Rachna Shah
Sep 22, 2017

Medicare: Looking Ahead

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In the United States, Medicare is a single-payer, national social insurance program that through private insurance companies, provides health insurance for Americans 65 and older who've paid the payroll tax when working. It covers, on average, about half of their health costs. With the Medicare population doubling in the next 30 years, how should we pay for seniors' health care needs in the future (e.g. higher taxes, lower spending)?

 

Suggested reading: https://www.cnbc.com/2015/07/30/how-to-pay-for-the-future-of-medicare.html

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  • Levi Cannon
    May 6

    Single-payer national health insurance is a health care system is which a single public agency organizes health care financing, but the delivery of health care would remain in private hands. Currently, the US spends $10,348 per person, which is by far the most in the world (second is Switzerland with $7,919 person.) However, the US has by no means the best health care in the would. The WHO ranks the US as the 37th best healthcare system in the world, and millions of Americans are still uninsured. Single payer countires rank highly on the list, and bringing single payer to the US would help push the number of uninsured Americans to zero. Bernie Sanders intoduced his "Medicare For All" bill to the Senate Finance Committee last year, and current bipartisan calculations estimate this healthcare system to cost the goverment $32 trillion over 10 years. https://www.mercatus.org/publications/federal-fiscal-policy/costs-national-single-payer-healthcare-system and https://www.urban.org/urban-wire/what-would-it-take-make-single-payer-health-care-reality Currently, 49% of Americans support single payer, and its popularity is rising. Could single-payer be implemented in the US, or is it too much of a challenge? Also, what systems could work better or be more feasible in the US?
  • asaperstein1
    Jul 11, 2018

    How do you think racism and poverty play into poor health? Do you think there is a way we could make the world more healthy without simply providng more healthcare, but instead by addressing some of the causes of poor health among the poor?
  • Lucy
    Nov 22, 2018

    One of Australia's states recently legalised voluntary euthanasia. The campaign for euthanasia was centered around the right to die with dignity and the ability to choose ones time, but what was not discussed was the pressure it would take of the healthcare system. All Australians are a member of Medicare and receive free healthcare for their entire lives. This means that the ageing population will put significant stress on the health system, as in 2013-14 persons over 65 accounted for 41% of same day hospitalisations and 39% of overnight hospitalisations. Thats not including the elderly who spend months at a time in hospital for serious treatments. Although there are many moral issues that surround euthanasia, an increase in the mortality rate of terminally ill elders may benefit Australia's health system, as awful as the idea is.