Issues 2020: Medicare for All/Public Option

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Re: Issues 2020: Medicare for All/Public Option

#76

Post by Addie » Wed Sep 25, 2019 1:40 pm




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Re: Issues 2020: Medicare for All/Public Option

#77

Post by Addie » Tue Oct 01, 2019 8:18 pm

Vox - Tara Golshan
Health care is getting more and more expensive, and low-wage workers are bearing more of the cost

Is the rapidly rising cost of employer-sponsored health insurance sustainable?


Half of all Americans get their health insurance through work. Trouble is, doing so is becoming less and less affordable — especially for already low-wage workers.

In 2019, the Kaiser Family Foundation Employer Health Benefits Survey — an annual account of roughly 2,000 small and large businesses’ employer-sponsored insurance — found the average annual premium to cover a family through work was a whopping $20,576, and $7,188 for an individual. Employers cover most of that, but families still contributed an average of $6,015 in premiums, and single Americans covered about $1,242 of the annual cost.

The kicker? Over the past 10 years, the cost of the portion of employer-sponsored health insurance premiums that falls on American families has increased by 71 percent. Overall, premiums have gone up 54 percent since 2009. That’s faster than the rate of inflation and faster than the average wage growth. ...

According to the survey, workers at lower-wage companies pay an average of $7,000 a year family plan — $1,000 more than employees at companies with higher salaried workers.

“When workers making $25,000 a year have to shell out $7,000 a year just for their share of family premiums,” Drew Altman, the president of Kaiser Family Foundation, said in a statement, that’s where cost becomes prohibitive. Such employees are putting almost 30 percent of their salaries toward premiums.



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Re: Issues 2020: Medicare for All/Public Option

#78

Post by Addie » Fri Oct 04, 2019 2:53 pm

Politico: Trump promotes private Medicare coverage, drawing contrast with Democrats' health care plans



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Re: Issues 2020: Medicare for All/Public Option

#79

Post by Addie » Fri Oct 18, 2019 1:15 pm

Commonwealth Fund: Comparing Health Insurance Reform Options: From “Building on the ACA” to Single Payer ...

During the 2020 presidential election season, plans for addressing these and other shortcomings will be central to candidates’ campaigns and a focus of presidential debates. A uniform framework that compares coverage and cost implications of different proposals will help policymakers and citizens make more objective, thoughtful comparisons of the advantages and disadvantages of different policy options.

In this report, we analyze eight health care reform packages intended to address shortcomings of the current health insurance system. We estimate their potential effects on health insurance coverage and spending by government, households, and employers. The packages represent an amalgam of ideas developed by policymakers, presidential candidates, and policy experts. Some would make fundamental changes to the structure of the U.S. health insurance system, while others would build on the existing system. Because new bills are regularly introduced and details of existing bills are likely to change, our work focuses on reform approaches rather than particular pieces of legislation.



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Re: Issues 2020: Medicare for All/Public Option

#80

Post by Addie » Fri Oct 18, 2019 2:23 pm

The New Yorker (paywall) - John Cassidy : Elizabeth Warren’s Medicare for All Dilemma

In September, 2017, as Republicans in Congress were pursuing an effort to abolish the Affordable Care Act—which ultimately failed in the Senate by one vote—Senator Bernie Sanders introduced the Medicare for All Act of 2017, which would have enrolled all Americans in a new national health-insurance scheme called the Universal Medicare Program. “At a time when millions of Americans do not have access to affordable health care, the Republicans, funded by the Koch brothers, are trying to take away health care from up to thirty-two million more,” Sanders said. “We have a better idea: guarantee health care to all people as a right, not a privilege.”



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Re: Issues 2020: Medicare for All/Public Option

#81

Post by Addie » Fri Oct 18, 2019 8:27 pm

Newsweek
Americans Want Dramatic Shift in Health Care System: New Poll

After the 2020 Democratic candidates engaged in a hotly disputed conversation about how to reform the nation's health care system during the primary debate on Tuesday, a new poll is clarifying the extent Americans are dissatisfied with the current system ahead of the general election.

The poll, conducted by CBS News in the weeks leading up to the primary debate in Westerville, Ohio, found that 46 percent of Americans believe the current system needs fundamental changes. An additional 30 percent believe it needs to be rebuilt entirely. Only 21 percent of Americans believe that the system could be fixed with just minor changes.

While the survey suggests that American adults are largely disinterested in continuing under the current framework, the way the question was worded may have skewed results in the direction of change. There was no option provided for Americans to respond in favor of maintaining the current system without change. ...

Americans appear chiefly concerned with reducing costs, which, even for those with robust, private insurance, can be insurmountable if catastrophic injuries occur. Sixty-six percent of Americans are very concerned about keeping costs down, more than any other problem currently plaguing the health care system.

Universal coverage concerns rank 10 points lower, and quality of care concerns don't resonate with a majority of Americans.

Seventy-nine percent of Americans are largely satisfied with the quality of their health care, CBS found. Despite having concerns about prices, a slight majority do report being satisfied overall with the costs of their care.

While majorities may be content about basic facets of the system, substantial portions of Americans still feel overburdened with the conditions of their health care. Forty-three percent find that basic medical care for their family is "a hardship." Nearly 40 percent report going without needed medical treatment and another 31 percent say they "have not filled a prescription or have cut pills in half because of costs."

In addition, the byzantine system of payments, coupons and reimbursements is preventing Americans from knowledgeably engaging with the delivery of their own health care. Fifty-five percent feel that their medical bills are confusing. Forty-four percent found that their plans paid less than expected, and over one-third have had trouble finding a doctor covered by their insurance company.



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Re: Issues 2020: Medicare for All/Public Option

#82

Post by ZekeB » Fri Oct 18, 2019 9:25 pm

Those who don't want a change haven't had to dig into their own pockets lately.


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Re: Issues 2020: Medicare for All/Public Option

#83

Post by Addie » Sat Oct 19, 2019 12:40 pm

Bloomberg - Max Nisan
Warren's $30 Trillion Medicare for All Problem Has a Solution

For starters, rethink “I’m with Bernie.”


It’s not easy being the front-runner.

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, the leading Democratic presidential hopeful, has come under increasing attack from the rest of the pack for her backing of fellow candidate Bernie Sanders’s “Medicare for All” proposal and her disinclination to explain how she’d pay for it. They’ll continue to do so as they attempt to prevent her from running away with the race.

There’s plenty to critique: Sanders’s plan would boost government spending by an estimated $30 trillion over 10 years and almost certainly require a middle-class tax increase. This is something Warren is reluctant to admit out loud. She’s already pledged support for a wealth tax — one of the highly ambitious and controversial centerpieces of her campaign — which is set to raise $2.75 trillion over a decade for other initiatives. Talk of another tax aimed at raising multiples of that amount could cement the interventionist image some have of her, and turn off some voters.

While this situation would seem to be intractable, the fact is, Sanders’s plan isn’t the only route to universal coverage — it’s just a particularly expensive one. There are more affordable ways of getting to a similar place, and one of these other options could provide a workable solution for Warren.

America currently pays for health care via an expensive and regressive muddle of employer contributions, premiums, and out-of-pocket spending by patients. Medicare for All would replace all of those costs with a tax, which would make the health-care system more straightforward and equitable. If the tax that finances it is progressive and a single-payer system can reduce health expenses while providing quality care, many Americans would come out ahead. Making sure no chunk of the middle class loses out in such a transition, as Warren pledged Tuesday, will be exceptionally difficult, though.



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Re: Issues 2020: Medicare for All/Public Option

#84

Post by Addie » Sat Oct 19, 2019 3:59 pm

The Hill
Senate Democrats want Warren to talk costs on 'Medicare for All'

A growing number of Senate Democrats say Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) should be more explicit about how she plans to pay for her “Medicare for All” plan.

They say the transparency will be rewarded, and that Warren is taking a risk by not being more open about the costs of Medicare for All.

“There are pluses and minuses to Medicare for All. You have to be direct about the fact that there are certain consequences of it that will affect people differently. The more you can be transparent about it, I think it’s important,” said Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), who has not endorsed a candidate for president.

Cardin acknowledged that “taxes are sort of a toxic word” but argued that Warren and other candidates who back Medicare for All would be doing themselves a favor by leveling with voters.

“I think you have to be transparent. I think the more you try to be cute, the more it hurts you with voters,” he said, noting that Warren’s rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who admits that taxes on the middle class will go up, “is much more direct on this.”

Warren’s support for Medicare for All is popular among liberal voters in the Democratic base but there’s deep skepticism among many Senate Democrats for the plan because of its cost, and because it would jeopardize the nation’s longstanding system of employer-provided health care.



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Re: Issues 2020: Medicare for All/Public Option

#85

Post by Addie » Sun Oct 20, 2019 11:42 am

LA Times Editorial
Cleaning up Trump’s mess ...

The one pocketbook issue that Trump is clearly vulnerable on is healthcare, where rising costs are straining the budgets of voters in both parties. Yet it’s not a slam-dunk issue for Democrats.

Seemingly every 2020 candidate wants to make health insurance more affordable, but then, Trump says that’s exactly what he’s been doing. The difference is that the Trump administration and its GOP allies in Congress have been promoting cheaper, thinner insurance plans and enabling people to choose to go without insurance, while also taking countless swipes at the Affordable Care Act passed under President Obama — actions that have raised ACA premiums and undermined the ability of people with preexisting conditions to get the coverage they need.

Still, Democrats can’t simply defend the ACA as it currently exists; the premiums are straining some Americans’ budgets, while millions of others in this country are ineligible for coverage they can afford. And the 2020 candidates are not standing pat; instead, they’re advancing two competing routes toward universal insurance coverage. One would extend a version of Medicare to all Americans, eliminating out-of-pocket spending for healthcare but raising federal spending by trillions of dollars; the other would make Medicare or a similar public insurance plan available as an optional alternative to private insurance, leaving most people with the coverage they have now.

Of the most popular candidates, Sanders, Warren and businessman Andrew Yang are the ones dedicated to full-blown Medicare for all. Former Vice President Joe Biden, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) and current Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) reject some key tenets of Medicare for all as too disruptive, and would instead offer a public option to compete with private insurance plans. The rest of the candidates still on the debate stage, including Sens. Harris and Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., and former Housing Secretary Julian Castro, favor a gradual path to Medicare for all.

While each route has its pros and cons, the key for voters is deciding whether the more ambitious plans are too costly and divisive to be achievable, or conversely whether the less ambitious plans offer too modest a contrast to Trump’s approach. We all need to hear more from the candidates before we can make that judgment.



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Re: Issues 2020: Medicare for All/Public Option

#86

Post by Addie » Mon Oct 21, 2019 1:40 pm

Bloomberg
Buttigieg Eyes 35% Corporate Tax Rate to Fund Health Plan

Pete Buttigieg would pay for his $1.5 trillion health-care plan by rolling back President Donald Trump’s corporate tax cut to return the rate to 35% and allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, campaign spokesman Sean Savett said.

Buttigieg’s “Medicare for all who want it” plan would extend the federal health-care program for seniors as an option for Americans who prefer it, while also letting people opt for private plans. It’s a centerpiece of his campaign, positioning himself against the more far-reaching “Medicare for All” plan by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, which would put all Americans in Medicare.

The specificity from his campaign comes days after Buttigieg ripped into Warren during Tuesday’s Democratic presidential debate in Ohio for being evasive about how she’d finance her plan. Some of Warren’s allies noted that the South Bend, Indiana, mayor hadn’t detailed his pay-fors beyond broadly calling for “cost savings and corporate tax reform.”

Buttigieg said he would repeal the corporate tax cut in the 2017 Republican tax law enacted under Trump, which lowered the rate to 21% from 35%. That would raise an estimated $1.4 trillion, according to the non-partisan congressional Joint Committee on Taxation.



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Re: Issues 2020: Medicare for All/Public Option

#87

Post by Addie » Fri Oct 25, 2019 10:31 am

The Guardian: Make no mistake: Medicare for All would cut taxes for most Americans

Not only would universal healthcare reduce taxes for most people, it would also lead to the biggest take-home pay raise in a generation for most workers



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Re: Issues 2020: Medicare for All/Public Option

#88

Post by ZekeB » Fri Oct 25, 2019 10:39 am

Addie wrote:
Fri Oct 25, 2019 10:31 am
The Guardian: Make no mistake: Medicare for All would cut taxes for most Americans

Not only would universal healthcare reduce taxes for most people, it would also lead to the biggest take-home pay raise in a generation for most workers
It depends. Does Medicare for All mean that everyone gets it at no cost or does everyone have to kick in about $150 a month, as present Medicare recipients do? What's the collection mechanism going to be? Will, for example, car manufacturers pass on the savings in production costs to the consumer? Will we be able to close or transfer all publicly-operated health care facilities to a private enterprise? I don't envision it as something that will save on taxes. I do envision it as something that will benefit everyone.


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Re: Issues 2020: Medicare for All/Public Option

#89

Post by Addie » Thu Oct 31, 2019 7:57 am

Des Moines Register
Joe Biden describes his health care plan using Pete Buttigieg's term, 'Medicare for all who want it'

MAQUOKETA, Ia. — Former Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday referred to his health care plan as "Medicare for All Who Want It," employing the phrase used by Pete Buttigieg, one of his rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Biden used the phrase while answering a question from voter Susan Reighard about high health care costs at a town hall in eastern Iowa.

"My proposal is straightforward. It is Medicare for all who want it and it significantly increases the subsidies to be able to get class A coverage," Biden said. He went on to say the plan would limit people's annual co-pays to $1,000 per year, reduce drug prices and allow Medicare to negotiate the cost of prescription drugs.

Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has been describing his own health care plan as "Medicare for All Who Want It" for months. Previously, Biden has often described his health care plan as building on the Affordable Care Act, which he helped pass as vice president. ...

There are differences between the Buttigieg and Biden proposals, but both plans essentially would allow Americans a choice of buying into a government-run health care program or keeping private insurance plans.

Later in his answer, Biden referred to his plan as "Medicare, if you want it," emphasizing that people would be able to keep private health care if they choose to.



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Re: Issues 2020: Medicare for All/Public Option

#90

Post by Addie » Thu Oct 31, 2019 10:09 am

Sanders.senate.gov: Financing Medicare for All



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Re: Issues 2020: Medicare for All/Public Option

#91

Post by Addie » Fri Nov 01, 2019 5:54 pm

WaPo - Paul Waldman
What Elizabeth Warren’s new health-care plan gets right

Elizabeth Warren just released her health-care plan, and I’m going to do something radical. Instead of directing all your attention to the question of how she’ll pay for it, as 99 percent of the coverage is doing, I’m going to focus on what her plan might mean for — get ready — people’s health care. ...

Here are the major features of Warren’s Medicare-for-all (M4A) plan:
All Americans would get coverage through a unified system run by the federal government. No more varying employer plans, individual market plans, skinny plans, COBRA, provider networks or the rest of it. Everyone has insurance, full stop.

Benefits would be comprehensive. Warren would include not only standard coverage that is included in most existing plans, but also things such as dental care, vision care and long-term care, that usually aren’t.

How you pay would change, and you’d probably pay less. Right now if like most people you get your insurance through your job, your employer pays premiums, you pay a portion of those premiums, plus you pay deductibles and co-pays. You’d pay none of that under Warren’s plan; instead, your employer would essentially shift its portion of the cost, paying the government a tax based on how many full-time employees they have instead of paying an insurance company.

There are no new taxes on anyone but the wealthy. This was a key question that Warren has now answered: Taxes on most people would not go up, though she would institute a wealth surtax on billionaires and create a financial transactions tax on Wall Street. In addition, Warren would recapture what states now spend on Medicaid to fund this system.

Prescription drug costs would be cut. Warren says that with aggressive negotiation with drug companies, she can bring down costs by 70 percent for name-brand drugs and 30 percent for generic.

Bureaucracy would get streamlined. Right now we spend hundreds of billions of dollars on maintaining an intricate system of negotiation and billing between insurers and providers. A single-payer system doesn’t eliminate those costs completely, but it would bring them down significantly.

Providers would feel some pain, but not as much as they might expect. The reason American health care costs so much is that we pay more for everything, from drugs to medical devices to MRIs to a doctor’s visit. In an M4A system, the government can bring down those prices, but if you do it too quickly or drastically, you could threaten providers and generate a backlash from doctors. Warren says providers will be paid at 110 percent of current Medicare rates, “with appropriate adjustments for rural hospitals, teaching hospitals, and other care providers.”



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Re: Issues 2020: Medicare for All/Public Option

#92

Post by Addie » Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:47 am

Associated Press
Warren health plan departs from US ‘social insurance’ idea ...

The Warren campaign says the reason programs like Social Security and Medicare are popular is that benefits are broadly shared. A campaign statement said her plan would put money now spent on medical costs back in the pockets of middle-class families “substantially larger than the largest tax cut in American history.”

But Roosevelt was once famously quoted explaining that he settled on a payroll tax for Social Security to give Americans the feeling they had a “legal, moral and political right” to benefits, thereby guaranteeing “no damn politician” could take it down.

Medicare, passed under Johnson, is paid for with a payroll tax for hospital services and a combination of seniors’ premiums and general tax revenues for outpatient care and prescriptions. Truman’s plan for universal health insurance did not pass, but it would have been supported by payroll taxes.

“If you look at the two core social insurance programs in the United States, they have always been financed as a partnership,” said William Arnone, CEO of the National Academy of Social Insurance, a nonpartisan organization that educates on how social insurance builds economic security.

On Warren’s plan, “the question is, will people still look at it as an earned right, or will they say that their health care is coming out of the generosity of the wealthy?” Arnone added. His group takes no position on Medicare for All.



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Re: Issues 2020: Medicare for All/Public Option

#93

Post by Foggy » Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:09 am

It should be unnecessary to say this, but if Warren wins the nomination and the election, there's no guarantee that her plan will be enacted. It will have to go through Congress, and a lot of things are going to be changed from what she says today is her "plan".

So it's really dishonest of the media to pretend that if she gets elected, her plan of today will somehow be magically put in place exactly as she describes it in campaign appearances.

Just more phony bullshit from the so-called "liberal" media. :madguy:


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Re: Issues 2020: Medicare for All/Public Option

#94

Post by Addie » Sat Nov 16, 2019 8:59 pm

Des Moines Register
In Iowa, Elizabeth Warren defends new public option component of health care plan as rivals step up critiques

WAVERLY, Ia. — U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Saturday defended her new transition plan toward reaching “Medicare for All,” dismissing criticism from former Vice President Joe Biden and other Democratic presidential candidates that she might be delaying a single-payer health care system because it's not politically feasible.

"Look, I've shown how we can do this without raising middle-class taxes by one penny. I've shown how we can do this ... to get help immediately for people on day one, in the first 90 days and within three years," Warren of Massachusetts told reporters in Waverly following a town hall at Wartburg College. "It's all laid out."

Warren was responding to remarks from Kate Bedingfield, deputy campaign manager and communications director for Biden, who had said in a statement Friday: “Having discovered how problematic her embrace of Medicare for All has become … Senator Warren is now trying to muddy the waters even further."

Warren's new plan, released in a Medium post on Friday, proposes transitioning to a government-run Medicare for All system, in part, by first enacting a public option plan by the end of her first 100 days as president. The plan, which would include offering free health care coverage to children and people with low incomes, would be passed in part by using procedures in the U.S. Senate that would require only a simple majority vote. ...

Warren was also asked by a reporter whether the new plan is an acknowledgement that a single-payer health care system is not politically feasible.

“I don’t see it that way at all,” Warren said. “… The way I see this, is that there is an intense need right now for relief.”



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Re: Issues 2020: Medicare for All/Public Option

#95

Post by RoadScholar » Sat Nov 16, 2019 10:28 pm

If that’s not back-pedaling, it’s at least shifting into neutral.


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Re: Issues 2020: Medicare for All/Public Option

#96

Post by Addie » Mon Nov 25, 2019 9:36 am

Politico
The Army Built to Fight ‘Medicare for All’

The top health industry lobbies have joined forces to take down socialized medicine — or anything that looks like it. Will they succeed?


Chip Kahn took one look at the scene playing out inside the stately Hart Senate Office Building and knew he needed to do something about it.

It was mid-September 2017 and Sen. Bernie Sanders had just ascended a stage to the cheers of more than a hundred health care activists, grassroots organizers and political supporters. The packed hearing room had played host to some of the most solemn moments in Washington's modern history: the crafting of a landmark missile treaty with the Soviet Union, the investigation of the 9/11 terror attacks, the consideration of at least five Supreme Court nominees.

On this day, it had been transformed into a staging ground for the first stop in Sanders' latest political crusade. Standing in front of a bright blue HEALTHCARE IS A RIGHT banner tacked to the back wall, Sanders heralded the renewal of a "long and difficult struggle" to fulfill the liberal dream he'd pursued for decades: “Medicare for All.”

The speech was classic Bernie, full of grand visions for a universal health care system at the expense of greedy corporate executives getting rich off the status quo. For Kahn, the CEO of the Federation of American Hospitals, which represents more than 1,000 for-profit hospitals, it wasn't so much the rhetoric that bothered him, despite the fact that he — as head of one of the nation's most powerful hospital lobbies — was one of the corporate executives in Sanders' crosshairs. A 67-year-old former GOP operative who'd worked in and around politics since high school, Kahn was familiar with the Vermont senator's lengthy, mostly solitary campaign for single-payer health care.

What he couldn't ignore this time was the group right behind Sanders. Nine Democratic senators, many of them rising stars and likely presidential candidates, stood on stage to pledge their support for Medicare for All — a proposal that would obliterate the private health insurance sector, reorder one-sixth of the nation's economy and jeopardize a system Kahn and his industry allies had worked so hard to construct.



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Re: Issues 2020: Medicare for All/Public Option

#97

Post by ZekeB » Mon Nov 25, 2019 9:38 am

What kind of army is that where they don't provide socialized health care for their members and families? Just wondering.


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Re: Issues 2020: Medicare for All/Public Option

#98

Post by Addie » Sat Nov 30, 2019 5:15 pm

WaPo
How a fight over health care entangled Elizabeth Warren — and reshaped the Democratic presidential race


In mid-November, a few dozen of the country’s most influential advocates of Medicare-for-all were reviewing details of Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s plan to finance the proposed government-run program when they learned that she had unexpectedly changed her position.

Warren (D-Mass.), who had excited liberals when she initially embraced a Medicare-for-all idea first proposed by rival presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), was suggesting a more centrist idea: to delay enactment of the single-payer system and, in the interim, give consumers the choice to opt in. The change might have seemed insignificant to most Americans, but to many in the suburban Washington conference room, Warren’s new stance marked an abrupt retreat, according to several people in attendance.

That moment highlighted the political turbulence that Warren has experienced in recent weeks as she has attempted to extricate herself from a policy dilemma that has blunted her steady rise to the top ranks of the Democratic nominating contest.

Warren had pleased many on the left with proposals to take on entrenched corporate and political power. But she was being warned that support for Medicare-for-all, including the elimination of private health insurance used by more than 150 million Americans, could cost her support among Democrats looking for the strongest candidate to take on President Trump.



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Re: Issues 2020: Medicare for All/Public Option

#99

Post by Addie » Fri Dec 06, 2019 7:51 pm

The Hill: Pelosi: ObamaCare could 'be path to Medicare for All'



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