Medicare For All Means Choice For None, Speaker Says

Medicare For All is choice for none, a health care expert told members of the National Association of Health Underwriters at their Capitol Conference today.

Lauren Crawford Shaver of the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future told NAHU members that a single-payer health care system would be a one-size-fits-all system that would give consumers less choice and control over their doctors, treatments and coverage. It would mean higher taxes, long wait times and lower quality of care.

“People want improvements, not dramatic changes,” she said. “They worry about health care and want changes but they don’t want to disrupt their or others’ coverage.

“Americans want improvements, not upending the entire system.”

Crawford Shaver called for public programs and private partnerships to work together to expand coverage.

“We want every American to have access to care but we don’t see Medicare For All as achieving that goal,” she said. “We also want to build on the strengths of our current system. Let’s fix the things that are not working, let’s not start over.”

Looking at the Democratic takeover of Congress in the 2018 elections, Crawford Shaver said Democratic candidates who supported what she called “pragmatic approaches” to health care won more seats than candidates who championed Medicare For All.

“Let’s dispel the myth that the 2018 elections were about Medicare For All. They were more about protecting pre-existing conditions and keeping children on their parents’ plan.”

Single-payer proposals do nothing to address the rising cost of care, and a Medicare For All bill scheduled to be introduced in the House of Representatives tomorrow does not include a funding mechanism, Crawford Shaver said.

“Dumping a bunch of people on Medicare doesn’t solve the problem of costs, doesn’t address the fact that Medicare doesn’t cover everything, and doesn’t address the physician reimbursement rate.”