I expected this to happen at some point.
Courtesy of Politico:
Democrats who’ve made “Medicare for All” a top health care priority are running up against their toughest opponent yet: their own neighborhood hospitals.
The multibillion-dollar industry has emerged as the most formidable foe of single-payer health care. It’s helped assemble a coalition of health care lobbies that has launched social media campaigns attacking Medicare for All and its most high-profile proponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), while fighting narrower Democratic proposals to expand federal health coverage over concerns any change would slash hospital revenue.
That’s created a dilemma for Medicare for All champions who cast themselves as crusaders against a broken health care system full of greedy insurers and drug companies, yet remain wary of taking on hospitals that rank as top employers in many congressional districts and are seen by the public as life-saving institutions.
“We’re not cutting out hospitals, we are keeping the existing hospital system,” said Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), a leader of Democrats’ Medicare for All caucus and fierce critic of corporate influence, adding “they’re very much going to be a partner at that table.”
The bill would all but end private insurance and regulate hospitals in a vastly different way, dramatically changing operators’ business model and costing community hospitals as much as $151 billion a year, according to one estimate published in JAMA.
Hospitals presented a similar argument when the Affordable Care Act was being developed, and Obama and his people brought them into the discussion.
Ultimately the hospitals increased profits due to the millions of newly insured who utilized their services, but they did have to change their billing methods and delivery of services in some cases.
One of the perks of having a Medicare for All system would be that it would then have more leverage to bring down drug prices and medical costs.
Yes, that would likely impact the profit margins for hospitals, but it would also provide health care access to millions and millions of people who currently have no access to medical care and health insurance.
I have to say that if this becomes a choice between hospitals getting richer and Americans becoming healthier, there is really no debate in my mind.
By the way, the Republicans are going to side with the hospitals and health insurance companies every time, which leaves all of the heavy lifting to the Democrats.