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It’s Time for Medicare for All


It’s Time for Medicare for All

Robert Reich

Mitch McConnell is delaying a vote on the Senate Republican version of Trumpcare because he doesn’t yet have a majority.

Some Senate Republicans think the bill doesn’t go get rid of enough of the Affordable Care Act. Others worry that it goes too far – especially in light of the Congressional Budget Office’s finding that it would eliminate coverage for 22 million Americans.


"[M]edical care is so expensive for the typical American that many put off seeing a doctor until their health has seriously deteriorated."

Yup, including under Obamacare's private health insurance market solution - 20+ mil covered, but deductibles so high many don't use it for crucial preventive care.


The People need Healthcare, not insurance.

Any Healthcare bill for the 300 million U.S. citizens, must be put together by all of the groups involved. It must be crafted primarily with the input of the citizenry, the AMA, the National Nurse's Union, then those in Congress who truly represent their constituents, with a 50-50 makeup of men and women.

Anything less, will never be equitable.


It's time for Medicare for All.

If the Republicans do not want to be the party that enacts it, passes it into law, and support it all the way to the Best Healthcare system in the World,

Step Aside!

The Green Party has had a Medicare for All Single Payer Healthcare system in their party platform and are ready to bring it to all citizens.

The Democratic Party Establishment will toy with the concept, but are too addicted to the Corruption of Money for Political Influence to ever adopt it.


Finally, a bigwig liberal says Single Payer is the way to go. And he's a economist to boot!


We have a reached a stalemate with the left saying single payer and the right saying repeal Obamacare.


Not quite. The right is saying repeal Obamacare and the Republicans are hard at work to do just that. That position is well represented in Washington.

The left, on the other hand, has to contend with a Democratic party that is far more interested in salvaging Obamacare than pursuing single payer. Single payer may be popular with the people, but it has minimal representation in Congress. Single payer is basically sitting on the sidelines while the Republicans and Democrats tussle with Obamacare.


witness the recent flushing of the Single Payer bill in California....by a DemocRAT!


The flushing is because it was a showboat bill written by the Chair of Senate Appropriations Committee who didn't do his job. He had the power and controlled the committee responsible for developing financing options for the bill and literally did none of it. I say "literally" because his own committee analysis admits as much. If he was serious about this bill, he adopted the worst legislative strategy in the world to actuate it.

Progressives complain about sellouts here but haven't even taken the time to understand how many pieces of this bill its author failed to fill in. Lara wanted nice, progressive hero headlines, but did not do even half the work he needed to do to make the bill happen.

Just ask yourself a few questions: Why didn't his committee produce a financing report? Why didn't his committee produce financing language? Why didn't his committee try to detail transition costs? It is the Appeopriations Committee. Examining and drafting language regarding revenues and expenditures is its job.

You want to know know why? It wasn't a serious bill to begin with. The only reason it moved was because he was the chair of one of the Senate's most powerful committees and he wanted headlines. That's it.

Frankly, we've all been suckered. I'm angry about it the more I think about it.

The Cynical Opposition of Some Democrats to Universal Health Care

You're correct, Mr. Reich; we do need Medicare for all nationally, but we will not have it nationally until we have it in a state or two. In the 1930s, Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis said that the states are the laboratories of democracy. Indeed, entities such as Federal Communications Commission, Securities Exchange Commission, FDA, EPA, and even entities as child labor laws all started first in states. I'm involved in trying to make Ohio that first state--SPANOhio.org.


Hope springs eternal.

Apparently, they are not, decidedly so. That's why they are making sure to beat back our DNC chair and many state party chairs (see California), just so we populists that want things---like Medicare for All, $15 min., green energy Marshall Plan--just so we do NOT get it.


Good for you!!!!


I don't know the workings of state government very well, but just reading http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/06/23/breaking-single-payer-health-care-put-on-hold-in-california-as-leader-calls-legislation-woefully-incomplete/, I'm not sure I trust Anthony Rendon either. If he thinks the bill is "woefully incomplete", why doesn't he even mention an 85 page study (Pollin-Economic-Analysis-SB-562.pdf) done on funding? Why doesn't he tell us what would make it complete? He says he supports the concept of Single Payer but offers up nothing (to the Press anyway which is the only way I'm going to find out what he wants) to get to a solution. I smell a rat.


Rendon said the bill was "woefully incomplete" because it was. Again, the author of the bill is Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee. That Committee's sole reason for existing is to examine and develop language for state financing and expenditures. Chairman Lara should have taken this study and developed a formal Committee report, in the least, recommending financing options and language for the bill he authored. The Pollin report offers a 2.3% gross receipts tax and a 2.3% sales tax as examples of financing options that might be sufficient if its other assumptions are accurate. Why didn't Lara craft legislative language based on those assumptions? Or analyze and include them with others in a formal Committee report? It was well within his committee jurisdiction to do so--even his responsiblity.

I know this is going to make me a neoliberal sellout but this bill wasn't even close to ready to go to the Assembly. Lara was asking his colleagues in the lower house to do the hardest part, financing, and potentially take the hardest hit, to actuate his legislation. That's a crappy legislative strategy.

The Cynical Opposition of Some Democrats to Universal Health Care

I think it a single pay Medicare for all type plan could be embraced by business if it leads to a significant cost reduction in workers compensation insurance.

As Regional Manager for a 5 Billion dollar Leasing company for 13 years my company provided the workers compensation insurance and managed and paid claims so this is a subject I have some expertise in when it comes to cost and usage.

This saving to the cost of workers compensation would come from removing the medical cost coverage from workers compensation insurance.

(With Medicare for all, we would not need medical coverage included in workers compensation)

Workers compensation is one of the largest costs to employers. The costs of buying workers compensation Prevents many businesses from starting because large deposits are required upfront.
Our small nonprofit pays about $4,000. a month for workers compensation.
In addition to workers compensation we pay $2,000. A month for health insurance coverage for our staff.
That is $72,000 a year that could be used to pay for good quality medical insurance for all our employees especially if you take out the profit for the insurance companies.

As a nonprofit we get a huge discount on workers compensation insurance. Workers compensation is a 5 times higher for manufacturing and construction type businesses.

Workers compensation is mostly medical costs, 98% of workers compensation claims are medical only.

With medical costs removed workers compensation coverage costs would drop dramatically which would really encourage businesses and employment growth.

There are some other places this could provide savings. In Oregon a believe a significant part of the PERS deficit is the cost is current and retired employees medical coverage.

Many city county and unions have similar cost burdens for medical insurance this could significantly lower their costs.

In my experience most employers want to provide good benefits for their employers. US Chamber of commerce statistics show that 80% of jobs are created by small businesses.

With a Medicare for all Single payer plan. Employers could pay a set cost per employee. One site supporting Medicare for all estimated that it would cost an additional Medicare tax of $49.00 per $20,000 of wages. That would be a huge cost reduction.