What's the source of "the 20% that Medicare doesn't pay?"

I’ve been reading a book by Thom Hartmann “The Hidden History of American Healthcare” where he describes the source of “the 20% that Medicare doesn’t pay”.

{{ The early opposition, more than 100 years ago, to a national healthcare system came from southern white congressmen (they were all men) and senators who didn’t want even the possibility that Black people could benefit, health-wise, from white people’s tax dollars. (This thinking apparently still motivates many white Southern politicians.)

The leader of that healthcare-opposition movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was a German immigrant named Frederick Hoffman. Hoffman was a senior executive for the Prudential Insurance Company, and wrote several books about the racial inferiority of Black people, a topic he traveled the country lecturing about.

Hoffman taught that Black people, in the absence of slavery, were so physically and intellectually inferior to whites that if they were simply deprived of healthcare the entire race would die out in a few generations. Denying healthcare to Black people, he said, would “solve the race problem in America.”

Southern politicians quoted Hoffman at length, he was invited to speak before Congress, and was hailed as a pioneer in the field of “scientific racism.” Race Traits was one of the most influential books of its era.

When Medicare was enacted in the 1960’s, Southern politicians led by senator John C. Stennis of Mississippi insisted on a 20% co-pay on Medicare to make it harder for poor black people to access the program. Unfortunately a lot of poor whites were also caught in the net.

Hartmann details this history in the first 4 minutes of this video.



And here I was, all this time, thinking it was just to let private insurance companies get a cut.


That’s true, too. And why it’s going to be much harder to fix today. {LOL}



Oof… worse than I thought.

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I suppose this is the portion covered by Supplemental insurance.

It was not only racism, but also the AMA, which mounted a ferocious opposition to anything (even if only for white people) that resemble a Public Health system.

Public Health is not Public Healthcare, as Public Health is focused on large scale policies improving the health of everyone.

USAians simply cannot comprehend thar concept, and so the AMA wins no matter who pays their piper.

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