Medicare for All

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Medicare for All (M4A) is a proposal being put forward by progressives in the 2020 US Presidential Campaign, most notably Bernie Sanders. It is opposed by candidates such as Pete Buttigieg, who prefer to offer M4A as a choice rather than being universal and automatic.


Where there's ambiguity, we will use the following terms:

  • Pure M4A is a system in which M4A completely replaces the existing system of private insurers.
  • M4A Option is a system in which M4A is available on an opt-in basis as another choice, along with insurers in the existing system



  • 2020-02-20 Here's that Medicare-for-all study Bernie Sanders keeps bringing up "A single-payer health-care system would save more than 68,000 lives and $450 billion a year, new research shows"
  • 2020-02-16 Medicare for All: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
    • John Oliver DESTROYED every argument against M4A tonight.
      • Nobody knows for sure what it will actually cost; estimates range from somewhat less to somewhat more than existing healthcare.
      • Most cost estimates come in at or below our nations current public and private sector combined health care spending, and even if it doesn’t end up that way, it’s worth it.
      • The idea of “choice” is an illusion. Most people have one choice: Whatever their employer offers them.
      • People often have no choice at all in emergencies but to go out-of-network — often even when they’ve gone out of their way to try to stay in network.
      • Under M4A, every provider is in network.
      • The “wait time” argument about other nations with nationalized healthcare that is currently a favorite of those opposed to M4A is basically bogus and based on non-emergency or elective procedures.
      • People wait ridiculous amounts of time now because they simply cannot afford the co-pays and deductibles needed to be met to get said procedures.
      • A system where people have to choose between one life saving medication or another due to cost is inherently unjust.
      • Yes, people in the health care bureaucracy will need new jobs, but that can be handled and is part of the plans offered by both Sanders and Warren.
      • The current system, as Oliver put it, is a “shit sandwich”, while “Medicare for all who want it” is “still a shit sandwich, only with avocado on it because the same shit still remains.”
      • If you’re arguing against M4A, you’re arguing for all of the flaws and unfairness inherent in our current system and you need to own that. (This isn't particularly against M4A-Optional, however.)
  • 2019-10-18 A Brief History of Pete Buttigieg Faking It on Medicare for All (via)
    • "The danger of proposals that maintain a role for private insurers, [Health Justice Now: Single Payer and What Comes Next author Tim Faust] explained, are many—not least of which is that they would fail to create a "universal risk pool," which would lower costs for everyone. (Consider, here, the failures of the Affordable Care Act, which I know well, having paid for health insurance through the marketplace as a freelancer and watching my premiums go up every year while my coverage got worse.)"
    • Critical comments from a 3rd party:
      • The lancet study is pretty shit. It doesn't actually do much economic analysis at all, just pulls random numbers because they "seem" reasonable.
      • Which is not surprising since the paper was written by medical science professionals, not economists or healthcare economists.
      • Also, lol @ the people behind M4A complaining about his naming, when they appropriated the name from older stuff. (The name M4A has already been used for other stuff in the past). Which is in addition to M4A having nothing to do with Medicare.
        • (Woozle responds: my understanding is that Sanders's M4A proposal does in fact take Medicare as a starting point, and modifies it.)

General healthcare system discussion links: