Medicare-for-All Is the Platform Democrats Need

Senator Bernie Sanders gained quite a following during his presidential bid last year, thanks in large part to his push to expand health care access to all Americans. Though his candidacy fell short, Sanders is still committed to pushing for single-payer system as a legislator.

Soon he will be introducing a bill to institute a Medicare-for-all plan to install taxpayer-covered health care. Honestly, even Sanders himself doesn’t expect it to actually pass, at least not anytime soon.

“Look, I have no illusions that under a Republican Senate and a very right-wing House and an extremely right-wing president of the United States that suddenly we’re going to see a Medicare-for-all, single-payer passed,” he said.

Instead, he tells NPR, the idea is to get the ball rolling anyway in order to get the national discourse greased. He believes that people have to debate these kinds of major changes for a while before they become reality, so why not keep it top of mind sooner than later?

Although Sanders is back to being an Independent, the impending health care bill is one Democrats are increasingly happy to endorse. At this point, 16 out of the Senate’s 48 liberals have agreed to cosponsor the legislation. Among the notable names are Senators Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Tammy Baldwin, Richard Blumenthal and Sheldon Whitehouse.

However, not everyone in the party is on board: most notably House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi stated that she’d prefer to defend the Affordable Care Act rather than put her time behind Sanders’s bill.

Pelosi has come to represent the old guard of the Democratic Party to some, and the party might well leave her behind on this issue. Because a lot of the aforementioned cosponsors are already being discussed as potential presidential Democratic nominees for president in 2020, it’s almost starting to look like a liberal litmus test.

While Democrats have been careful to avoid litmus tests, it’s probably not a bad idea for the party’s big names to embrace some progressive policy that can help to define the party’s future. Political analysts have said that Democrats need to stand for something (beyond just being against the Trump administration) to pick up new support, and Medicare for all could be just the ticket.

For starters, it’s an easier concept to understand than the other health care plans we’ve seen unveiled in the past decade. Because providing free health care to everyone is as much a philosophy as it is plan, Americans can get behind it without having to sift through hundreds of pros and cons to grasp what it really does.

Even better, this idea is popular with voters. An Economist poll from five months ago found that 60 percent of all Americans either strongly or somewhat favor expanding Medicare to provide everyone with insurance.

Yes, Democrats are the most in favor, at 75 percent, but with Independents giving it 58 percent, it’s a concept that resonates with unaffiliated voters, too. Heck, even 46 percent of Republicans like the idea, so Dems could potentially pull some moderates over – and maybe some legislatures, too, when the time is right.

After Republicans spent eight years opposing so many pieces of Obama-backed legislation then failed to come up with any useful laws of their own when they regained power, that’s all the more reason for Democrats to plainly display not just what they’d repeal, but how they’d replace it if given the opportunity in the future.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

73 comments

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill8 days ago

Medicare is not the great health care coverage everyone loves to talk about. It is also NOT free! You actually have to buy your coverage. Then you have to buy a supplemental policy to pay for what medicare does not pay.

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Eric Lees
Eric Lees2 months ago

Brian F. I don't know where you get your info but it could not be further from the truth. You are either willfully ignorant or you want to push the USA over the cliff.

1) Socialism was the cause of Venezuela's downfall into a Dictatorship.
"You Can't Deny that Venezuela is a Socialist Calamity
Once a global grain exporter, now they can’t even feed their own people. "
https://fee.org/articles/you-cant-deny-that-venezuela-is-a-socialist-calamity/

2) We certainly did not have free market healthcare during GW Bush's term. We have not had a free market in healthcare in at least 100 years.
"Why Luxury TVs Are Affordable when Basic Health Care Is Not
Monopoly products and services go up in price, while competitive ones go down. "
https://fee.org/articles/why-large-screen-tvs-are-affordable-and-health-care-is-not/

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Kathryn I
Kathryn I2 months ago

A good platform for sure! Thank you

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Rhoberta E
Rhoberta E2 months ago

brian f
BOT

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Philippa P
Philippa Powers2 months ago

Thanks.

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Brian F
Brian F2 months ago

Eric Single payer universal healthcare is not free, it’s paid for through taxes. It works in France, Canada, England, and other countries. We had free market before the ACA, and it was a disaster. Free market means allowing big pharma and our criminal healthcare industry unlimited power to rip us off. Most people support Bernie Sanders single payer universal healthcare plan. Venezuela is a dictatorship, and has nothing in common with Bernie Sanders progressive policies. Stop cherry picking failed dictatorships such as Venezuela and using them to smear Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders is the most popular politician in America, and instead of unfairly smearing him, you need to support him. We tried your failed free market approach during 8 years of GW Bush, and it was a horrible failure, and allowed big pharma and our criminal healthcare industry the power to rip us off, and charge astronomically high prices which caused millions to lose health insurance and die.

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Brian F
Brian F2 months ago

JT Smith Excellent points. A Green Star has been sent. Corporations own both our corrupt parties and our media. CNN and MSNBC both unfairly favored corrupt corporate establishment Democrats like Hillary over honest progressives like Bernie Sanders. The anchors on MSNBC, like Rachel Maddow and Joy Reid make $30,000 a day, and only keep their jobs because they support corrupt corporate establishment Democrats like Kamala Harris, over honest progressives like Bernie Sanders. Unfortunately, too many gullible posters on Care2 like David F, Mike K, and David Y, buy into the corrupt corporate owned two-party duopoly, and actually think one party is better than the other, when they are both corrupt. The Democrats also have an extremely unfair super delegate rule that gives the incumbent over 400 super delegates before even having a challenger. The corrupt corporate owned Democratic party is blocking honest progressives like Bernie Sanders from having any power, so they can continue their corruption and make millions from corporations and Wall Street.

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Eric L
Eric Lees2 months ago

Democrats like Republicans need to learn basic economics and human nature.

Anyone that understands economics knows that the only sustainable solution is the free market. Free market Capitalism is we the people taking control of our lives. Yes there will still be some that are dependent on the welfare of others and those will be taken care of by private charities.

Liberty vs Tyranny. Liberty is always the better solution for all.

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Eric L
Eric Lees2 months ago

So even Sanders at one time had some basic understanding of economics. Now he has thrown reality out the window and is promising everyone free stuff and a pony. Sanders should go live in Venezuela and see for himself how his vision of Socialist Utopia works out in the real world.
"Sanders in 1987: 'Astronomical' Cost of Single-Payer 'Would Bankrupt the Nation'"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyIWpYDP-PQ

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Danuta W
Danuta W2 months ago

Thanks for posting

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