Sens. Bernie Sanders and Kirsten Gillibrand introducing the "Medicare for All Act of 2019" in April. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

One of the most important questions regarding a "Medicare for All" system in which private insurance disappears is how hospitals would be paid. The answer has huge implications, the NYT reports.

The big picture: Private insurance pays much higher rates for the same services than Medicare does. Hospitals say that's because Medicare underpays, so they must make up the difference through private insurance.

  • If Medicare for All pays higher rates than Medicare currently does, the price tag of the program balloons. But if it leaves rates unchanged, the impact on hospitals would be drastic.

Between the lines: We're paying a ton for hospital care, and reducing these costs is part of the point of Medicare for All.

  • But hospitals' finances vary significantly, and some hospitals — especially struggling rural ones — would quickly be forced to close, experts told the NYT. Others would lay off workers or end less-profitable services like mental health care.

The bottom line: While the current system is unsustainable, evidenced by ballooning hospital costs, instituting Medicare rates across the board would cause massive disruption. How it'd play out is hard to predict and sure to become part of a fierce political debate.

Go deeper: How your health care would change under "Medicare for All"

Go deeper

Updated 28 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 a.m. ET: 31,245,797 — Total deaths: 963,693— Total recoveries: 21,394,593Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1 a.m. ET: 6,856,884 — Total deaths: 199,865 — Total recoveries: 2,615,949 — Total tests: 95,841,281Map.
  3. Health: CDC says it mistakenly published guidance about COVID-19 spreading through air.
  4. Media: Conservative blogger who spread COVID-19 misinformation worked for Fauci's agency.
  5. Politics: House Democrats file legislation to fund government through Dec. 11.
  6. World: U.K. upgrades COVID alert level as Europe sees worrying rise in infections — "The Wake-Up Call" warns the West about the consequences of mishandling a pandemic.

Texas and Louisiana face fresh flood threat from Tropical Storm Beta

Tropical Storm Beta slowly approaching the Texas coast on Monday. Photo: National Weather Service/Twitter

Tropical Storm Beta crossed the Texas coast near the southern end of the Matagorda Peninsula late Monday, the National Hurricane Center said, bringing with it the risk of "life-threatening storm surge" and flooding to parts of Texas and Louisiana.

What's happening: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) made a disaster declaration and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) declared a state of emergency, as the states began feeling the impact of the slow-moving storm — which was causing coastal flooding along the bays near Houston and Galveston in Texas, and the Gulf of Mexico Monday, per the National Weather Service.

Louisville police declare state of emergency as Breonna Taylor decision looms

A demonstrator holds up a sign of Breonna Taylor during a protest in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

The Louisville police chief declared in a memo obtained by news outlets a "state of emergency" for the department on Monday to prepare for Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron's expected announcement on the Breonna Taylor case.

Of note: Louisville has witnessed more than 115 days of protests over the police killing of Taylor, an unarmed Black woman, with calls for all the officers involved to be charged.

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