Thursday, May 14, 2009

Universal coverage and Medicare

I saw an interesting argument posted by someone, somewhere, and I thought I'd point out the flaw to it.

This person said that, if Medicare is going broke, universal coverage isn't going to help... that we awful liberals are just making stuff up when we point to universal coverage as a method to protect Medicare. After all, Medicare is already big enough to gain economies of scale, and to set rules and negotiate. So how can universal coverage help?

And on the face of it, it sounds almost reasonable. Doesn't it?

Well, here's the thing. No one is saying "let's start covering everyone without figuring out how to fund this coverage." There'll be some combination of contributions and taxes or fees, or who-knows-what, intended to pay for medical care. And if we figure out how we can fund medical coverage for everyone, we've also figured out how to fund medical coverage for those now covered by Medicare.

Too bad for the "universal coverage can't fix Medicare!" meme. It could have been such a lovely little soundbite if it wasn't so tragically and obviously false.

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