As democratic candidates continue to pledge their participation in running for president in 2020, one key topic continues to come up - healthcare. Phrases and terms like “universal health coverage, single payer system, Medicare for all” are flying around, but what do they even mean?
Let’s take a step back. The overarching goal for politicians working in the healthcare arena is to provide easy access to high quality, affordable healthcare. The hard part is determining how to get there and for every politician, there is another opinion.
For many democratic politicians, the overarching goal for healthcare reform is to ensure that all citizens have some sort of basic health insurance, referred to commonly as universal health care. President Obama attempted this with the Affordable Care Act, by adding penalties on tax returns for those without insurance. On the other hand, the program also added waivers and coupons to assist those that couldn’t afford premiums on their own. However, even with 20 million people obtaining new coverage, an estimated 24 million people still remained uninsured in 2017, citing high costs as the main reason why.
There are a number of ways that politicians are aiming to provide universal health care and we will outline a few of these on our upcoming blogs. These include the Bernie Sanders championed plan, which includes coverage for all under a single payer. There is also the less radical “Medicare for all”, which can include options like lowering Medicare age requirements or allowing people to buy into Medicare.
There are a lot of different options and just as many opinions. Keep up with our blog as we dive deep into some of these options over the next couple weeks.