NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

The Silly Appeal of Expanding Medicare for All

June 16, 2017

Senior Fellow Devon Herrick writes at NCPA's Health blog:

Many people believe Obamacare was a conspiracy, with asinine design features intended to cause the program to fail. The primary goal in the minds of conspiracy buffs was to usher in a single-payer program of Medicare for All once Obamacare collapsed under adverse selection. The theory goes something like this: with nowhere to turn except the government, Americans would finally throw up their hands and acquiesce to government intervention. Seniors purportedly all love their Medicare, so why not expand the program to cover even more people?

Over the years I've derisively referred to simpleton ideas to expand Medicare to cover the entire U.S. population as Medicaid-for-All. My point was to point out that the program the elderly have come to rely on is not the same program we would have if it were expanded to cover the entire population. Little did I know I was being prophetic? There are now calls to expand Medicaid as a safety net program to everyone who cannot afford private health insurance, by allowing them to buy into the programs for the poor. Nevada's legislature even passed a bill to allow all state residents to buy into the program.

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