Saturday, September 16, 2017

32.5 - Good News: Medicare for All bill introduced

Good News: Medicare for All bill introduced

The other Good News is that Bernie Sanders and 15 other Senators have - I'm very tempted to say finally - rolled out a Medicare For All bill.

The reason this is Good News - despite the bill's at best faint chances of passing - is that it shows that the idea of single-payer health insurance is becoming, has become, mainstream. It has had significant support among the public for some time - most polls put the percentage supporting it somewhere in the high 50s to the mid 60s - but getting it addressed seriously in the mass media has been problematic and the institutional Democratic Party has been downright dismissive: Remember when Hillary Clinton said it was "never" going to happen?

Now it's become a serious enough issue that that we are seeing party stalwarts snipe that the proposal isn't "serious" because it doesn't present a finely detailed plan with exact financing of how to structure the program or how exactly to institute it or to nitpick at the very idea of single-payer, or, on the other hand and most significantly, issuing blah-blah statements about how they really do support single-payer "in concept" but it's just "the wrong time" - without ever indicating what the "right" time would be except for an unspecified future someday because first "we have to elect more Democrats" - all of which means they are feeling the heat.

Now personally, I don't think Medicare For All goes nearly far enough, not only because there is much Medicare doesn't cover - although admittedly Sanders' proposal is considerably more extensive in what it covers - but also because for all its merits, single-payer is still health insurance, not health care, and I want to get away from that model. What I want is a National Health Service, based on neighborhood health centers and building up through community and regional hospitals to a few national hospitals dealing with the rarest and most complicated treatments.

There's obviously much more to the idea than that and maybe I'll get into some more details at some time, but the point here is that Medicare for All is not a final answer - but it damn well is a big improvement and damn well is a step in the right direction. So even though we know it won't pass, the very fact that there is such noise about it damn well is Good News.

No comments:

// I Support The Occupy Movement : banner and script by @jeffcouturer / (v1.2) document.write('
I support the OCCUPY movement
');function occupySwap(whichState){if(whichState==1){document.getElementById('occupyimg').src=""}else{document.getElementById('occupyimg').src=""}} document.write('');