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Dave: Just like the health insurance that most of us carry now, Medicare doesn’t pay all of your medical bills. For example, under Medicare Part B, you must pay 20% of outpatient services costs, after you pay your annual deductible. For this reason, many people who are on Medicare also maintain a Medicare supplement, that pays the costs that Medicare doesn’t. There’s a premium for that as well. Translation: don’t assume that universal healthcare will mean the end of premiums! In fact, there is a monthly premium of $134 per person for Part B coverage, and possibly more for Part D (prescription drug coverage). And remember, these monthly premiums are not factored into the current portion of the FICA tax that’s used to pay for Medicare. It’s an additional cost to participants. An expansion of Medicare to the general population would almost certainly include these premiums, in addition to higher income taxes. And that’s before factoring in the additional costs that will occur when the 74 million people who are currently enrolled in the Medicaid program are rolled into the national plan with its upgraded benefits. And worth noting is the fact that some healthcare providers don’t want to even participate in the Medicare program, because of limits on reimbursements for services.