During the recent Politicon conference, The Young Turks’ Cenk Uygur debated Ben Shapiro on a variety of subjects. One was healthcare. Cenk’s answer to this very complicated issue and the inherent problems associated with it was a simple one: “Medicare for all.” Shapiro took him to task. It was a fantastic showing. You can watch it here.
I would like to augment Shapiro’s retort by asking Cenk some questions:
• Will everyone get to receive those expensive, newly developed brand-name drugs? If not, why not?• Can everyone use the best-rated doctors, facilities & hospitals? If not, why not?• Can anyone use all those top-level cancer & drug rehab centers? If not, why not?• Can anyone get the very best, cutting-edge cancer treatments available? If not, why not?• Can anyone get knee and other joint replacements? If not, why not?• Can anybody use the best surgeons for their treatment? If not, why not?• Will mental health, chiropractor, acupuncture, dental & vision be included? If not, why not?• Will all pharmaceutical companies be forced to be non-profits? If not, why not?• Will the 75 million people currently using Medicaid segue over to Medicare? If not, why not?• Your plan will require the elimination of the entire private health insurance industry that we now use in this country. What do about the approximately 500,000 people (and the hundreds of thousands that support the industry) that will become unemployed under your proposal?• What happens to all the assets, the buildings, office equipment, etc., of these companies that you will force out of business?• Once your plan is passed, stock prices of all the insurance companies that sell for double-digit P/E ratios that will be liquidated, will no doubt, plummet. Will you reimburse to the shareholders, the billions of dollars (perhaps a trillion) that will be lost?• The billing and claims system of the entire private healthcare industry will disappear once you enact your plan. How many billions of dollars will it require to replace it and re-train every healthcare provider in the country? Will you reimburse every doctor, hospital, and healthcare provider the funds they will have to spend for this replacement system?• Expenditures from Medicare’s HI Trust Fund exceeded revenues by $23.8 billion in 2012. Without a policy change that would increase revenues or reduce expenditures, the surplus that has accumulated in the HI Trust Fund since the program’s inception will be depleted by 2026. Being that you will increase the number of people on Medicare by a factor of more than SIX, how can you ensure it will not go broke?• Physicians, Surgeons, Physician Assistants and other highly trained healthcare providers are paid very high salaries mostly due to the private healthcare system. Will they retain their salary levels under your plan? If not, what incentive will there be to replace them if they leave?• Why would anyone go through 12+ yrs of education to be a highly skilled physician if they receive relatively low salaries due to the low Medicare reimbursement rates?• Under your plan, no one will be without healthcare. That will mean 34 million additional people will now have a right to healthcare. Who will provide care for them? How will you train so many healthcare providers that will be needed to provide care for all these new patients?• What care will be available for the estimated 14 million undocumented immigrants in this country? Will your plan cover them? If so, how much will this cost? If not, why not?• On the very slim chance you or anyone in your employ reads this and wants to answer any of these questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.