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'Medicare for all' is 'crazy': former Apple CEO John Sculley

Brian Sozzi
Editor-at-Large

Count former Apple CEO John Sculley among the many not in favor of the radical “Medicare for all” scheme being pushed by many Democratic presidential hopefuls.

“I don’t picture any realistic outcome where there isn’t private insurance, it would be crazy. The system works,” Sculley said on Yahoo Finance’s The First Trade. “The system may well require significant changes to private health insurance as time goes on due to rising chronic care patients. But the reality is that ‘Medicare for all’ is just total political hype — there is no way it could be implemented into anything that could be sustained by the economy.”

Insert an iMessage boxing glove emoji to one of an ambulance.

Without question, Sculley knows a thing or two about the health care industry.

He was an early investor and now chief marketing officer at upstart online pharmacy benefit manager RxAdvance, which does battle with titans Express Scripts, now owned by Cigna (CI), and CVS Health (CVS). RxAdvance recently secured an undisclosed investment by health care insurance heavyweight Centene (CNC).

‘Medicare for all’ debate heats up

Democratic presidential hopeful and Senator Bernie Sanders re-introduced his “Medicare for all” scheme back in April. Under Sanders’ proposal, private health insurance would be replaced by a universal Medicare plan.

Proponents like Sanders and many other fellow Democrats see “Medicare for all” as a way to eradicate administrative waste in the bloated health care system. But not all Dems vying for the White House agree on the scheme, something that was on plain display during the first debate among the party’s candidates.

Obviously health insurers like UnitedHealth (UNH) think such a plan would lower their profit margins, hammer their bottom lines and send their stock prices reeling. In effect, they would be under even greater control by the government.

“The wholesale disruption of American health care being discussed in some of these proposals would surely jeopardize the relationship people have with their doctors, destabilize the nation's health system, and limit the ability of clinicians to practice medicine at their best,” warned UnitedHealth CEO David Wichmann on the company’s first quarter earnings call in April. “And the inherent cost burden would surely have a severe impact on the economy and jobs, all without fundamentally increasing access to care.”

That negative impact could trickle right on down to pharma benefit managers such as RxAdvance.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and co-host of ‘The First Trade’ at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @BrianSozzi

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