Warren’s Medicare for All Keeps the Only Problematic Part of Obamacare

FRIENDSHIP HEIGHTS, MD – Last week, Senator Elizabeth Warren released her plan to pay for Medicare for All. One of the elements in Senator Warren’s Medicare for All plan is a tax paid by employers for each worker. John Delaney releases the following statement:

“The Affordable Care Act was a tremendous step forward that helped millions of Americans get health insurance, but we all know that the law wasn’t perfect. The element of the ACA that deservedly got the most criticism was the flawed design of the employer mandate, which discouraged small businesses from hiring additional workers. Senator Warren’s plan would lock in this disincentive and would create a hiring disincentive for medium-sized businesses. One of the benefits of universal health care is that it is supposed to allow employers to raise wages for their workers, rather than perpetuating rising health costs that gobble up funds that could have gone to higher pay. Setting aside the unrealistic assumptions her pay-for math makes, a per-worker tax on employers is simply bad policy. It’s bad for businesses and it’s bad for workers. Even worse, her plan rewards businesses that have chosen to be less generous with their health plans and punishes businesses that have been more generous or have chosen to provide health insurance even when it’s not required by law. Of course businesses should pay taxes, but the tax code shouldn’t be structured to discourage hiring and prevent small businesses from growing.

“Health care is a human right, and there’s a better way to achieve universal health care. My plan, BetterCare, gives every American a free health care plan, but also allows them to opt out and get private insurance if they prefer. And it’s fully paid-for without any massive tax increases on the middle class.”

Delaney’s BetterCare Plan

  • Create a new public health care plan for all Americans under the age of 65 while preserving traditional Medicare. My new plan would protect the reforms delivered by the Affordable Care Act, including guaranteed coverage of preexisting conditions and essential health benefits, and would make access truly universal. At 65, people would transition into Medicare. Medicaid would be absorbed by the new plan. The highly trusted Medicare provider network could be used for the new plan.   
  • Guarantee universal coverage. Individuals would be automatically enrolled in the new public plan, with no complicated procedures to follow.
  • Keep private insurance options. Individuals and employers will be able to purchase and negotiate supplemental coverage from private insurers to cover additional health needs. These supplementals could merge into the basic plan to make it easier for the user. 
  • Employers would be encouraged to negotiate group rate supplemental plans that would merge with the basic governmental plan so that employees would be able to keep their health care plans, many of which are very popular and important to American families.

In order to be sustainable, universal health care needs to be paid for. Delaney’s health care plan would lower the overall cost of health care and put the government on a responsible fiscal path.

Pay-fors (numbers are based on a 10-year projection):

  • The tax subsidy for employer-sponsored insurance costs the government more than $3.7 trillion and depresses wages for working Americans.
  • Allowing the government to negotiate drug prices would stop the transfer of wealth from working families to corporate executives and shareholders of pharmaceutical companies. This would save the government nearly $850 billion.
  • Savings from repurposing the ACA’s tax subsidies would total $760 billion.
  • Current federal Medicaid spending is projected to be more than $4.8 trillion, which this plan would absorb.
  • States are projected to contribute more than $2.9 trillion to Medicaid. States would continue to pay their share for the current Medicaid population and the federal government would cover the cost of expanded coverage.
  • Implement a means-tested copay requirement for higher-income individuals to fund an increase in reimbursement rates for primary care providers.