How Does It Work and What Does It Cover
The first thing that happens under Medicare For All is that Medicare, as it exists presently, is expanded. If you’ve ever looked at the giant catalog that the government sends out now to people when they become eligible for Medicare, you know what a confusing and inefficient thing it is. New Medicare For All gets expanded. What does that mean? That means there are no more co-pays, no more deductibles, no more “Part A, Part B, Part D”, and no more having to choose supplementary coverage from your state’s offering. Dental, hearing, and vison are covered under Medicare For All.
In the first year people are eligible beginning from age 55, instead of 65. People from birth to their 19th birthday are also automatically covered.
What Does It Cost?
Across all incomes, the first $29,000 of income is untaxed. This means that if your income is Social Security only, there will no longer be a deduction for Medicare. Income over $29,000 will have a payroll deduction of 4% of income – and I believe that means taxable income. The example that is often given in Bernie’s talks is someone with an income of $60,000 will pay $1,240.00 for Medicare For All, which is approximately $100.00 per month.
Prescriptive Medicine, Devices, and Procedures
These are all covered – all medically necessary drugs, procedures, and equipment is included, but there is an annual maximum co-payment of $200.00.
Services for Elderly and Disabled
In-home health care is added to Medicare. Nursing home care or similar long-term care facilities is included.
What is Not Covered?
What is not covered is elective surgery such as facelifts and rhinoplasty. Eyeglasses are covered, but I am guessing that if you wanted extra fancy eyeglass frames, you would have to pay for that yourself.
Second year Medicare For All
In the second year of Medicare For All, the eligibility is lowered to people 45 years of age.
After the Second Year
After the second year of Medicare For All the eligibility is lowered to 35, then everyone in the fourth year. I will take a wild guess here and emphasize that this is my guess: it could be that Medicare For All works so well that after the second year, Congress will propose an amendment to include everyone in the third year.
Medicare For All is Not Opt-in
Medicare For All is not an opt-in program, although you do have to register for it to get your card. What is not optional is the 4% tax rate which will support the program equally for everyone. However if your situation is such that you want to continue to pay for health care through an insurance policy of your own,1 you may do so, but you cannot opt-out of paying the 4% tax, as I understand it.
In the next section, we look at situations and experiences of people who support Medicare For All.
States may offer coverage if they choose, but cannot offer less than what is provided in Medicare For All. ↩