3.1.19 / Uncategorized

“Could Endanger The Movement Toward Universal Coverage” … “Not As Good” As ACA … Support “Muted” … More Skepticism Of Medicare For All Bill

As some Members of Congress introduced Medicare for All legislation in the U.S. House this week, the coverage – focused on its lack of a price tag, fewer co-sponsors compared with a similar proposal last Congress, disruptions to coverage and political risks – didn’t paint a pretty picture.  Throughout the week, the skepticism has continued, with reports of “muted” support and “silence” from key voices…

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi To Rolling Stone: “When they say Medicare for All, people have to understand this: Medicare for All is not as good a benefit as the Affordable Care Act … And by the way, how’s it gonna be paid for? … All I want is the goal of every American having access to health care.  You don’t get there by dismantling the Affordable Care Act … Anyway, this is not a bumper-sticker war – this is a complicated issue.”

 

  • The Washington Post: “The silence from some progressive activists and lawmakers as House progressives unfurled an expansive new Medicare-for-all bill was perhaps more telling than the applause it received … Key players whose support would be vital to the success of Jayapal’s bill were muted, while a group of moderate House Democrats called for instead improving the Affordable Care Act and expanding existing private channels of health coverage.  A spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) didn’t respond to a question about whether she would bring the bill to the floor.  Influential groups on the political left, including the Center for American Progress, AARP and Protect Our Care, declined requests for comment about Jayapal’s bill … Jayapal’s bill has yet to gain as much support as the Medicare-for-all bill proposed in the last Congress, which had 124 co-sponsors.

 

  • The New York Times: “…[O]nly two hours after she introduced the bill, leaders of a more centrist group known as the New Democrat Coalition said Congress should initially focus on shoring up the Affordable Care Act … ‘We’re going to be very practical,’ said Representative Kurt Schrader of Oregon, a chairman of the New Democrats’ health care task force.”

 

  • The Morning Consult: “Democrats’ hurdles could mirror Republican experience on ACA ‘repeal and replace’ efforts … [T]he political baggage of the phrase accumulated over the last several years has caused a rift between Democrats who want a complete overhaul of the U.S. health care system and those who want gradual changes – a divide that both Republican and Democratic strategists say could endanger the movement toward universal coverage.

 

  • The Huffington Post: “But there was something curious about the roster of 107 co-sponsors she rolled out for the legislation.  Twenty-five House Democrats who were co-sponsors of single-payer health care legislation in the last Congress did not sign on as original backers of Jayapal’s bill … Democratic leadership has guaranteed Jayapal only that there will be hearings on the legislation in the House Rules and Budget committees.  Does [Rep. Anna] Eshoo plan to hold hearings on ‘Medicare for all’ for the health subcommittee of Ways and Means?  ‘I have a very full agenda for the subcommittee,’ she said.  ‘And I hope that at some point’ individual members’ priorities, such as ‘Medicare for all,’ can receive hearings.’”

 

  • Roll Call: “Support wobbles as Pramila Jayapal introduces new bill in the House … The downturn in support reflects in part the risks for any politician that proposes dramatic change and uncertainty in a system that is central to Americans’ well-being … [A] majority of those [Democratic Members] who flipped their seats from red to blue focused on strengthening the 2010 health care law and protecting coverage for people with pre-existing medical conditions … Recent polls show that the public appears more interested in a plan that would allow people to maintain their current insurance plan, [Harvard professor Robert] Blendon noted.”

 



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