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Why do we force everyone into Medicare? Why not let people who wish to buy private insurance do so, and keep Medicare for those who can't or don't want to?

Well, this one I can answer.

We DON'T force everyone into Medicare.

It's just that Medicare is so heavily subsidized that nothing else can compete with it, and the private insurers had given up trying by about 5 years after Medicare was enacted (with the promise that the 50% of seniors who already had private health insurance would be able to keep it).

Sure, you're still free to have no medical coverage at all... in a highly distorted market (Medicare is just one of the distorting factors) where not having medical coverage costs you more every time you walk through a doctor's office doorway.

(I just got an "explanation of benefits" on our insurance for a recent doctor visit. Simply having insurance reduced the bill by a bit over 21% - and then the insurance paid a portion of the remaining charges.)
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