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Old Sep 1st 2017, 05:54 PM
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Default Medicare For All

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Itís looking pretty likely that Medicare for All is going to be on the 2020 Democratic platform. Kamala Harris is now co-sponsoring Bernie Sandersí bill for such a action. This is obviously a move by someone looking to be competitive for the nomination appealing to leftist voters and move a politically popular alternative to the current health care situation ahead. I would now expect anyone who expects to compete for left votes in 2020 to get on board, which probably means everyone but Andrew Cuomo.
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I have mixed thoughts about this.

On the one hand, "medicare for all" is a lovely campaign slogan and the Democrats have been absolutely terrible on the messaging side for decades, so it is good to see an actual policy initiative expressed in a nice simple format that works.

On the other hand, "medicare for all" is probably the most politically challenging healthcare policy one could possible put forward in the context of US politics. No matter how you try to spin it, "medicare for all" means 'single-payer' and that model means eliminating the employer-sponsored healthcare insurance plans that a solid majority of Americans benefit from. That is serious political trouble 'writ large'.

Personally, from my political perspective, I'd be a whole lot more comfortable if the Democrats got behind "universal healthcare" as the key message because that policy is relatively politically feasible. Universal healthcare could be achieved through a variety of ways and means. The AHA (aka Obamacare) was a good start in that direction. Universal healthcare as a goal merely takes Obamacare to the next level. I think that is within the realm of 'doable' - not easy, but it is certainly possible.

Expanding Medicare certainly could be a big part of achieving 'universal healthcare'. Indeed, I think it is an ideal way to address the troublesome 'low-end' of the healthcare market to cover the kind of people who are just too poor (or too sick) to pay for any kind of 'real' healthcare insurance.

Anyway, these are just a few of my thoughts about the healthcare issue. It sure looks like healthcare is going to remain a very hot political issue for the next five years at least.

Any other thoughts or comments about "Medicare for All" as a Democratic Party policy for the 2018/2020 elections?
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Old Sep 2nd 2017, 07:09 AM
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Default Re: Medicare For All

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Originally Posted by Michael View Post
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I have mixed thoughts about this.

On the one hand, "medicare for all" is a lovely campaign slogan and the Democrats have been absolutely terrible on the messaging side for decades, so it is good to see an actual policy initiative expressed in a nice simple format that works.

On the other hand, "medicare for all" is probably the most politically challenging healthcare policy one could possible put forward in the context of US politics. No matter how you try to spin it, "medicare for all" means 'single-payer' and that model means eliminating the employer-sponsored healthcare insurance plans that a solid majority of Americans benefit from. That is serious political trouble 'writ large'.

Personally, from my political perspective, I'd be a whole lot more comfortable if the Democrats got behind "universal healthcare" as the key message because that policy is relatively politically feasible. Universal healthcare could be achieved through a variety of ways and means. The AHA (aka Obamacare) was a good start in that direction. Universal healthcare as a goal merely takes Obamacare to the next level. I think that is within the realm of 'doable' - not easy, but it is certainly possible.

Expanding Medicare certainly could be a big part of achieving 'universal healthcare'. Indeed, I think it is an ideal way to address the troublesome 'low-end' of the healthcare market to cover the kind of people who are just too poor (or too sick) to pay for any kind of 'real' healthcare insurance.

Anyway, these are just a few of my thoughts about the healthcare issue. It sure looks like healthcare is going to remain a very hot political issue for the next five years at least.

Any other thoughts or comments about "Medicare for All" as a Democratic Party policy for the 2018/2020 elections?
Off the cuff, I think I'm tired of people running on platforms which involve massive, single-party, changes to the healthcare system.
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Old Sep 2nd 2017, 09:56 AM
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Default Re: Medicare For All

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I have mixed thoughts about this.

On the one hand, "medicare for all" is a lovely campaign slogan and the Democrats have been absolutely terrible on the messaging side for decades, so it is good to see an actual policy initiative expressed in a nice simple format that works.
My biggest problem is that medicare for all is a huge logistical mess. Medicare isn't a single-payer system in the strict sense of the term. It's a complicated combination of third party plans, gap coverage plans you can buy, and heavily regulated plans in addition to government provided health insurance. So far I have yet to see any real details on what "medicare for all" really means given all these complicated details. This slogan seems like nothing more than that.
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Old Sep 4th 2017, 08:23 AM
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Default Re: Medicare For All

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Off the cuff, I think I'm tired of people running on platforms which involve massive, single-party, changes to the healthcare system.
So you are opposed to a political party putting forward or campaigning on a platform policy that the other party opposes? Isn't that what party politics is all about?

Seems like you might be waxing nostalgic for the old days of bipartisan consensus in Congress - which is a time that has been long gone since the Reagan era. US political parties are now ideologically distinct (right and left) - every policy issue of the federal government is a partisan split (except US militarism - that's the only remaining bipartisan consensus issue).
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Old Sep 14th 2017, 05:56 PM
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Apparently Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has introduced an actual 'single-payer' bill.

There is basically zero chance of this passing right now, so I suspect that it is being played for a 'litmus' test or marker for potentially ambitious Democratic politicians.

I sincerely hope that I'm wrong, but this issue looks like a serious election loser for the Democrats.
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Old Sep 18th 2017, 08:42 AM
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Default Re: Medicare For All

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Originally Posted by Michael View Post
Apparently Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has introduced an actual 'single-payer' bill.

There is basically zero chance of this passing right now, so I suspect that it is being played for a 'litmus' test or marker for potentially ambitious Democratic politicians.

I sincerely hope that I'm wrong, but this issue looks like a serious election loser for the Democrats.
So out of curiosity why do you say it's an election looser? If it is it's a little troubling because every major 2020 democrat candidate basically co-sponsored it.
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Old Sep 18th 2017, 05:56 PM
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Default Re: Medicare For All

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So out of curiosity why do you say it's an election looser?
I don't see "universal healthcare" as election loser at all since that's a noble goal.

I do see "medicare-for-all" as an election loser because this kind of single-payer type healthcare policy requires that employer-sponsored healthcare insurance be eliminated. I'm no fan of employer-sponsored healthcare insurance, but I recognize that approx 50-60% of US workers have such policies and eliminating them would be politically very challenging for multiple reasons, not the least of which is that healthcare insurance companies will fight tooth and nail against it (they face a "do or die" situation).

Phasing out employer-sponsored healthcare insurance would not work well. Basically, employers are giving out a benefit worth approx $6000 to $12000 per year to their employees. I'm sure they'd be happy to stop paying this. Do you think America's corporations are going to turn that money over to the workers as a pay raise? And if they don't, those people who had good employer-sponsored healthcare insurance will lose a valuable benefit and then be taxed to pay for the 'new' medicare-for-all healthcare benefit. That's a double-loss position for the vast majority of US voters (even without the healthcare insurance industry going into full battle mode). How anyone thinks that any kind of 'single-payer' model can get through US Congress facing this kind of opposition is beyond me.

Don't forget that the Republicans managed to turn the AHA into "Death Panels!!!" with full media support back in 2009 and that was for a healthcare policy that barely tinkered with the existing healthcare status quo and basically just added a public subsidy so poor people could buy private healthcare insurance that they previously couldn't afford. That was small potatoes compared to going full "medicare-for-all". The Republican rightwing noise machine will have a field day with that.

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Originally Posted by Non Sequitur View Post
If it is it's a little troubling because every major 2020 democrat candidate basically co-sponsored it.
Yes, that's because the Democratic party appears to be mirroring the Republican party right now. That is to say, a highly vocal and activist minority, who are leftwing policy extremists, are attempting to take over the party and forcing this specific policy onto the leadership. Basically, this faction of the party intends to draw down 'holy war' upon any potential Democratic party leader who does not support the policy.

In other words, we shall soon see not just one party wildly out of sync with the voting public, but both parties.

Bottom line is that Republicans and Democrats in Congress skew heavily toward hard right and hard left partisan extremism that is not shared by the US public. It seems that US institutional and structural forces are creating or fostering this effect (heavily supported by US media).
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