Horn opposes Medicare-for-All concept
EDMOND— U.S. Rep. Kendra Horn said Wednesday that she opposes so-called Medicare-for-All proposals because single-payer-coverage wouldn't
resolve problems in the health care system.
“Expanding access to insurance doesn' t necessarily expand access to care,” Horn said, noting that some insured people can't afford insulin and other critical drugs and that health insurance companies are denying payments for tests that physicians have ordered for patients.
Medicare-for-All proposals, which would effectively put all Americans under the government-run program that now covers people 65 and over, are platform cornerstones of two Democratic presidential contenders, U.S. Sens. Bernie Sanders, of Vermont, and Elizabeth Warren, of Massachusetts.
Others, like former Vice President Joe Bid en, have argued that the Affordable Care Act, former President Ba rack Obama's signature achievement, is working and that private insurance companies should remain in the system.
Meeting with constituents in an Edmond coffee shop, Horn said, “I don't agree with others that would do away with private insurance.”
Horn said people shouldn't have their coverage options limited. And she said states with universal coverage still have uninsured residents.
“I want to do whatever is going to be the best to get more people covered in a smart, sustainable way,” she said.
Horn reiterated her support for expanding Medicaid, saying the state has already forfeited $7 billion in federal funding available under the Affordable Care Act.
“These are our taxpayer dollars that we have sent in that really should be coming back to take care of the health of individuals,” she said.
Oklahoma is one of 14 states that have not expanded Medicaid, a federal-state health insurance program for low-income people. There is currently a petition drive to put Medicaid expansion on the ballot in Oklahoma next year. Supporters estimate that an additional 200,000 Oklahomans would be eli - gible for coverage under an expanded program.
Asked whether there was a conflict in supporting Medicaid expansion but opposing Medicare for All because it wouldn't “necessarily expand access to care,” Horn said there was a difference.
Medicaid expansion would simply pull more people into a system already setup to provide coverage to a similar population, while putting everyone into Medicare would be a major overhaul before numerous health care problems were addressed, she said.