Medicare was proposed in 1966 with the intent that every American be able to enroll. Insurance companies lobbied to limit the program to those age who are 65 and older, under the theory the program would succeed if limited to assist with medical costs during retirement.
The effect was to shift the most expensive period of individuals’ medical costs to the government. After age 65, doctor visits and medication costs surge exponentially.
Insurance carriers offer supplemental coverage for Americans enrolled in Medicare. Supplemental coverage could still be offered to anyone with means to pay. Carriers would be motivated to expand coverage.
Litigation would be curbed if all Americans enrolled in Medicare. Generally, all physicians accept Medicare patients.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Miami Herald
The costs of providing all Americans Medicare may be funded by expanding the 1.45 percent Medicare taxes payed on earnings to dividend income, capital gains income, royalty income, and interest income. This may provide a means to lower Medicare tax rate.
If an American worker gets sick, the inability to pay for medical treatment only delays his or her ability to return to work.
Alex Cuello, Coral Gables