Michael Moore’s movie ‘Sicko’ documenting America’s health insurance crisis is likely to incite strong grassroots demand for a “single-payer” Medicare-For-All type of solution. So the Washington consultants/appeasers are at it again.
From the Los Angeles Times article, “‘Sicko’Leaves Top Democrats Ill at Ease”:
Stoking the passions of rank-and-file Democrats for a government takeover of the healthcare system amounts to political folly, respond some liberal veterans of Washington’s healthcare battles.
“To presume that the private sector is going to sit idly by to see the destruction of private coverage I think is a misreading of reality,” … “I think the presidential candidates understand that if healthcare reform is going to have a chance of success, it will require bipartisanship and a balance of public and private coverage.”
This is what I call the “Afraid Rush Limbaugh Will Say Something Bad About You” syndrome. Clue: He will anyway.
Whatever plan you propose, here is what will happen: the health insurance companies WILL oppose your plan, no matter what the plan is.
Conventional Wisdom thinking is that you have to include private insurance companies in any plan, or they’ll put so much money and effort into opposing your plan – and you – that nothing can pass. In the 90’s the Clinton administration offered a comprehensive health care plan that involved private insurers instead of a “Medicare-For-All”-style national health plan, hoping to ward off industry opposition. … And of course the private insurance companies did oppose the Clinton plan anyway, putting so much money into opposing it that it never even came up for a vote.
.. So here is some news for Democrats who are offering health care plans that offer tribute to private insurance companies: They are going to oppose your plan.
The logic seems to be that if we appease them, they will compromise. This ignores the reality – they want it all.
“Medicare For All” is simple to understand and implement. On this subject Ezra Klein wrote:
That’s why Medicare-for-All is such a great banner. Medicare happens to be a very good, though deeply underfunded program. It keeps costs down better than the private sector, it enjoys sky-high satisfaction ratings from those on it, its administrative costs are dirt cheap, and so forth. … It’s just normal health care that the government pays for. Simple as that.
Better yet, Republicans can’t demonize the idea because it already exists and everybody’s parents and grandparents use it.
And if companies complain about all the jobs that will be lost – what they are saying is that the private sector is less efficient than a government solution. Medicare’s overhead is a fraction of the insurance companies.
It is time. It’s simple. Let’s expand Medicare to cover everyone.
Dave Johnson is the founder and principal author at Seeing the Forest, a web magazine investigating how the right is beating the dems, where this article originally appeared. He is on the Board of Directors of Media Transparency and The People Choose 2006, is an advisor to The Philanthropy Network and a member of the Netroots Advisory Council of the Drum Major Institute.