How the 2020 USA Presidential Race is Shaping the Medicare Program

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While the 2020 USA presidential race is yet to take shape, most of the expected presidential aspirants have expressed their support for the expansion of universal health care. However, the details of the universal health care program are entirely different as presented by the various candidates. Also, the public support towards the program varies depending on how the policy is presented. The Kaiser Family Foundation identified that the public overwhelmingly supported the idea of the government expanding the health insurance program together with a buy-in option for ages 50 to 64. The public also gave equal support to an optional Medicare-for-All plan. However, the support for the Medicare-for-All plan dropped significantly to 56 percent when it was presented individually. If taxes were to go up as a result of the policies, the majority of the respondents withdrew their support.

The policy appeals to most Democrats as compared to Republicans. Even with a different presentation model, the system still appeals more to the Democrats. While most of the candidates expected to run for the White House job have shown interests, not all of them have offered their visions for the health care reform. For a fact, some are still on their exploratory phase of the campaign while quite a number have just hinted on their interest to run for the White House job. However, with the Americans ranking healthcare as a top area of concern, it’s expected that the Democratic primaries will lean much on the healthcare issue as they gear on to the 2020 race.

A proposal from Sen. Bernie Sanders seeks to expand the pool of Americans eligible for the Medicare program. His suggestions also seek to expand the types of coverages available. Additionally, his proposal intends to push private insurers out of the Medicare program and adopt a single-payer model. The senator is an independent and democratic socialist. The presidential aspirant radical overhaul of the Medicare policy would blow up the federal budget by trillions of dollars. A study conducted by George Mason University estimated that the single-payer model would add $32 trillion in government spending in ten years. Still, the plan has been endorsed by other Democratic presidential aspirants.

According to Sen. Cory Booker, one of the aspirants, politics and government spending requires a less extreme approach. He champions for the Medicare program in the aspect of creating access for everyone (Medicare-for-All bill). He also advocated for the program to allow Americans to buy-in to the program voluntarily. However, as the politics shape up, we expect to hear and get the different forms of the program.

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