Let’s be uncharacteristically optimistic about Democratic chances in 2020 and assume they take back the Senate and the White House. Even then, the biggest obstacle to good policy is going to be Democrats with outdated ideas of what their voters want (boldface mine):
House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) is expressing skepticism about a new “Medicare for all” bill introduced this week, although he has supported similar measures in the past.
Yarmuth, who has supported Medicare for all bills since arriving in the House in 2006, says a new version introduced this week by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) goes far beyond what he considers to be Medicare for all.
“I don’t consider that to be Medicare for all. It’s universal health care, on demand, unlimited,” Yarmuth told The Hill on Thursday. “It’s all single-payer, no private insurance. It’s a very different thing than Medicare.”
Most recently, Yarmuth co-sponsored the Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act introduced in 2017 by former Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.).
But he hasn’t signed on to Jayapal’s bill, stating that he’s trying to remain neutral as the chairman of the committee that would decide how such proposals are funded.
But Yarmuth has shared his skepticism about the contents of Jayapal’s bill.
“I’m not sure there is anywhere in the world that does what her bill does. There’s no cost sharing at all, and that’s not Medicare,” he said.
“The problem with that is if you’re trying to market it to the public and convince them it’s a good idea, the public understands what Medicare is. … This would be something very different,” he said.
First, as I’ve noted many times, I think when people say they want ‘Medicare for all’, they really want Medicaid for All. That’s what people who are below the threshold get–and it’s substantially better than the ACA plans. Cheaper too.
More importantly, every single thing Yarmuth describes as a bad thing is… good. People want those nice things. And insulin.
Jayapal’s plan is cheaper and better than what many people have–especially if they lack insurance entirely (and it wouldn’t outlaw supplemental insurance). Because the reality for too many elderly under the current system is that ‘cost sharing’ means ‘ration food so I can buy medicine.’ If Democrats don’t do what they said they would do in 1992*, never mind during the 2020 campaign, it’s going to be 2010 all over again. And Republicans will find a smarter, more disciplined Trump. Just keep it simple to access, good, and independent of work, and Democrats might actually stay in power this time around.
*Still waiting for my fucking peace dividend.