Democrats continue to push "Medicare for All," while critics maintain it will amount to Medicare for None.
The idea of Medicare for All is not new. U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) pushed it during his presidential campaign in 2016 and since that time some Senate Democrats have jumped on board, and House Democrats recently announced a Medicare for All caucus.
"It's important that Americans understand this isn't some crazy idea," Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Washington) said at the caucus announcement. "It's an idea that has actually been very successful in moving the economies forward of countries around the world."
Medicare administrator Seema Verma, who oversees the federal program, warned last week about "Medicare for All." At a speech in San Franciso, she said that idea would divert care from seniors and also give the federal government "complete control" over our health care decisions.
Angry at Verma for denouncing "Medicare for All," Sanders called Medicare the most "cost-effective, efficient and popular health care program in America."
Robert Moffit, who studies health policy at The Heritage Foundation, says Medicare even in its present form can't take care of all Americans.
"There is a huge consensus among economists, whether they're liberals or conservatives that Medicare's rate of spending growth threatens Medicare's future," he advises, "and that Americans will be faced with either major tax increases to sustain Medicare, unless we start to seriously reform it, or you'll be looking at savage benefit cuts for senior citizens."
Medicare is currently an "unfunded liability," he further explains, that has nonetheless promised benefits over the next 75 years at a cost of $37 trillion – yes, trillion – and current and former taxpayers must come up with that money.
A competing figure from the Medicare actuary is $47 trillion.
"The point I'm trying to make here is that Medicare is already in serious financial trouble," he tells OneNewsNow. "By simply throwing everybody on Medicare and then trying to finance it with some kind of a payroll tax on what we're already paying is really asking for trouble."