In the debate over medical care, why does the choice have to be single-payer universal or nothing? Why not attack medical coverage one piece, one disease, at a time? Why not divide and conquer by type instead of by group?

A good first cut would be to expand Medicare to cover everyone for a dreaded, largely random, disease: cancer. It’s already covered for those over 65 so why not every age?

The cost of Medicare would rise, but this would be offset by spending reductions elsewhere. Hospital losses in treating the uninsured would be eliminated. Private insurance would remain in place at a significantly reduced cost. Employee medical insurance premiums would decline, which would increase both global competitiveness and employment.

With an expanded Medicare program in place, we could focus on finding cures to reduce costs. To further chip away at the larger problem, other diseases could be added as appropriate. Such coverage would not solve the overall medical problem. but wouldn’t whittling it down be a good start?

It is odd to me that neither political party would suggest this moderate alternative approach. After all, wouldn’t it be good to be known as the group that covered cancer?

Ted Samuel


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