Don’t let private insurers fool you: electing a Democrat to replace Donald Trump next year will not lead to the end of private health insurance in America. Health insurance startup CEO Falviu Simihaian says expanding Medicare to all Americans would require expanding Medicare Advantage, the privately managed portion of Medicare:
By expanding the current Medicare system from 60 million beneficiaries today to 327 million, the Advantage market would grow nearly six times overnight. This growth would greatly benefit UnitedHealth, Humana, CVS Health, and other private insurance companies offering Advantage plans.
…Even if Sanders or another candidate supporting his plan of completely scrapping the current iteration of Medicare wins, Congress is unlikely to go along with such a radical change. The two sides would most likely meet in the middle, meaning a massive expansion of Medicare.
The reason many candidates prefer to expand Medicare instead of completely replacing it is that the program is incredibly popular—90% of seniors say they are satisfied with their current Medicare plans. While politicians publicly attack big health insurance companies and call for socialized medicine, they consistently tout the current Medicare system as one of the most successful programs ever enacted [Falviu Simihaian, “Private Insurers Are Afraid of Medicare for All. They Should Be Excited,” Fortune, 2019.06.05].
And remember: the people who are most satisfied with their health coverage are the 65-and-over set, who enjoy the federal government’s guarantee of affordable coverage through Medicare.