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Answer to Question #54063 in Macroeconomics for Nikki

Question #54063
Why do general tax revenues pay for so much personal health care? Who will pay if the Medicare trust fund runs out of money?
Expert's answer
In civilized countries we believe that health care is a human right. For instance, in the US (and EVERY developed country) if you go to an ER they have to treat you, at least to a point, whether you can pay or not. Nobody bleeds to death on the steps of the ER.
When people desperately need something, and they can't get it any other way, they look to government. In the US this was true about highways, bridges, 'rural electrification', clean air and water, vaccines against diseases, and dozens of other things. Health care is getting harder to get, more expensive, out of the reach of more and more people every year, so most of us have added it to this list. Almost every president for 60 years tried to improve peoples' chances of getting health care. Every other developed country has some kind of universal coverage plan. That's what government is for!
Also the Medicare trust fund is not going to run out of money. The Republicans hate Medicare and would like to abolish it, so they have said for decades that it was just about to run out of money. You know, Medicare is one of the most successful (and popular) things our government has ever done! It saves ALL of us hundreds of billions of dollars a year. Commercial insurance companies were limited to a 20% overhead by Obamacare, and they all whined that it was impossible. Medicare has a 2-3% overhead, and not only do Medicare patients get measurably as good care as commercial insurance patients but Medicare has a higher customer satisfaction rating! And the only reason we have Medicare in the first place was that insurance companies knew they couldn't make huge profits on the elderly and chronically ill. THEY certainly aren't going to let Medicare die!

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