Medicare single-payer???

By Tomas Payne

Contrary to popular opinion, Medicare is not a single payer system. A family on a group medical plan has one medical plan with one card and one monthly payment, often deducted from payroll. A family buying personal healthcare insurance typically gets a single plan to cover the entire family with a single monthly payment.

Medicare is personal. That means that each individual has to get his or her own plan in each individual’s name. In addition, each individual has to sign up for 3 separate plans, unless they sign up for Medicare Advantage. For the first plan, you sign up with Medicare and get Plan A and B (medical and hospitalization) for one monthly premium per person. But that doesn’t cover drugs. So, you have to sign up for a second plan to get drug coverage with its own monthly premium per person. Finally, since Medicare typically pays only 80% with deductibles, most people get a Medicare supplement policy (a third medical plan) to cover those shortfalls, along with another monthly premium per person.

Thus, when a couple goes onto Medicare, they trade in a single medical insurance card for three each or six for the couple. They also get to pay six monthly premiums. Ah, isn’t Medicare great! But this is no single-payer system.

To learn more about campaign myths and the book that candidates don’t want us to see, visit Side Effects.



Side Effects

By Tomas Payne

After listening to debates and a political campaign filled with bold statements and lofty promises, I set about to dig into the facts behind their statements. What I found surprised and dismayed me.

While much of what candidates say appeals to the emotions of one group or another, they rarely address the side-effects of what they promise. In fact, often what they promise sounds great until you dig into what has happened in the past. Perhaps voters have this nagging sense that they aren’t getting the whole story and that’s feeding the anger.

I decided to take a look.

There is no question that there’s a wider distribution of wealth today than in the past, but will increasing taxes change this?

Wages have stagnated over the past 40 years as compared to overall economic activity. We all know about jobs going to China and Mexico. Would bringing those jobs home solve the problem as we are being told? What other factors have had an even greater impact on wage depression that neither party wants to address?

Some candidates want to increase taxes. Others want to reduce tax rates. Would either action have the effects these candidates promise?

For answers, I welcome you to join me in this journey of discovery.

To learn more about the book that candidates don’t want us to see, visit Side Effects.