‘Medicare for All’ is the new progressive rallying cry more than
18 months ahead of the next presidential election: ‘damn the cost’
WASHINGTON, DC, Apr 26 — “If you thought Obamacare was hazardous to your health and your pocketbook, think again. 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls are full of ideas on how to give the government even more control over your medical needs and their rallying cry seems to be ‘damn the cost; full speed ahead’,” says Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC].
The threat of ‘Medicare for All’ becoming a reality, should Democrats win big in 2020, has rattled the stock markets in recent weeks. This, despite the fact that the presidential election is more than a year and half away.
Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT, took the lead in making universal healthcare an issue for the next presidential election. But, it didn’t take long before his rivals for the Democratic nomination took up the cause. A growing field of hopefuls, including, Senators Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and Kamala Harris of California have jumped aboard the single-payer bandwagon.
“Kamala Harris, in fact, says she’s in favor of putting private healthcare insurers out of business altogether,” Weber points out.
It may not be likely that universal healthcare becomes a reality in the foreseeable future but, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation [KFF] survey, the notion is not as unpopular as many might think. The poll “found broad support for proposals that expand the role of public programs like Medicare and Medicaid,” according to KFF.
Weber notes that the poll showed respondents identifying themselves as Democrats were far more likely to favor government intervention in America’s healthcare system.
The AMAC chief says, “despite the reality that Medicare is not self-supporting and is headed for insolvency in 7 years, progressives list it high up on their wish lists. But, none of them, including the leader of the pack, Bernie Sanders, have yet to provide a realistic answer to the questions: how and who will pay for a Medicare for All scheme. It is estimated that the cost would be prohibitive; somewhere north of $32 trillion over ten years. But Sanders has yet to explain the financing aspects of the proposal. Lacking a credible fiscal rationale for nearly doubling the federal budget to pay for his plan, Sanders says what we need is ‘a vigorous debate as to the best way to finance our Medicare for All legislation’.”
Weber is also concerned that a switch to government run care will slow down the progress the medical community has made in the treatment of the most threatening illnesses. “We’re living longer and healthier than ever but it will take the development of new, more effective ways of treating patients if we are to fully reap the benefits of medical research in the future. “