Harris has right idea with Medicare for All

On Sunday, Feb. 24, I attended the rally by Senator Kamala Harris in Bettendorf. It was well attended, with over 700 present by my own count.

She has proven herself to be intelligent, articulate, determined and considerate in pursuit of her goals for our country. It would be to our benefit to elect her as our next president.

She discussed many issues, but the one that I am most familiar with is her recommendation of Medicare for All. As a recently retired family physician in Iowa for 42 years, I have witnessed severe and chronic shortcomings in the “medical systems” in the United States. Too many of my patients lack any health care coverage or have unaffordable high deductions resulting in foregoing needed care. Our patchwork of medical care has left our country with much greater expenses and poorer results than most other highly developed countries.

Medicare for All should be seriously considered as a solution to making affordable health care available to all. A coalition of 25 powerful entities has already been formed to fight this notion. Not surprisingly, the coalition includes pharmaceutical and insurance companies as well as the American Medical Association (but not the American Academy of Family Physicians). One strong and valid objection to Medicare for All is that the Medicare reimbursement rate to doctors and other providers is too low for their economic survival. Senator Harris is aware that this is an accurate criticism; her plan includes higher reimbursement to the health care providers.

Medicare for All is a threat to the health insurance industry. My concept is that the industry would be “downsized” to providing supplemental health insurance policies to the basic Medicare benefits. Being on Medicare myself, I find such a policy to be very beneficial. There is a definite role for the health insurance industry in Medicare for All. I am confident that the health insurance industry will survive, but in a smaller form. Providing affordable health coverage to all Americans is more important than protecting the health insurance industry’s bottom line.

Donald G. Flory, M.D.,