8 April 2019

What to do with Medicare for All?

Newspapers today are awash in reports that liberals in Congress are struggling with how to handle the backlash to their single-payer health care proposals. From eliminating employer-sponsored health insurance for 180 million Americans to questions of how to pay for it (answer: raising taxes), the problems with the sweeping proposal are only starting to come to light.

Pelosi vs. Pramila

Politico recently reported that a top aide for Speaker Nancy Pelosi sought to undermine the sweeping proposal in a private meeting. The next day, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), the author of the House Medicare for All bill with more than 100 cosponsors, reportedly confronted the aide on the House floor.  Now Pelosi is throwing more cold water on the idea, saying she is “agnostic” on whether or not Medicare for All is the right goal, despite her support for a single-payer health care system.

Hearings? Heck no.

While progressives pressure Pelosi, Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone is refusing to hold hearings on Jayapal’s bill despite calls from both sides of the aisle. Other committees will hold hearings, but lack the necessary jurisdiction to move the proposal forward. It’s only a matter of time before Pallone truly enters the Pelosi/Pramila scrum.

Shifting Rhetoric

On the other side of the Capitol, Senator Kamala Harris recently shifted her rhetoric from outright support of to “supporting the goal” of Medicare for All. Perhaps the blowback she received after suggesting eliminating private health insurance for nearly 180 million Americans inspired this new hedge?

Even Obama Urges Caution

Even President Obama warned of the price tag for progressive policies like Medicare for All, saying Democrats “shouldn’t be afraid of big, bold ideas — but also need to think in the nitty-gritty about how those big, bold ideas will work and how you pay for them.”

ICYMI – Forbes: Britain’s Version Of ‘Medicare For All’ Is Struggling With Long Waits For Care

The more Americans learn about Medicare for All, the less they like it. Instead of trying to take employer-sponsored health care from 180 million Americans, liberal politicians should take note and support efforts to increase choice and lower costs for consumers.