Vox: Democrats’ 8 plans for Universal Health Care

Polling has shown a dramatic increase in support for Medicare-for-All.  I support that.  However, what does that mean?  How do we get there from here?  Very importantly, how is it paid for?  Sarah Kliff and Dylan Scott write this article for Vox comparing the various plans being debated:

We read Democrats’ 8 plans for universal health care. Here’s how they work.

Any plan, even one with overwhelming public support, is going to run into a political buzzsaw as moneyed special interests fight change at any cost. 

The simplest way to get to Universal Health Care is to lower the starting age of Medicare to 0 and raise the Medicare tax correspondingly.  Private insurance companies would shift their business models into selling supplementary health insurance or other products.

A more gradual approach to get to universal health care is to allow people under 65 to voluntarily buy into Medicare or Medicaid as a public health insurance option.   One are of disagreement — employer based health insurance, and whether or not we should still keep it as a model.  Our international competitors, of course, do not put the financial burden of providing health insurance on their businesses.  Severing the link between employment and health insurance is probably the smart way to go, but it would bring change, and change can be politically problematic.

If you believe the solution for more affordable and universal access to health care and health insurance is to get government completely out of  it  and let the “free market” do its magic, and you completely missed the colossal market failures that left tens of millions of uninsured and unable to access the health care system before the Affordable Care Act, this probably isn’t the article or the blog for you.

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Moving toward Universal Health Care in California in 2019.

Democrats had a clean sweep of statewide races in California and almost have a 3 to 1 super-duper-majority in the state legislature.  Politics has evolved rapidly on health care, from “universal health care” being the outlier position, to being the default position of much of the base.

Yes, I do support Medicare-for-All and single-payer.  However, it will likely take a Democratic President, and progressive supermajority in both houses of Congress to pass.  Someday, but obviously with Trump/Pence in the White House and Republicans controlling the Senate, that day politically is not today.

Single-payer is not the only possible pathway to “universal health care”.     The obstacle to enacting single-payer now from a policy perspective is cost.  It is unlikely that the financing would be achievable without a large number of federal waivers I would not expect the California-hostile Trump/Pence administration to give.

Here is an article written by Gabriel Thompson on this issue from Capital & Main that I found interesting:  WAITING FOR GAVIN – Great Expectations: California’s First Steps Toward Universal Health Care

Give it a read and then let me know, What do you think?