The idea of abolishing Medicare is gaining attention in Washington, D.C. This blog will be defending Medicare in this battle so buckle your seat belts. I thought it might be useful to start that defense with a look at how deep the historical roots of health insurance go.
From the Wiki…
The concept of health insurance was proposed in 1694 by Hugh the Elder Chamberlen from the Peter Chamberlen family. In the late 19th century, “accident insurance” began to be available, which operated much like modern disability insurance.
Before the development of medical expense insurance, patients were expected to pay health care costs out of their own pockets, under what is known as the fee-for-service business model. During the middle to late 20th century, traditional disability insurance evolved into modern health insurance programs. Today, most comprehensive private health insurance programs cover the cost of routine, preventive, and emergency health care procedures, and most prescription drugs, but this is not always the case.
Hospital and medical expense policies were introduced during the first half of the 20th century. During the 1920s, individual hospitals began offering services to individuals on a pre-paid basis, eventually leading to the development of Blue Cross organizations. The predecessors of today’s Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) originated beginning in 1929, through the 1930s and on during World War II.
Let’s remember that Medicare was created because the private insurance market could not and would not serve older people effectively. Given that market failure it simply does not make sense to abolish Medicare and throw older people back onto the not so tender mercies of the “free” market.