Medicare for All!

medicare

 

Enough fooling around. It’s time to go for a single-payer health insurance system in the US. I know, Republicans will freak out. But so what? They’re freaking out over Obamacare. Not just freaking out but doing everything they can to destroy it. The bizarre reasoning in the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision should send America an unmistakable message: Right-wing nuts don’t care what the rest of us think; they’re going to do whatever they can get away with in their holy war against the President’s health insurance program.

The Democrats should make November’s election a referendum on a new health insurance plan – Medicare for All.

No, not instead of Obamacare; in addition to Obamacare.

Simply leave everything the way it is and open up Medicare to anyone who wants to join.

Medicare will go broke, you say?

Why?

Congress can tweak the payroll tax at any time to provide whatever funds the eprogram needs. And they could charge whatever subscription fees it would take to fund the program’s expansion. Combine that with government subsidies to the poor, and the system would work just fine. Americans would be blessed with a choice: buy insurance through Obamacare (or any other way they want) or join Medicare.

Those who are too indolent – or too cheap – to buy health insurance would automatically be enrolled in Medicare.

Ardent free marketers could spurn the government plan and buy their own health insurance – cost it what it may.  It is even conceivable that the private health insurers could come up with plans that provide more benefits at less cost that Medicare.

That would be OK, too. Whatever works.

The idea is not to punish the private insurance market but to ensure affordable health care for all Americans.

Medicare for All is not a new proposal. Democrats floated the idea back in 2009 and Congressman Alan Grayson introduced a Medicare expansion bill in 2010.

I don’t know why President Obama didn’t just run with the idea when he had a Democratic Congress. I believe he was unsure of support from some Democrats and hoped to appease the Republicans with a system they suggested in the first place – a system that Republican governor Mitt Romney already had introduced in Massachusetts, a system cooked up by the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank.

Anyway, it is now clear that the Republicans were not appeased.

So Democrats can forget about them and do the right thing. Medicare for all!

Click for Grayson’s bill.

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com

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