Medicare, which has been in place since 1965, is a government health insurance program that covers all Americans aged 65 and over and is funded by taxpayers. Part of our social security wages are directed to Medicare to cover most services such as hospital stay and physician visits.
Medicare people may also choose to receive additional coverage from Medicare-approved private insurers to cover other services such as dentistry, vision and prescription drugs.
Medicare for All supporters want to expand this program to cover more than Americans aged 65 and over. Some, like Vermont Senator Bernard Sanders, insist that Medicare cover all citizens and legal residents, while others such as Michigan senator Debbie Stabenu insist on lowering the age requirement and allowing people between the ages of 55 and 65 to buy.
Many of those who insist on Medicare for All believe that health is a human right, and many supporters believe that increasing spending in the US healthcare system can help attract more people into the Medicare system.
It is worth noting that Medicare is quite popular as it now stands. In a December Gallup study of Americans who are insured publicly through Medicare or Medicaid (the government's health program that includes people with limited income), 79% say they are satisfied with the quality of their healthcare and believe they have good to excellent health coverage.
Where did this idea begin and why does it gain weight?
The concept of a government-funded healthcare system is not new. Efforts to provide some kind of universal health coverage in the United States date back to 1
904 when the Socialist Party approved the idea.
In 1912 Republican President Theodore Roosevelt ran for a third term as a candidate for a progressive party; its platform included a "single national health service". Although he lost, the concept of a single payer system will continue to sneak into a political debate. Some of the strongest resistances of a nationalized health care system come from physicians who feared it would hamper their profits. Teddy's cousin, President Franklin Roosevelt, will try to pass in 1935 as part of the Social Security Act a universal national health insurance program as part of the New Course. President Harry Truman continued to insist on this during his stay. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the fear of socialism and the panic of the South Democrats that the nationalized health care system would require desegregation ultimately hinders healthcare efforts.
He returned to his renown when Sanders included him as part of his presidential platform for 2016. He did not win, but the idea started with a number of Democrats. In fact, it also has some support from the Republicans. According to a recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 40% of Republicans support the idea of federal health insurance.
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