Sen. Elizabeth Warren is backing the single-payer insurance proposal from Sen. Bernie Sanders. Does it have a chance?

From The Boston Globe:

From 2016  Boston rally: Alan Meyers, a Boston Medical Center pediatrician. Photo: Tinker Ready.

“There is something fundamentally wrong when one of the richest and most powerful countries on the planet can’t make sure that a person can afford to see a doctor when they’re sick. This isn’t any way to live,” Warren wrote, asking her backers to sign a petition expressing their support for the measure. “Health care is a basic human right and it’s time to fight for it.”

Warren’s endorsement is a high-profile boost for Sanders’ legislation, which the Vermont Senator readily admits faces a hard, years-long fight towards becoming law.

Here’s a link to Sander’s “Medicare for All” site. FYI, not an endorsement.

What does the public think? KFF poll this summer found a slim majority in favor 

It is worth noting that another Bay Stater, former CMS boss, gubernatorial candidate and top health policy analyst  Don Berwick, has also endorsed single-payer. 

For some perspective, Kaiser Health News has collected links to recent opinion pieces on the topic. This one from The Washington Post notes that a lot of Democrats are lining up for single-payer

So what lessons can we take from the experience of the ACA that might help Democrats as they move toward another enormous health-care reform?

  • It’s going to take years.
  • Disruption is frightening.
  • We need to think about the transition from where we are now to where we want to go.
  • Republican demagoguery is a certainty.
  • Beware the interest groups.
  • There will be winners and losers.
  • You have to be able to explain it to people.

The piece offers details on each bullet and suggests:

We should probably stop referring to what liberals want as “single payer,” because that suggests that the only system they’d accept is one in which there is one government insurer and no private insurers. That’s one possibility, but there are many other ways to get to universal, secure coverage that have multiple payers. I happen to think the best and most achievable system given where we are is one in which there’s a basic government plan that covers everyone — an expanded Medicaid, perhaps — plus private supplemental insurance on top of it, a hybrid system of the kind that works well in countries such as France and Canada. The point is that it would be much better to speak of “universal coverage,” which allows for a number of different designs as long as they achieve the same goal.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.