Medicare-for-All Moves into the Mainstream

Medicare-for-All is having a moment. A single-payer system that would guarantee universal coverage for all Americans has been growing in popularity for years. From media coverage, to activist agitation, to state-based single-payer proposals, Americans are discussing and fighting for Medicare-for-All. Even  President Obama said that a single-payer system would be the best option if given the opportunity to start from scratch, and now as the Affordable Care Act repeal debate winds down, the idea has come back to the fore.

In recent years, a number of states have considered implementing single-payer systems, with some, like California and Vermont, even passing the necessary legislation. The ongoing debate in California on a state single-payer plan has reached a boiling point, with groups on one side lobbying to further the debate and those opposed trying to end the discussion, at least in the short term. If this reform moves ahead in CA it will impact over 12% of the nation’s population.

Single-payer was a significant issue during the 2016 Democratic primary, and was subject to intense (and sometimes misleading) debate. Some studies that came out during the primary tried to undercut genuine discussion about Medicare-for-All with scary sounding estimates, like $32 trillion over ten years, instead of actually exploring the potential costs and savings. In a recent editorial, the Washington Post opinion team chose to double down on this by focusing on a study whose estimates are far higher than most others, and whose assumptions are refuted by entities like the Congressional Budget Office.

As President Trump steps up his sabotage of the ACA, there is increasing uncertainty about the U.S. health care system. And Americans are wondering what should come next. One solution? A health care system where all Americans can access the care they need. Such an idea has inspired Americans policymakers and politicians for generations.

As we approach the anniversary of the passage of Medicare on July 30, we will be continuing to discuss Medicare-for-All with a series of blogs. Join us this Friday for the next in the series.

If you are interested in joining the fight for Medicare for all, please check out the Campaign For Guaranteed Healthcare at https://campaignforguaranteedhealthcare.org/ or @Campaign4Health on Twitter.

Photo courtesy Molly Adams/Flickr/CC By 2.0