The 54th anniversary of Medicare affords an opportunity to evaluate the successes and shortcomings of the system of healthcare in America.
I have worked in rural hospitals and clinics for 34 years and see Medicare as the shining example of an equitable and humane method of providing clinic visits, medications, and hospital services.
Once people enter their mid-60s, they come to a clinic to address the neglected health problems that they couldn’t afford before they qualified for Medicare. In contrast, I see younger adults and families struggle and sacrifice to make the rising payments for insurance bills, cut back on medications which they can’t afford or wait to address medical problems till they become emergencies.
Medicare for All would allow these families to have the good health to remain the backbone of our social security system. Medicare for All would be especially beneficial to rural and other under-served communities. Many rural hospitals have closed in recent years, significantly overburdened by administrative strains, which eat up more than a quarter of hospital budgets.
Medicare for All would cut hospital administrative costs by funding them through global budgets, similar to the way we fund fire and police departments. Instead of billing hundreds of insurers, hospitals would be guaranteed stable funding to meet community health needs. The solution to our health care crisis has been here all along!
Medicare, now 54 years old, is popular, efficient, and proven to improve the seniors’ health.