June 25, 2019 | Updates

Shalala: 2020 Hopefuls ‘Have Had Trouble Defending’ Medicare For All

WASHINGTON – As South Florida prepares to host the first Democratic presidential primary debates of the 2020 election cycle this week, the Miami Herald reports that the current field of presidential hopefuls’ proposals on issues like health care are “at odds with the messaging local lawmakers and Democrats want to hear,” including Rep. Donna Shalala (D-Fla.):

Rep. Donna Shalala, who fended off a well-funded primary challenge from her left in 2018 and who has held eight town halls around her Miami-based district over the past two months, hasn’t noticed a leftward shift among her constituents since the 2020 race began at the beginning of this year …  “I have not been for Medicare for all and I think all the candidates have had trouble defending their position.  I’m pretty pragmatic.  There are 29 million people that don’t have health insurance.  We need to get them covered,” Shalala said.  “In Florida in particular, the place where they are going to be, the state has not extended Medicaid, which means there are working-class people that do not have access to healthcare.  That’s important to the people of Miami.”   Shalala emerged victorious from a five-way primary last year in which she was attacked from the left by a well-funded challenger who campaigned on Medicare for all

Just weeks ago, Rep. Shalala explained that her constituents tell her they want to keep their private coverage, not be pushed into a one-size-fits-all government-run system under Medicare for all:

REP. SHALALA: “…Out of my own experience and out of what my constituents tell me – they want to keep their private health insurance.  They do not necessarily want to go into a government program.  For those people who have very good private health insurance, they don’t want to go to a lesser program.  Medicare is not as good as many of the private insurance plans we currently have … But, more importantly, why should we spend money when people have good private health insurance?  We need to cover those who don’t have coverage now.”

And while some 2020 White House hopefuls are pivoting away from Medicare for all to so-called “moderate” fallback proposals – such as “public option” or “Medicare buy-in” – these proposed government insurance schemes would ultimately lead to the same result Americans reject: a one-size-fits-all health care system run by Washington that forces families to pay more to wait longer for worse care.



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