Top Trump health official slams 'Medicare for all'

Top Trump health official slams 'Medicare for all'
© Getty

One of the Trump administration’s top health-care officials took a swipe at the idea of “Medicare for all” on Wednesday.

In a speech at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, Seema Verma, the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), said adopting a government-run health-care system would put seniors at risk.

“Ideas like 'Medicare for all' would only serve to hurt and divert focus from seniors,” Verma said.

ADVERTISEMENT
Verma said the focus of Medicare should be on seniors and disabled individuals and that expanding the program to cover younger, healthier people will drain the program of funding and deprive seniors of the coverage they need.

“By choosing a socialized system, you are giving the government complete control over the decisions pertaining to your care or whether you receive care at all. It would be the furthest thing from patient-centric care,” Verma said.

"Medicare for all" has become increasingly popular among Democrats and is now favored by many of the party's potential 2020 presidential candidates.

A group of 60 House Democrats last week launched the Medicare for All Caucus, with the goal of passing H.R. 676, the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act. That legislation has the support of a majority of the House Democratic Caucus.

Verma also said the CMS would likely deny waivers from states that seek to implement their own single-payer systems. While the agency wants to promote flexibility, “I don’t think a single payer system is going to work,” she said, and it doesn’t make sense to waste time on something that doesn’t work.