The Dems’ game plan for single-payer is becoming crystal clear:
- Keep a militantly-progressive base happy with “Medicare for All” lip service
- Do everything possible to stall the introduction of actual legislation (that Bernie promised 5 months ago)
- Avoid discussing any details because Dems admit they’re “a political mine field”
Democrats were so obsessed with CBO scores of the Republican health care bills, yet they won’t be providing an answer to the biggest question everyone has: How are you paying for this?
Democrats know the devil is in the details on single-payer. Don’t let them get away without talking about them.
Bernie Sanders’ first draft of “Medicare for All”
August 18, 2017
There's been a lot written lately about how Democrats are going to have to start working out details about single payer if they're serious about running on it. Now, we're getting a better idea of how Bernie Sanders will address some of them — though not all of them — in the "Medicare for all" bill he hopes to introduce next month.
The bottom line: It will give some basics on how to handle one of the main practical issues: how to manage a transition to the new system, according to aides. But don't expect a detailed explanation of how to pay for it, which of course is one of the biggest questions everyone will ask. And no, private insurance companies wouldn't have much of a role to play.
How to pay for it: This is where the California single-payer effort got bogged down, and the Sanders bill isn't likely to provide much of a road map either. That's because the Sanders team doesn't want to get caught up in fights over the financing. They just want to start the debate over whether health care should be considered a right, and then work out the details later.
What to watch: Sanders is sure to face tough questions, and so will any Democrats who run on single payer without thinking through the implications . But some Democrats think it's smart politics not to provide too much detail just yet. "The bells and whistles of a single payer system are a political mine field," said Chris Jennings, a former health care adviser to Bill and Hillary Clinton. "They should be avoided and are unnecessary for now."
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