In yet more evidence of the advantages of single payer, the Commonwealth Fund found in a survey of more than 4,000 adults that people on Medicare are happier than those with private health insurance.
Nationally representative health insurance surveys conducted in 2001 and 2007 showed that in important ways, Medicare works better for its beneficiaries than does coverage available to those under age sixty-five in the employer and nongroup markets. In addition to being more satisfied with their insurance and health care in general, Medicare beneficiaries reported fewer problems with access to care and fewer instances of financial hardship as a result of medical bills, relative to their younger counterparts.
According to the study, only 8 percent of Medicare recipients felt their coverage was fair or poor, compared with 20 percent of people with employer-based insurance and 33 percent with insurance purchased on the individual market. In addition, nearly half of people with private coverage reported at least one bad experience with their care, while only 28 percent of Medicare beneficiaries reported the same. The study concluded,
The evidence reported here from surveys now spanning a decade shows that Medicare is doing a better job than employer-sponsored plans at fulfilling the two main purposes of health insurance: ensuring access to care and providing financial protection.
This Commonwealth Fund study reinforces what the profit-seeking, “wealthcare” industry fears the most: when Americans get on Medicare, they love it. And if Americans over 65 love Medicare, then it stands to reason that if those younger than 65 had access to it, they would dump the idea of private health insurance in droves. Why does Medicare perform better on public satisfaction surveys than private coverage? Why does Medicare do a better job than private insurance at ensuring access and keeping recipients out of the poorhouse? It’s very simple. There is no unaccountable insurance middleman dictating what kind of care people receive and extracting outrageous sums of money from patients in order to line corporate pockets.