by Jerry Robbins MD, HCAO Newport
On July 30th Medicare will be 49 years old. Today, Medicare is the nation's most popular social program.
Medicare offers 49 years of living proof that public, universal health coverage is superior to private insurance in every way. Medicare is more efficient than private health insurance, its costs have risen more slowly, and yet it provides better access to care, better financial protection, and higher patient satisfaction.
The Medicare program is not perfect, of course. It has burdensome co-pays and deductibles, and its benefits could be better. But Medicare is cheaper and much more popular than private health insurance. Expanding Medicare to all ages would save more than enough money to eliminate co-pays and deductibles, and guarantee comprehensive coverage for all.
Health Care for All Oregon is promoting “improved Medicare for All”, a single-payer statewide health insurance system in which a single agency organizes health care financing. Under a single-payer system, all residents of Oregon would be covered for all medically necessary services, including doctor, hospital, preventive, long-term care, mental health, reproductive health care, dental, vision, prescription drug and medical supply costs.
It’s just the right thing to do, because health care is a human right; part of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”.