I don’t see how this will cut costs to the government for Medicare and Medicaid.
The group Physicians for a National Health Plan, published a link to an April, 2009 report from the Lewin group by Sheils and Haught outlines the expected effects on insured, employers, doctors and hospitals under various types of public plan financing. At Medicare rates, doctors would see their income go down if everyone is covered, and go down slightly if only the self-insured and small businesses were covered. In the long run, if the public option is offered to everyone, 119 million people would switch over from private insurance.
The numbers in the news say that the Kennedy-Dodd Bill before the Senate Finance Committee will offer Medicare plus 10% to doctors and hospitals – so those decreases are not quite accurate.
Here’s a report on one example of just such an effect.
Real world experience comes from Hawaii’s short attempt to cover all uninsured children. It also describes the increased Medicaid coverage in Hawaii in the last few years, and the Federally Qualified Health Clinics that give care to uninsured and underinsured.