Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Medicare for Everyone? Many Democrats Embrace Socialized Health Insurance, but It Would Be Hugely Expensive

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Medicare for Everyone? Many Democrats Embrace Socialized Health Insurance, but It Would Be Hugely Expensive

Article excerpt

An editorial from The Weekly Standard

A decade ago, when Barack Obama was running for president, many of us on the right suspected he favored a single-payer health care system. As a candidate and as president, Mr. Obama denied this. Today, though, he's calling for "Medicare for All," a proposal to make the federal health insurance program for Americans 65 and older the sole provider of health insurance for Americans of all ages.

As ever, Mr. Obama's not so much leading as following. It was Sen. Bernie Sanders' 2016 presidential campaign that lent a gloss of credibility to a federal takeover of the health-insurance market. The fact that Medicare for Some is already cripplingly expensive - together with Social Security and Medicaid it's the main driver of the federal deficit - somehow doesn't register with Mr. Sanders or his base. Nor did a study from George Mason University concluding that Medicare for All would cost the government an additional $32 trillion over 10 years (although individuals and companies no longer would have to pay for insurance).

More and more Democrats are plumping for Medicare expansion. One survey conducted by National Nurses United, a progressive advocacy group, claims that more than half of all Democrats on the ballot in 2018 support Medicare for All. Irresponsible radicalism is nothing new among candidates for office, but it's officeholders, too. A little less than two-thirds of the House of Representatives' 193 Democrats have co-sponsored Medicare for All legislation, and 16 of the 49 Democratic senators embrace the idea-including Senate presidential hopefuls: Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker.

Adding to the confusion, a survey conducted by The Hill suggests that 52 percent of Republicans support Medicare for All - with 25 percent "strongly" supporting the idea. It's easy to doubt the accuracy of that finding, but it does suggest that many voters, on the left and right, don't know what Medicare for All means. …

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