Is a Medicare buy-in, also known as a “public option,” a good idea?

Medicare currently costs each 65-or-over enrollee about $1,600 a year, which is deducted directly from monthly Social Security benefits. Enrollees still usually buy supplemental insurance to cover the 20% of costs that Medicare does not cover. (This business segment is a wonderful gift for the insurance companies because their administrative costs are almost zero. Medicare does all of the work.)

Supplemental insurance costs about $1,000 per year per person. A family of four could be looking at a cost of $10,400 a year. This doesn’t count any increases in payroll taxes that may occur to pay for the program, and it doesn’t reduce expenses by eliminating private insurance and its advertising and marketing costs. Who pays the premiums when the family breadwinner is unemployed?

This “public option” may be better than the outrageous premiums, copays, coinsurance and deductibles of the private insurance that Democrats say everyone loves and wants to keep, but it’s not nearly as good as Expanded and Improved Medicare for All that Bernie Sanders promoted — with no copays, deductibles, coinsurance, or premiums.

In Maine’s Senate race, Sara Gideon wants to keep industry-friendly Obamacare and stick Americans with a high-priced public option. Only Lisa Savage, the independent/Green candidate for the Senate, favors the best plan: Expanded Medicare for All. If you want a good national health care plan, vote Lisa first.


Asia Sweet


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