Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and 106 other Democrats will launch a “Medicare for All” bill on Wednesday that will shift every American to government health insurance and eliminate private insurance — with no funding plan.
Politico reported Tuesday:
The bill, co-sponsored by 107 House Democrats, doesn’t include a price tag or specific proposals for financing the new system, which analysts estimate would cost tens of trillions of dollars over a decade.
The proposal calls for a two-year transformation of Medicare into a universal single-payer system, eliminating nearly all private health plans. It would also expand Medicare coverage to include prescription drugs, dental and vision services, and long-term care, without charging co-pays, premiums or deductibles — and would provide federal funding for abortions. It would also potentially pave a path for a future Democratic administration to extend coverage to undocumented immigrants.
A few states have tried similar proposals, with no success. Vermont, the home state of socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders — who is running on a “Medicare for All” platform for president again — abandoned a similar single-payer health care plan several years ago: “[W]hen you just see the price tag, it’s very shocking,” one expert told NPR.
California’s State Senate passed a similar bill in 2017, but the speaker of the State Assembly refused to allow the measure to come to a vote, pointing out that legislators had made no plans to pay for the cost of covering everyone in the state, estimated at two to three times the entire current state budget. (He received death threats as a result.)
Last year, an independent study priced Sanders’s “Medicare for All” policy at $32 trillion over ten years. Politico suggests that the Democrats’ new version of the policy will be even more expensive since it covers long-term care.
When Obamacare was proposed in 2009, Republicans objected, many arguing that the doomed-to-fail design was just a “Trojan horse” for a completely socialist medical system. Democrats and the media protested otherwise.
Another sweeping recent Democratic plan, the “Green New Deal,” likewise fails to include any funding proposals.
House Democratic leadership has avoided explicitly backing either of these two plans, though sympathetic to both.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.