Healthcare and health insurance is always a hot topic for all Americans. Our current system is set up in a way where access to medical assistance isn’t given to all equally.
Instead, those who have more money tend to get better treatment. Medicare is a service that was designed to iron out some of the imperfections of the existing healthcare system. As such, it comes with its pros and cons.
Why Medicare Matters
Protecting the most vulnerable is one of the core responsibilities of every evolved society. Even so, providing medical assistance and support to those who aren’t capable of getting health insurance has been a point of division among conservatives and progressives alike.
The truth of the matter is that both parties are right with their criticism, to an extent. Medicare was a success in the sense that it provided seniors of 65 years of age and older with free healthcare. However, Medicare has also caused a heap of administrative issues. To fully understand the basics of both arguments, we need to take a closer look at the pros and cons of Medicare. There is plenty to cover.
Pros of Medicare
The great experiment called Medicare has proven several points that many progressive proponents of this idea spoke of. For one, the introduction of Medicare has improved the quality of service across the entire healthcare industry. Federal regulation of markets is something most Americans are against, yet in this case, it has proven to be the right move.
By having the government define the minimum standards of care, they’ve essentially elevated the overall quality of healthcare.
Universal Healthcare is a Modern Concept
Medicare and Medicare For All, are novel concepts only within the border of the United States. However, many places in Europe and elsewhere already have a similar system in place. In fact, most of them had universal healthcare for almost a century if not longer.
One of the main arguments against universal healthcare is the perceived drop in quality of service (which we now know isn’t the case) and increased waiting times. The truth of the matter is that the current system is plagued with all of these issues, yet it costs more than universal healthcare would.
Medicare Reduces Long Term Cost of Treatment
One of the most convincing arguments for Medicare and similar universal healthcare systems is the fact that it reduces the overall cost of treatment in the long term. People without access to healthcare will rarely do any physicals, and will generally go to the doctor only when they notice a problem, or can’t handle the pain anymore.
In case of severe medical conditions, waiting until an issue becomes unbearable means that the only way to save that person’s life is to resort to expensive medical procedures. If that person had access to healthcare, there is a good chance they could have prevented their condition from evolving that far or cured it completely.
Medicare Costs Less
By paying for your medical insurance through taxes, you would most likely be paying less for Medicare for All than you would for your current health insurance plan. There’s a misconception that universal healthcare means you’ll pay more than you pay now. In most cases around the world, it’s the opposite.
Cons of Medicare
As many pros as there are, there are some cons to Medicare as well. For one, it means a massive administration.
It’s an Administrative Nightmare
Whenever the government is in charge of handling anything, they usually do it by bloating the administration. The main reason why Medicare or any form of universal healthcare isn’t free is the massive administration that’s formed to run it.
Lack of Incentive
Whether we like it or not, the current system is driving advances in medical practices. Doctors working in hospitals around the US are driven by professional goals, but also monetary incentives. Once you remove the latter, there is a very real concern that many practitioners wouldn’t be as keen to give their all to the system.
Current Medicare System is Prone to Exploitation
Medicare, as we know it today, is extremely prone to fraud and general exploitation by malevolent parties. The government usually runs a tight ship, but the sheer scale of this project means that there will always be cracks in the fence line.
Medicare – Yay or Nay?
At the end of the day, there is plenty to be defined before the US sees a more universal version of Medicare. The political climate is still not suitable for any long-term solutions regarding this issue. Medicare for all is a logical next step, but only if the costs are acceptable.