I would like to comment on the current debate about Medicare-For-All by some politicians.

On television when I see some political rallies endorsing Medicare-For-All, I get the impression that the majority of the cheering people actually believe that Medicare is free. News flash: Medicare is not free!

These are some points to ponder: Medicare is an 80-20 situation, 80 percent paid by Medicare and 20 percent you are responsible for. Possibly the new plan may be 60-40, who knows? The current deductible is more than $1,000 plus the 20 percent unless you have supplemental insurance. The basic supplemental plans still have a deductible unless you pay extra for a more expensive plan with no deductible.

The new Medicare-For-All plan calls for all private insurance companies to be eliminated in two years and of course all supplemental insurance comes from private plans. Our Medicare premiums come out of our Social Security checks to the tune of $135 per month. By the time you add in our supplemental insurance premiums plus our Part D prescription premiums and you get a grand total of $695 per month.

Now tell me, how free is Medicare?

Medicare takes the doctor and the hospital bills and cuts and enormous amount off them, sometimes 80 percent to 90 percent. You tell me how a hospital can keep its doors open or a doctor stay in practice if they only receive 10 percent to 20 percent of their bills being paid. Hospitals have enormous payrolls and doctors have decent-sized staffs. How can they pay them plus just keep the lights on?

The annual budget of this country is over $4 trillion a year, the incoming taxes for the year are about $3.7 trillion a year, leaving a deficit of over $500 billion which this country borrows each year. Ask any political supporter of this plan what it will cost and all you get is a vague answer at best, if they answer at all, or they will simply change the subject. We are also told we will keep our doctor and our hospital as well as save money. Didn’t we hear that 10 years ago? How did that work out?

Medicare-For-All is single-payer insurance by a different name.

How many years have we been told that Medicare is going bankrupt by the year (insert year here)? Social Security also! This plan would add trillions of dollars to the deficit per year.

American taxpayers, good luck.

Alan Hoenig, Princeton

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