How does your healthcare plan compare?
Medicare For All opponents continue to repeat false claims about healthcare services that the single-payer plan provides. The reality is that Medicare For All gives doctors and patients more choices and control over their healthcare by expanding coverage to include additional essential services beyond the current Medicare system, and by removing restrictions that limit the choice of doctors or hospitals a patient can see. The plan also gives healthcare providers and hospitals the ability to decide what treatment and services to offer their patients based on their need, not what the insurance company decides to cover based on costs.
Under Sen. Bernie Sanders’s and Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s Medicare For All plans, everyone is covered for all essential healthcare services without cost at time of service. Only non-essential health services, such as plastic surgery and some alternative medicine practices, are excluded. Both plans also allow patients to visit any doctor or hospital they choose; no more waiting for private, profit-driven insurance providers to tell you and your doctor what treatment or care you can receive.
FACT: The healthcare services that would be covered under a single-payer Medicare For All system are more comprehensive than those covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and private health insurance plans.
The two bills for Medicare For All lay out the services that are covered under this single-payer system.
- Senator Sanders’s Medicare For All Act of 2019 (specifically see §201 – Comprehensive Benefits).
- Representative Jayapal’s Medicare For All Act of 2019 (H.R. 1384). (specifically see §201 – Comprehensive Benefits).
The essential health services covered by both bills, and not typically covered by other private insurance plans, includes 24-hour emergency and ambulatory services, dental, vision, and hearing, comprehensive reproductive, maternity and newborn care, and primary and preventive care for managing chronic diseases.
The major differences between the two plans is that Sanders covers case managers and extended rehabilitation services like long term nursing care and inpatient mental health treatment, while Jayapal’s plan doesn’t specifically mention these services. For a complete list of services covered, see Table 1 below.
Examples of services not covered by either Medicare For All plan would be plastic surgery or some alternative medicines.
Expanding essential health services to every person in the U.S., and eliminating premiums, copays, and deductibles also reduces the need for supplemental insurance like Medicare Advantage plans. Both bills also put a cap on the amount each person would pay for prescription drugs each year.
In other words, Medicare For All offers more services to more people for less cost than the current U.S. healthcare system.