Stephanie Kennan Details Medicare for All in PharmaLive Feature

February 13, 2019

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In a Feb. 13 article for PharmaLive, McGuireWoods Consulting senior vice president, Stephanie Kennan, gave an overview of Medicare for All and how it will influence the healthcare debate.

A recent Harvard/Politico survey showed that 84 percent of Democrats support a tax-funded national healthcare plan, and the House Democratic leadership has agreed to hearings on Medicare for All. Several Medicare for All plans were introduced in the last Congress, with a goal of enrolling more Americans in public health plans and giving the government a greater role in setting prices and deciding benefits.

“However, the plans differed on which programs would expand and how far the government’s reach would extend. Some would eliminate all private health insurance, where others see a role for companies providing coverage to workers,” Kennan said. “The bills also differ on how to pay for the public expansion. Some would rely on tax increases, while others would ask those enrolling in government insurance to pay the costs.”

Proposals submitted by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and former Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), provided universal health insurance coverage and long-term care services, with administrative savings coming from only having one payer. Other proposals allow a blend of private and public insurance coverage.

“As policymakers debate how to improve access and coverage to healthcare services, the public is already interpreting Medicare for All in different ways. The first decision that will require consensus is whether to build upon the ACA or adopt a different healthcare system architecture altogether,” Kennan said.