Eighty percent of hospitals lose money on Medicare patients. That might be a problem for the plan to make all patients Medicare patients, as Charles Blahous notes:
On average, Medicare hospital payment rates are substantially below hospitals’ reported costs of providing services. The CMS Medicare Actuary projects that by 2019, over 80% of hospitals will lose money treating Medicare beneficiaries. If these data are correct, M4A would mean that over 80% of hospitals would lose money when treating all of their patients. We simply don’t know what would happen—for example, how many hospitals would stay in business—if M4A is enacted as written. Clearly there would be some disruption of the availability and timeliness of healthcare services, but no one can say how much.
[Charles Blahous, “How Much Would Medicare for All Cut Doctor and Hospital Reimbursements?” Economics 21, October 10]