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News & Press: Annual Conference Speaker Spotlights

Unwrapping Medicare for All

Wednesday, February 5, 2020   (0 Comments)
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Written for AAOE by Bradley Coffey, MA & Joel James, MA

Learn more by attending Bradley Coffey & Joel James' AAOE 2020 Annual Conference Session, "Unwrapping Medicare for All".

We are all too familiar with the daily headlines on the ever-escalating cost of healthcare in the United States. Simply put, for the past two decades, healthcare costs have grown at a rate far above the general rate of the growth in the US economy. In 2019, the average annual premiums for family coverage were $20,576, an amount that has increased 22% since just 2014.

2020 will be a consequential election year with all of the House, more than a 1/3 of the Senate and of course, the presidency, all in play. Healthcare costs are the top issue for voters. Leading the way in many of the discussions on dealing with costs and coverage is something widely referred to as Medicare for All. But what does Medicare for All really mean?

There are many variations on the Medicare for All theme, yet they all share a common idea of bringing some segment of the current non-Medicare population under a wider public insurance umbrella. This can mean anything from moving everyone to a universal government-run plan to a Medicare-type optional plan for those that wish to move off their private plans or have no other insurance option—what may be referred to as Medicare for Some.

While undertaking a Medicare for All type of national program seemed untenable when discussed a decade ago, it continues to get tremendous attention and interest by the voting public, a number of the current presidential candidates and policymakers. Momentum may shift even more strongly toward the single-payer approach with the recently published review of 22 different research papers on the feasibility of moving toward universal or single-payer healthcare in the U.S. This study concluded that practically all the research to date point to substantial savings in moving away from a third-party payer system of health insurance.

In our presentation at this year’s AAOE annual meeting, we will explore what the multiple options are for a Medicare for All-type of insurance platform, the political and practical reality of its adoption and the potential impact upon healthcare providers and the healthcare ecosystem. 

We hope you can join us.



About the Speakers

Bradley Coffey, MA is the Manager of Data Services & Government Affairs for AAOE. For the past three years, Coffey has worked with AAOE volunteers to build the AAOE’s department of government affairs. He received his Master of Arts in political science with a focus on the institutions of American government (Congress, Presidency, Courts) in May 2013. Coffey has previously worked with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Public Policy Office and the Kentucky General Assembly.


Joel James, MA is Director of Public and Government Affairs for Signature Medical Group, Inc., an independent multi-specialty physician group based in St. Louis, Missouri.  Joel joined Signature in Oct. 2013 and oversees external communications, marketing, media and government relations. He previously headed external and government relations for the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and also managed congressional and media relations for the Resolution Trust Corporation in Dallas, Texas and in Washington, D.C.   He holds a B.A. from Buena Vista University and an M.A. in Economics and Public Policy from the University of Texas.

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