people would have to flock to the public option, therefore skyrocketing costs. Republicans would swoop in and point at the latest example of failed socialism. Nice try.

  31. insurances are all about money… how much do you have for insurance to take it from you , all politicians are puppets … and people believe them

  32. Looks like the same system we have here in Mexico, also competition with private insuranse helps a lot, I'm a 20 year old guy, I have 3 types of insurance or health care , the public one via the IMSS, a private one provided by my university and a personal one and thanks to competition I pay 600$ dollars annually for a 5 M dollars policy with a deductible of 150$ dollars. I don't know US politics but those proposals your politicians offer sound reasonable.

  33. it works in canada ….i had a heart attack and never paid one dime & was Well taken care of

  34. Hey WSJ, good talk. But at parts you had problems with your audio, especially during the interview there is a verry high and loud noise, almost like a Tinnitus.

  35. Socialism and Democratic Socialism cannot solve the problems we created in the nations of the world by ignoring the written wisdom of our Creator, Savior and God in the Bible.

    Socialism like most governments lures us to a lifetime of glorified slavery called employment to pay taxes for wages and unnecessary projects that make more employment to lure more people away from the true freedom and abundance our Creator designed for all.

    We cannot escape the bondage, pollution, diseases and afflictions and conflicts and wars until we forsake the wrong way and embrace the right way. The decision should be easy for all; we can exchange health care insurance bills and disease for good health, peace and joy.

  36. https://www.sanders.senate.gov/download/medicare-for-all-2019-summary?id=FA52728F-B57E-4E0D-96C2-F0C5D346A6E1&download=1&inline=file

  37. The contenders all stood there like that at podiums, as so many of them looking like an episode of 15-1 lol

  38. He cut his employees hours to pay them the $15 he keeps promising American. Proving he’s a dumb$$. Trump 2020 and forever. ❤️🇺🇸❤️🇮🇱❤️TRUMP

  39. Oh no… Don't take away my junk insurance. How would I ever get fleeced on premiums while not getting half of my medical bills covered anyways?

  40. All these Fox News viewers in the comments… Have any of you idiots actually been to the hospital before? Private insurance is GARBAGE!!

  41. The problem with a medicare buy-in is two-fold. (1) You aren’t making a fundamental change to the system — the various profit wells that are characteristic of our HEAVILY privatized system contribute to our inflating prescription drug and premium costs. Medicare-for-All, full stop, throws private insurance profit margins and administrative costs out the window. The buy-in could exacerbate this issue. (2) It’s strategically inefficient. Why would you start your negotiation at a compromise?

  42. Sanders wont condemn antifa scum for fire bombing the ice facility bc he knows that scum antifa is his largest support base

  43. A public option would only stifle the insurances companies and make them lobby more for the GOP, as Medicare would be at a natural advantage. It would just create fear mongering like we saw in the ACA and would make conservatives fume. Medicare for all would immediately cut through the red tape and give everyone the health insurance they need. And once everyone saw that they're actually saving money by paying more in taxes but nothing in co-payments and premiums, they'd witness firsthand how this system is more beneficial for them.

    TLDR; Medicare for all helps the middle class save money, which allows them to spend it. Therefore the economy grows. Oh yeah, and more lives are saved.

  44. Can someone ask Bernie since he's Jewish and he wants to be the president of The United States of America the people want to know is it America first or Israel first for him?

  45. Medicare for all stifles competition. Medical advancement would be non existent. You like government run programs? dmv, post office, public schools, welfare etc. all garbage. You really want those principles applied to your healthcare??????

  46. they failed to mention that every other single developed country has a program in place like this and why they pay half per person and get better outcomes

  47. You know Sarah Palin called Obama Care a death panel back then. Nope. The hole medicare system is a death panel with or without Obama care and that is thanks to marketing that practically places a price on our lives and people don't realize it is the adjustments of monthly premiums and sky high deductibles is the utmost reason why health care is spiraling out of control, not to mention human resources like clean water, clean air, carelessness with our own safety and our fast pace lifestyle that forces and I do emphasize forces us to eat fast food and processed foods around the clock. Back to the detectable issue. In order to have health care that is affordable, we have to select a high deductible in order to get a low monthly premium. Affordable monthly, but until the deductible is met, we are basically paying for our own services out of pocket which can cost an X amount of dollars a year. A high premium with a low deductible still cost us an X amount of dollars a year. I say socialize healthcare and healthcare only. Its tough on working people, but that is were we should get some kind of incentive for taking care of non working people. Healthcare is one of the hardest nuts to crack in America because some will be thrilled at the fact of going to the doctor with out no worries and others will be whining of the fact that their money is paying for someone else, another divided arena of America where people will fight in. In short, heath care is a hot button issue where we will never agree on.

  48. The public option is nothing but a Trojan horse! Its impossible to establish a public option that competes with companies because government isn't businesses so a public option can't even break even on spending. they have to bank on younger healthy people to invest in it because without every healthy person investing in it, it wouldn't have enough money to pay for services. And to compete with private companies you've already lost the rich paying into the system, and what about marketing costs? It'll just further increasing the deficit.
    #Medicare4all

  49. I live in Germany. Payment of healthinsurance is compulsory here and state regulated. There is private insurance as well. The system works really well as a consumer. Each employee pays a total of 15 percent of the salary towards state healthcare. The perks are 1. Everyone pays and gets a great treatment. 2. The insurance companies remain profitable. 3. When a person is unemployeed the state pays for the healthinsurance. 4. Private insurance is allowed . The cons are very few. I don´t understand why America hasn´t such a system?

  50. Quick question(s). Please don't snipe at me for this. Under Sanders' plan, would mental health be covered as well? Would we see a massive decrease in the price of drugs for us massively depressed people who are in need of, as an example, ketamine infusions to save our lives? Would he try to put a stop to these goliath corporations that charge exorbitant prices for life-saving drugs? I ask because I sincerely do not know. I've needed insurance for a long time now. I barely make it through the day though. I think mental health is profoundly important (maybe more than anything) and I haven't heard much of a plan to get the mentally ill the help they really need. We need mentally healthy people to level the playing fields.

  51. I think employer provided health insurance should be split between union and non union whenever these "polls" are taken claiming workers like their insurance.
    I believe people assume that because union members like their health insurance,private sector non union workers love their health insurance as well.
    Non union members for the most part,tolerate,our coverage because having it is law and employers make enrollment easy.
    Bernie2020,son!

  52. Watch the Andrew Yang Ben Shapiro interview. It's an incredible conversation between a Democratic presidential candidate and a widely popular Republican conservative >>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DHuRTvzMFw

  53. MEDICARE FOR ALL IS THE ONLY WAY TO GO!! CUT OUT THE MIDDLE MAN INSURANCE COMPANIES THAT ONLY CAUSE RED TAPE AND UNNECESSARY ADMIN COSTS FOR DOCTORS AND HOSPITALS. NO QUESTIONS ASKED.

  54. WSJ, it's greatly appreciated that you had the sack to actually put up that it should save trillions of dollars overall.

  55. thanks goes to Bernie to starting and getting the issue this far… next year, congresspeople up for re-election will be taking on many of these ideas (covering existing conditions) just to stay relevant, and that has done the country immeasurable amounts of good.

  56. Nice try WSJ, but show people a video that covers medicare for all and they'll look back at this video like "uhhh yea just get rid of the insurance companies." I mean for fks sake why do we pay monthly just to pay some more out of pocket because insurance doesnt want to cover something. YOU HAVE ENOUGH MONEY WSJ + BIG PHARMA ITS OK JUST SHARE.

  57. Lie! M4A is not a new program. M4A expands already existing medicare to every man/woman/child. also M4A allows supplemental private insurance for plastic surgery.

  58. Medicare for All is not government run is government funded.
    Medicare for All is not government run is government funded.
    Medicare for All is not government run is government funded.
    Medicare for All is not government run is government funded.
    Medicare for All is not government run is government funded.

  59. Hello Gov. Gavin Newsom,

    A new study of the people who developed measles from a trip to Disneyland proves they all had been vaccinated.  (7/1/2019)

    All of the people who came down with the measles had the exact same strain of measles, & all had been vaccinated.

    Meaning those who had been vaccinated were shedding the measles virus onto people around them.
    The most recently vaccinated were contaminating those who had already been vaccinated last year.  

    The big fact is all had the same strain of measles.  
    The law passed was based on a rush to judgement, based on bad data.

    I suggest you veto SB 276, because it too is based on bad data.
    Hire an independent company to look at the Disneyland blood samples.

    Something big is wrong with this defective first study.

    Youtube: paul8kangas

  60. THIS IS MEDICAID FOR ALL, not medicare. You must pay into the medicare system while you work to get this benifit!!!!!!!!!!MEDICAID YOU DON'T PAY INTO THIS PLAN AHEAD OF TIME.

    Lol lol lol lol Who has 36 TRILLION DOLLARS to pay for it?????
    This is a joke! Their is no way to pay for this…

  61. HEALTH CARE IS A HUMAN RIGHT!!! BERNIE / NINA 2020!!! No middle ground!!! No more centrist establishment Kood-Aid from corporate shills like Biden, Harris, Buttigieg ad nauseam!!!!

  62. I'm not a big fan of private insurers but having worked in federal government for 40 years I do not believe for one minute that a government-run healthcare system will be better OR cheaper. The feds are notorious at delivering expensive subpar services. Just look no further than the VA hospital system. For God's sake men and women died waiting for treatment – and they were veterans! Wait till you see how the government treats civilians.

  63. LOL the gross bias. Guess what !? You don’t need private insurance because his single payer health care covers EVERYTHING, it’s better and more comprehensive than Canada’s, however there is room for private insurance for plastic surgery and things of that nature. Grow up WSJ. #TAXwallStreet

  64. We think U.S. Citizens & voters should ask President Donald Trump, “Do you know how many Universal Healthcare Countries (UHC) there have been in the world until now?” “How do you know about the universal healthcare systems in Burkina Faso and Bhutan ? Those countries are poorer than America…

  65. "who's gonna pay for?" "where the money comes from?" "are we gonna lose our current insurance?" these are all moronic questions. It sounds like we are the first nation in the world to implement universal healthcare!! NOOOO, we are not!!! Numerous other nations, rich or poor, have universal healthcare for decades. Ask them how it works!!!

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