By Bente Bouthier
Indiana Public Media, Noon Edition, September 4, 2019
According to The Washington Post and Politico, thirteen democratic presidential candidates support some form of “Medicare for all,” a proposal that all Americans should automatically be entered into a single-payer government health plan.
Though most Democratic presidential candidates are vocal in their support of expansion of health coverage, many candidates do not agree on the means or time frame for this goal.
According to the U.S. Census, 8.8 percent of Americans did not have health coverage during 2017. Private health insurance is the dominant form of coverage, insuring 67.2 percent of Americans, where government coverage insures 37.7 percent.
Since 2010, 113 hospitals in rural areas have closed their doors. Many attribute this to the lack of expansion of the Affordable Care Act.
The idea for a national health insurance plan in America isn’t new. It was first pushed by President Teddy Roosevelt, and then Harry S. Truman in 1945.
Even then, no bill was passed until 20 years after his presidency, when Americans started to get Medicare health coverage under legislation signed by Lyndon B. Johnson.
Join us this week as we talk about the future of health coverage in the U.S. and what “Medicare for all” means.
Dr. Kosali Simon, O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs Professor, Journal of Health Economics Co-Editor
Dr. Ed Weisbart, Head of Physicians for a National Health Program Missouri
Dr. Malaz Boustani, Center for Health Innovation & Implementation Science Director