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Expand chart
Adapted from Zirui Song, 2019, "The Pricing of Care Under Medicare for AllImplications and Policy Choices"; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Many specialties would still take a pay cut even under versions of "Medicare for All" that aren't as full-throated as what Sen. Bernie Sanders has proposed, according to recent analysis in JAMA by Harvard's Zirui Song.

The big picture: This is a feature, not a bug, of Medicare for All. Part of the point is to spend less on health care — through steep cuts in how much many doctors and hospitals get paid.

Yes, but: The figures above represent the change in how much doctors would get paid for patients who currently have private insurance — not the pay total change across all of their patients.

  • Doctors are already receiving Medicare's lower rates for their patients who are on Medicare, and are in many cases getting paid less than that for Medicaid patients.

What they're saying: "The assumption that physicians and hospitals would not react as their commercial prices are reduced substantially to Medicare levels is likely unrealistic," Song writes.

  • Doctors and hospitals would likely to try to boost their reimbursements under a single-payer system using some of the same tools they lean on now: Performing more procedures, steering patients toward more profitable services, and consolidating independent doctors' practices within hospitals, which get paid more.
  • And without patient cost-sharing, people may demand more care.

The bottom line: Setting rates above Medicare levels would be less disruptive, as would phasing in the changes over time, Song argues.

Go deeper: Hospitals that treat poor patients aren't opposing Medicare for All

Go deeper

CCP releases two jailed Canadians after Huawei CFO deal with DOJ

Photo: Sheldon Cooper/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Two Canadians imprisoned by the Chinese government for over 1,000 days have been released and are expected to arrive in Canada on Saturday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday.

Why it matters: Their release comes hours after Huawei Technologies CFO Meng Wanzhou reached a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice that resolves the criminal charges against her and could pave the way for her to return to China.

Updated 22 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona GOP's private recount of 2020 election confirms Biden's win

Contractors working on behalf of the GOP examine and recount 2020 ballots at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix in May. Photo: Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

In an odd coda to the 2020 election, private contractors conducting a GOP-commissioned recount in Arizona confirmed President Biden’s win in Maricopa County.

Why it matters: The unofficial, party-driven recount has been heavily covered on cable news as part of former President Trump's continued effort to sow doubt about the election result.

Del Rio bridge camp empty following Haitian migrant surge

A boy bathes himself in a jug of water inside a migrant camp at the U.S.-Mexico border on Sept. 21 in Del Rio, Texas. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

The last migrants camping under the Del Rio International Bridge, which connects Texas and Mexico, departed on Friday, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced during a White House press briefing.

Driving the news: Thousands of migrants, mostly from Haiti, had arrived to the makeshift camp after crossing the southern border seeking asylum. Roughly 1,800 migrants will now head to U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing centers.