For 2020 Dem Hopefuls, ‘Medicare-For-All’ Is A Defining Issue, However They Define It

By Shefali Luthra
Feb. 19, 2019, Kaiser Health News

Excerpts from the article:

“Democrats with 2020 presidential aspirations are courting the party’s increasingly influential progressive wing and staking out ambitious policy platforms.

“Front and center are three words: Medicare. For. All.

“That simple phrase is loaded with political baggage, and often accompanied by vague promises and complex jargon. Different candidates use it to target different voter blocs, leading to sometimes divergent, even contradictory ideas.

“ ‘People are talking about this as a goal, as a commitment, as a value as much as a specific program,’ said Celinda Lake, a Democratic pollster.

“In championing “Medicare-for-all,” politicians often put forth a general idea: universal health care, or some system in which everyone can afford medical care. But their visions for achieving that vary wildly.

“Sometimes Medicare-for-all is meant to promise a single-payer health care system —meaning everyone is covered by one, often government-run health plan. In other cases, politicians who say they support “for all” actually mean “for more.”

“Every proposal brings its own trade-offs.

“There’s not just one easy answer to what a single-payer system would do to the United States,” said Jodi Liu, an economist at the nonprofit Rand Corp. who studies single-payer proposals. “What happens depends on how that change is being designed, and how it’s being implemented.”

“… Here’s a primer on the Medicare-for-all debate. Keep it in your back pocket: This argument won’t be disappearing anytime soon.”

“… Medicare-for-all’s popularity — even as a concept — shows something significant. There is a consensus that the current system needs to fundamentally transform,” [Alex Lawson from Social Security Works] said. There’s a commitment to do that. Then we have to argue out the details.”

See the full article here.