Frequent readers know that I am a proponent of comprehensive universal single payer health insurance for the United States. And you probably already know that I have complained about using the term Medicare For All for the universal health plan proposed by Senator Bernie Sanders (I – VT) and others.
Why don’t you ever listen to me!!
With the announcement earlier this week setting the sunset dates for Medicare and Social Security’s ability to meet their current operations…the right has jumped on Medicare For All!
Now anyone who has been following the discussion…and hopefully supporters of Sen. Sanders…realize that Medicare For All isn’t actually a plan to expand Medicare to the entire populace. Instead it is a universal single payer coverage with it’s own plan for revenue generation and cost cutting programs. Which is why using the Medicare For All name is so dangerous. Most of us understand the current Medicare program for seniors…love it or hate it…we all have certain expectations for it and certain (mis)conceptions about it. All of that baggage gets dragged into the conversation when you use the name Medicare For All for the new plan.
And…that’s why we find ourselves here:
Bernie Sanders and several other prominent Democrats want to expand Medicare to cover the whole U.S. population. But a new update on the program’s finances shows the popular health plan for seniors can barely take care of the people it covers now.
Medicare will begin to run short of money by 2026, according to the latest annual report published by the trustees who oversee the program. That’s the same forecast as the trustees made last year, which means there’s been no improvement in Medicare’s shaky finances, and we’re one year closer to a reckoning.
Bernie Sanders rolled out his Medicare for all idea during the 2016 presidential campaign, and what once seemed like a fringe idea is catching on. Several Democrats running for president in 2020 now back the idea, including senators Cory Booker, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren.
But the fragility of the current system reveals how disruptive and complicated it would be to expand the program from around 43 million people now to essentially all 330 million Americans.
Heath Care should be one of the drivers to a successful campaign for Democrats in 2020. It was a big help in the Dems taking back the House in 2018. But this could be a hard talking point to overcome…if the GOP pursues linking the legacy Medicare plan and its financial issues to Medicare For All.
The Democrats need to keep out in front of the Health Care discussion and be transparent about the finances if they want to win…and if they want the public to understand how all of this actually works. And find a better unique name for your new plan…one of you must have a marketing major on your staff…for crying out loud.
P.S. The video in the link is more damning than the text.