Mokhiber: Ari, on managed care, we spend $4,200 per person, per year on
health care. And yet 42 million Americans have no health insurance and
50 million have inadequate health insurance.
The Swiss spend $2,400, the Germans spend $2,300, the French $2,200,
the Canadians, $2,000 -- and everyone is covered. And according to Dr. Quentin Young of Physicians for a National Health
Care Program, they have a better health care system.
Question: He wants Medicare for All -- national health insurance. Would
the President support such a program?
Ari Fleischer: The President believes that the best way to get health
insurance to as many Americans as possible is a combination of the
successful private plans that have been working, particularly for people
who are under 65, and by reforming and saving Medicare, so that people
who turn 65 will have a Medicare program that they can count on and rely
on, that includes prescription drugs.
Mokhiber: What's wrong with Medicare for All -- everybody gets it?
Ari Fleischer: There is a current system in place that is focused on
employer-provided health insurance --
Mokhiber: That is failing.
Ari Fleischer: That for tens of millions of Americans is a program that
provides prescription drugs, is a program that provides much lower
premiums and co-payments that Medicare currently supplies. I think if
you were to ask many of those people who have insurance currently, if
they would want to just abandon what they have and instead set up a
different kind of program, they would respond to you and say -- no they
prefer to have the system they have.
What's important, in the President's opinion, is to concentrate on
those people who don't have any insurance. That's why the President is
committed to the health care reforms that he ran on.