As a fellow physician, I respectfully disagree with Dr. Vin Gupta’s analysis of the healthcare plans of Senator Elizabeth Warren and President Donald Trump in a recent opinion article on Think.
As an emergency physician for over two decades, the major barrier to quality care for my patients is cost — like the mother with “insurance,” who sat in my ER parking lot for hours watching her child struggle to breathe before finally entering, out of fear of paying a $250 co-pay.
Dr. Gupta anchors much of his argument for why Trump’s “plan” is a winner on the recent announcement of expansion of Medicare Advantage plans. It is true that premiums in Medicare Advantage plans are lower than traditional Medicare. However, when a senior needs to avail herself of the healthcare system, the additional out-of-pocket costs with Medicare Advantage skyrocket.
By contrast, Medicare for All would mean no more out-of-pocket costs, premiums or copays for my patients. Right now, for-profit insurance companies currently charge folks $10,000 out-of-pocket on average each year, plus $14,000 in premiums. Medicare for All would reduce overall costs and ensure everyone gets the treatment and medications they need, anytime they need it.
With medical debt the top cause of bankruptcy in this country, Americans are clamoring for a better solution. And increasingly, they want Medicare for All. According to new polls, 71 percent of Democratic voters and 51 percent of all voters now support it.
That makes it a winner both medically and politically.
Dr. Rob Davidson
Executive Director of The Committee to Protect Medicare