Medicare for All was one of the most hotly debated policy topics in the 2020 Presidential primary election. Ultimately, none of the major party candidates backing this proposal made it to the general election, but it is still a topic of debate. The Medicare for All plan would open up the existing Medicare program to all Americans, rather than just Americans who are 65 and older. While this plan got the most attention, there are some alternatives.
1. Medicare Advantage for All
Medicare Advantage plans are an existing alternative to the regular Medicare program. These plans are offered by private insurance companies that have been approved by Medicare. When people purchase Medicare Advantage plans, they still have Medicare, but it is bundled with services that Medicare doesn’t cover. The Medicare Advantage for all movement seeks to open up these private company plans to everyone, instead of Original Medicare, believing they have more advantages of Medicare for All Washington DC than the traditional Medicare for All option.
2. Expanding the Affordable Care Act
The approach favored by President Joe Biden is to expand the existing Affordable Care Act. Biden has claimed that this option would provide more insurance choices for Americans, lower premiums, extend coverage, increase affordable options and expand coverage for lower-income people, reduce drug costs and expand mental health and reproductive health services.
3. Enacting a Different Single-Payer System
Medicare for All was not the first single-payer system to be proposed. The American Health Security Act was introduced in 2009. It would have required all participating states to establish a state health security program that would replace existing programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid.
While most people agree that the current healthcare system in the United States is flawed, there is still a lot of disagreement about how to fix it. These are just three of the many possible solutions.