Fox & Friends guest says any efforts to expand Medicare will just make it worse

Nicole Saphier: “Access is not health insurance. ... The health care that people have right now is going to get worse”

From the November 15 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:

Video file

DR. NICOLE SAPHIER (FOX NEWS MEDICAL CONTRIBUTOR): Well, access is not health insurance, it's a completely different concept and health care was very popular during the midterms and it should be because over past decade since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act we've seen premiums go up 140 percent, 200 percent for some families as well as deductibles just doubling and people -- it's unafforable. And now you also have physicians leaving the Affordable Care Act so these networks are becoming even more restrictive. And so what's going to happen? They're talking about Medicare For All and everyone keeps saying, well we don't actually know how we're going to fund it but we just want to do it. And all of the analyses have said about $33 trillion over the next ten decades, and doubling income tax, corporate tax, that won't even be enough. So where are we going to get these funds? Are we going to be taking away from FEMA, immigration, border control? I don't know, it's going to have to come from somewhere. 

STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): Sure, but, Dr. Saphier, if you're an American and you don't have health care coverage and you don't have anything and you're looking to the federal government to help you out, you don't care what the price is, you just want to be healthy. 

SAPHIER: And you know what, I agree that everyone should have access to quality health care, I firmly believe that. And I think in a mixed private and public system we can do that. That is how we have thrived. You have to reign in health care costs. If you implement this single-payer, you're going to immediately, 80 percent of hospitals are going to become negative. They're not going to be profitable and you're going to see them closing. Doctors are going to continue to pull out and that's going to affect our health care. So the health care that people have right now is going to get worse. Because we know what happens. We've seen it in England, we've seen it in Canada where we have over 4 million people in England on wait lists just to get treatments or to see specialists. It's an average of ten weeks to see a specialist in Canada and in the United States it's three weeks. 

BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): That's why they come here. 

SAPHIER: That's why they come here. We have the best cancer care, stroke, heart attack, diabetes because people can get the treatment they want here. But what we have to do is we need to make sure that people continue to have access to this. Then those that can't afford health care, that they are able to have direct access to primary care and have our robust Medicaid program. 

AINSLEY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): Who does Medicare benefit the most?

SAPHIER: Medicare? Benefits our elderly population, but Medicare also is incorporated with our private insurance market. It is not 100 percent government-run. That's why our seniors love Medicare because they also have the private plans as well. 

KILMEADE: Someone gets supplements on top of that, right? 

SAPHIER: Absolutely. So Medicare doesn't cover everything. Some prescription drugs, some long-term care facilities, they require Medicaid for that. And Medicaid is our government-run program. 

DOOCY: For the poor. 

SAPHIER: For those that can't afford health care, yes, or the disabled. 

DOOCY: Well, the last time the government got involved, we wound up with the Affordable Care Act. My daughters got Obamacare and she can't afford to use it. It's expensive and she can't find a doctor anywhere. 

KILMEADE: And deductibles.

SAPHIER: Well, that was the weak attempt at socialized medicine, and it's not working, and we do need to reign in health care costs. Absolutely. That -- we're on non-sustainable path right now, but this is not the way to do it, absolutely not.


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