Medicare A & B Patient Health

Medicare for All or State Control: Competing Senate Health Care Plans

This New York Times article (here’s the link) suggests the competing US Senate health plans, Federal Medicare for All vs. Block Grants to States, are polar opposites.

Years ago in Canada, these very opposites met in the middle.

Canadian Tommy Douglas is considered by many the “Father of Medicare” for introducing the first provincial hospital insrance program while serving as leader of the Saskatchewan Government.

(This year’s New York and California single payer proposals were similar to Canada’s early provincial based single payer plans.)

In time the federal government in Ottawa, too, embraced universal and comprehensive national health insurance and ultimately created a program with two key features

  1. A federal standard of universal coverage. (This is similar to the Essential Benefits provision in the US Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.)
  2. Ottawa agreed the federal government and provinces would split 50/50 the provincial health plan costs. (This is similar to how the US Medicaid program for disabled and low income Americans is funded jointly between Washington and the states, with states granted broad latitude in designing its Medicaid program.)

So with Sen. Sanders and 15 co-sponsors pushing for a federally run “Medicare for All” single payer system and some Republicans looking to send healthcare back to the states with block grant cash, there’s room for a deal here.

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