We explained last week that when politicians say “Medicare for all,” they are talking about a one-size-fits-all system that would:

But, when it comes to so-called “moderate” fallbacks – such as the public option, Medicare buy-in and ‘Medicare for all who want it’ – there is a growing consensus that these new government-run health insurance systems are simply “stepping stones to single payer,” as The Wall Street Journal reports – meaning they would lead to the same one-size-fits-all system and the same unaffordable costs to working families.  Along the way, analysts warn, these proposals could lead to higher taxes and premiums, while destabilizing the insurance markets millions of Americans depend on for their coverage.

Journalists, analysts, lawmakers and Democratic presidential candidates alike have acknowledged that these systems are intended to lead to one-size-fits-all Medicare for all:

News coverage and analysis warns of higher taxes and premiums under the public option or a ‘buy-in’ system:

Recent headlines and studies also warn about the severe consequences such a government-controlled health insurance system would have on American families’ access to quality care, particularly in rural communities:

The study, conducted by Navigant for the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future, finds that the public option could put more than 1,000 rural U.S. hospitals in 46 states “at high risk of closure.”  These hospitals serve more than 60 million Americans, and as Kaiser Health News and NPR reporthospital closures can have “profound social, emotional and medical consequences,” while RevCycleIntelligence also reports“[p]atient access to care suffers when a rural hospital closes its doors for good, and consequently, patient outcomes can deteriorate.