By Elmore F. Rigamer, M.D.
New Orleans Times-Picayune, Letters, October 18, 2018
Don’t believe the fear tactics about Medicare for all.
A record number of Americans now reject our fractured, profit-based health system in favor of improved Medicare for all. In response, Republicans are frightening seniors by telling them they will lose Medicare benefits under a single-payer program like House Bill H.R. 676. Quite the contrary, Medicare for all would improve Medicare’s benefits by adding in previously uncovered services such as dental, hearing, vision, and long-term care, while eliminating cumbersome out-of-pocket fees.
Fear is a smart tactic when the truth is not on your side — it activates the part of the brain that makes us notice threats, while inhibiting the executive part of the brain that helps us think rationally, analyze facts and make smart decisions.
So, don’t believe the Medicare-for-all fear mongering. The real boogeymen are the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries, who have the most to lose if their profits are redirected to direct patient care. It’s no wonder so many members of Congress want to protect the interest of insurance and pharma — these two industries spent $371 million on lobbying in 2017 alone! Now that’s a scary fact.