Progressives say they’re more concerned about courting voters than winning over big business.
By Adan Cancryn
The united front that helped Democrats save Obamacare just a year ago is falling apart over single-payer health care.
Deep-pocketed hospital, insurance and other lobbies are plotting to crush progressives’ hopes of expanding the government’s role in health care once they take control of the House. The private-sector interests, backed in some cases by key Obama administration and Hillary Clinton campaign alumni, are now focused on beating back another prospective health care overhaul, including plans that would allow people under 65 to buy into Medicare.
This sets up a potentially brutal battle between establishment Democrats who want to preserve Obamacare and a new wave of progressive House Democrats who ran on single-payer health care.
“We know the insurance companies and the pharma companies are all putting tens of millions of dollars into trying to defeat us,” said Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), who co-chairs the Medicare for All Congressional Caucus. “Which I take as a badge of honor — that they’re so concerned about a good policy that they’re going to put so much money into trying to defeat it.”
The rift could come into full view in the opening weeks of the new Congress, as the party long bound by a need to defend the Affordable Care Act tries to embrace a new health care vision it can carry into the 2020 presidential campaign. …
70% Of Americans Support ‘Medicare for all’ In New Poll
By Megan Keller
The Hill (8/23/18)
A vast majority — 70 percent — of Americans in a new poll supports “Medicare for all,” also known as a single-payer health-care system.
The Reuters–Ipsos survey found 85 percent of Democrats said they support the policy along with 52 percent of Republicans.
Medicare for all has been in the headlines after a study by the libertarian-leaning Mercatus Center at George Mason University found it would lead to $32.6 trillion increase in federal spending over a 10-year period.
The study’s author, Charles Blahous, wrote in The Wall Street Journalearlier this month that even doubling taxes would not cover the bill for a single-payer health-care system.
The policy’s proponents, however, point to a note in the study showing that health-care costs would also decrease by $2 trillion by 2031 if it became law.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who has introduced a Medicare for all bill, has said that the Mercatus study is “grossly misleading and biased.”
The new Reuters poll also showed that a majority of Americans supports free college tuition. Forty-one percent of Republicans said they supported the policy, pollsters found, compared with 79 percent of Democrats. …
- Survey Shows Most Americans Agree With Ocasio-Cortez: $5 Billion Should Be Spent On Healthcare Or Education, Not Trump’s Border Wall — Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) suggested last week that the $5 billion President Donald Trump is demanding for construction of his “border wall” would be better spent on education, healthcare, green jobs, and other priorities that actually have a tangible impact on people’s lives, and a new survey published on Thursday found that most Americans agree. According to a Business Insider poll—released as the government shutdown over wall funding continued into its sixth day—only 19 percent of respondents said a border wall would be “the best use” of $5 billion. Meanwhile, 36 percent said $5 billion would be better spent on healthcare and 30 percent said they would want the funds to go toward infrastructure. In total, 81 percent of respondents said the best use of the $5 billion would be on healthcare, education, or infrastructure, not the border wall. … Read the Rest
- Universal Healthcare Could Save America Trillions, So What’s Holding Us Back? — …The real stumbling block is not that single-payer advocates’ arithmetic is poor, it’s that American politics are dominated by the rich. … Read the Rest