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Expand Medicare to solve U.S. health care woes

Sen. Dean Heller now proposes a phasing out of expanded Medicaid when in fact what Americans really want is expanded Medicare (Saturday Review-Journal).

With the constant harangue about the delivery method, quality and cost of health care in America, it isn’t a leap of faith for Congress to ask the Congressional Budget Office to evaluate the cost of Medicare for all. Politics aside, even a retiree like me understands that Medicare is one of the best and most cost-efficient systems in America.

Today, 55 million older and disabled Americans have Medicare coverage. The largest plan coverage, Medicare Part A, is paid for by a 2.9 percent payroll tax split between the employee and employer. This tax is currently paid by 166 million working Americans.

The current ratio of worker to Medicare recipient is 3-to-1. Providing coverage for an additional 273 million much younger Americans, those needing far less expensive care, requires a simple solution: Increase the Medicare payroll tax from 1.45 percent to 4.10 percent for both the employee and employer, more than enough to cover Medicare Part A and Part B. Some will complain the increase is excessive, so evaluate all the cost savings.

People enrolled in government and employer-subsidized plans will be consolidated, enrolled into a single-payer plan. Subsidized plans include the ACA, Medicaid, CHIP, TriCare and the VA. Private health care plan costs currently paid by employers and others would disappear, the savings used to offset single-payer Medicare cost.

Nothing is more cost effective and as easily expandable than Medicare. This evaluation will never get a congressional hearing unless Americans demand that our representatives such as Dean Heller to do the right thing. Send a Medicare for all proposal to the CBO for evaluation.,

Otherwise who knows what convoluted, costly and substandard systems will befall us next.

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