tv Washington Journal Adam Gaffney Joseph Antos CSPAN March 5, 2019 11:52am-12:00pm EST
>> and as they hearing wraps up, members will begin debate today on bills dealing with radioactive waste, including waste from radiation bills. and energy efficiency in schools. as we wait for the house to gavel in, take a look at some of today's. -- today's "washington journal." joseph antos from the american enterprise institute who serves as a policy scholar and joining us as well is adam gaffney from the group physicians for a national health program.
thanks for joining us. guest: thank you. , when we hearney this concept of medicare for all what appears in your mind and what do you think of what has been introduced in congress or the ideas connected to this concept introduced in congress? guest: the concept of medicare for all is not an especially complicated one. the name, medicare, a universal program that is currently for seniors. we would apply that for all. meaning everyone in the nation. we makeditional point is we think of it as improved medicare for all. this would expand medicare to everyone in the country. that would make it a much bigger program, making the benefits comprehensive and things like dental care that medicare does not currently covered. bywell as improving medicare
eliminating cost barriers like co-pays and deductibles. that is the concept of medicare for all. there is as you mentioned a bill in the house and the senate, a medicare for all bill that would create systems for the united states. it is essentially a universal health care system providing comprehensive benefits to the american public. antos? i think thisis an aspiration as opposed to reality. guest: it sounds great for everyone to have complete coverage for absolutely everything at no direct cost to themselves. that cost a lot of money. the bill that was introduced last week is not fleshed out enough to have a guess at a number. bernie sanders's bill comes in around $33 trillion over 10
years. that is a lot of money. that means we will have to tax the same people who are getting something they believe is free. we will have to tax them very heavily. in the real world nothing is free. the real question is, what can we do to improve health insurance for people and improve coverage without breaking the bank? gaffney, this idea of cost as you see it as an expanded type of proposal, how do you pay for the services? >> we are already paying for medicare for all. through premiums, taxes, co-pays ended up doubles. i think the thirtysomething trillion dollar figure that joe pointed to is from a think tank -- libertarian think tank study which found that overall, although it would cost money
with new taxes, overall health care spending as a nation would fall by $2 trillion over 10 years. we are already spending this money. we are spending it through premiums co-pays ended up doubles. we are talk about -- talking about financing it in a smarter way so that people a into the system according to their needs. they get the health care they need in terms of their means. -- needs. we are already spending this money. approximately two thirds of american health care spending is already financed by taxes. we were talking about having to tax the remaining portion which is a much smaller number. we can't afford the status quo. host: if those extremes do take wrong with the idea of expanding these types of services if the money is there so to speak? guest: the money is not already there.
let's take a percent of the bill. she add something even bernie sanders wouldn't do which is she would cover all long-term care services. at no cost to anyone. provision, not quite similar to that but there was a provision like that in the affordable care act that was abandoned by the obama administration. it was clear that except for a little budget trickery this was going to cost a lot of money. that was a proposal that required people to pay for it. here is a proposal where you don't pay for it so you are not going to have expenditures that are already being made by people by the medicaid program but you will also substitute a federal program with federal tax dollars for the kind of services that don't get paid for now. that might be a great thing if
you can do it. a lot of long-term care is provided by the family. it is not monetized. when you monetize that you have a huge fiscal problem. host: our guests are with us until 9:00. if you support this concept of medicare for all (202) 748-8000. if you oppose it (202) 748-8001. you can make comments on twitter @cspanwj. when it comes to the proposal i think the idea is to shift people into this medicare for all period for two years. what was that due to the existing system we have in the u.s.? >> the existing system produces a weight and we need to do better. the administrative overhead of private health insurance plans are always excited -- cited as greater than 10%. traditional medicare is closer to 2%.
that our current system imposes is norma's and we can do better. are 29ot forget there million people who remain uninsured at this time. people are underinsured meeting they have insurance but there co-pays and deductibles are so large they can afford to get the care they need. that is not a sustainable system. the funny thing about this when it comes to cost is that it is often stated we cannot afford a single-payer system yet the united states has a uniquely expensive health-care system and we have a single-payer system. places that have a single-payer system spend much less than us. there is a paradox that is confusing. it is true that health care is expensive but we all need it. there is no long-term coverage in this country essentially except for medicaid which requires you to essentially become impoverished before you can have access to it. that is not a good system. yes health care is