Yale: Medicare for All Would Save $450 Billion Annually; More Industry Propaganda; South Carolina Union Support; Polling Fact Sheet

Public Citizen Has You Covered

Welcome to this week’s edition of “We’ve Got You Covered,” a weekly tipsheet designed to highlight key news about Medicare for All and call out the biggest health care industry lies and falsehoods about universal health care. Please send tips, feedback and questions to Mike Stankiewicz at mstankiewicz@citizen.org or (202) 588-7779.

SOUTH CAROLINA AFL-CIO PUSHES FOR MEDICARE FOR ALL

The main federation of South Carolina unions is all in for Medicare for All. In an op-ed to the Charleston Chronicle, Charles Brave, Jr., president of the South Carolina AFL-CIO, noted how hard unions fight for health care benefits and that taking them off the bargaining table would strengthen the labor movement.

“In most contract negotiations now the number 1 issue is health care benefits, as employers try to shift more and more of the costs onto workers with increasing premiums, co-pays, and deductibles,” Brave wrote. “Employer-provided health care is also one of the biggest weapons employers have to control workers. They threaten to take it away as a way of trying to keep us timid and docile.”

With a national Medicare for All system, unions no longer would need to negotiate their health care. Instead, they could spend more time bargaining for other benefits like wages and paid time off.

YALE STUDY: MEDICARE FOR ALL WOULD SAVE $450 BILLION

Yet another academic study is showing major savings under Medicare for All.

An analysis published in the journal Lancet found that the program would lead to a 13% savings in health care spending, or about $450 billion a year. But even more important, the study found that ensuring health care for every American would save more than 68,000 lives every year. The study is in line with what other studies and economists have been saying for years.

“This study once again highlights the moral imperative of Medicare for All to save lives, but also the economic imperative to reduce the skyrocketing cost of health care,” said Melinda St. Louis, director of Public Citizen’s Medicare for All campaign.

INDUSTRY GROUP RUNS PROPAGANDA DURING DEBATE (AGAIN)

For-profit health care corporations are still trying to sell Americans the same old lies.

The Partnership for America’s Health Care Future, a group consisting of health care corporations and Big Pharma whose objective is to stop Medicare for All, ran television and social media ads against health care reform during the Nevada Democratic presidential debate last week.

The ads focused on the cost of Medicare for All without noting that the savings would outweigh the costs and lamented a lack of “choice” under a single-payer system – even though patients lack choice now because insurance corporations cover care provided by only certain doctors and hospitals. In fact, by expanding Medicare to every American, patients could go to any doctor and hospital. They would not have to worry about out-of-network expenses, because every provider would be in network. And speaking of cost, Medicare for All would save the U.S. trillions in overall health care spending.

It isn’t the first time these corporations have flooded the airways with lies – the coalitions ran similar ads during last year’s debates.

FRIENDLY REMINDER FOR THE MEDIA

Voters’ opinions on Medicare for All and other health care policy proposals have been the subject of a ton of polls. Because it’s a hot topic, it’s really important for the media to represent poll results accurately.

A new Public Citizen fact sheet lays out how some polls include misleading or incorrect language, such as referring to Medicare for All as “government-run health care” (the government is just paying the bills, not providing the care). We also note that the relentless negativity about health care expansion proposals by President Donald Trump and the GOP is reducing support among Republicans – but not among other segments of the public.

To speak with a Medicare for All policy expert, or if you have questions about Public Citizen’s work, please contact Angela Bradbery, abradbery@citizen.org, (202) 588-7741.