Medicare is changing, and Mainers will soon have a say on whether it gets healthy — or dies.

Medicare is poised to die by surreptitious privatization. For decades, the profit-maximizing health care insurance industry has been converting Medicare beneficiaries into profitable customers by promoting the deceptively named Medicare Advantage Plans. These plans are private insurance with premiums partially subsidized by Medicare. The plans include all of the hidden “gotchas” for which insurance designed for profit is justly reviled; if you have an Advantage Plan, you shouldn’t go to a doctor without seeing a lawyer first. Medicare Advantage Plans now cover one-third of Medicare beneficiaries, and the industry wants more. If the trend continues, Medicare will become a mask for profit-driven health care insurance.

In contrast, Medicare for All eliminates premiums, deductibles, coinsurance, and copays. It permits free choice of doctors. By eliminating the advertising, marketing, administrative complexity, and profit motive of private insurance, it provides better coverage for less money.

The Republican Party of Susan Collins wants to kill Medicare by replacing it with a voucher system, which is effectively private insurance with partially subsidized premiums and no other limits on premiums, coinsurance, copays and deductibles.

Sara Gideon and the Democratic Party oppose Medicare for All and favor Obamacare, which makes the purchase of profit-driven health care insurance mandatory.

Only Lisa Savage, the independent candidate for Maine’s U.S. Senate seat, supports Medicare for All. To save and improve Medicare, vote Lisa first.

 

Zeb Green

Mount Kineo Township


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