As Progressive Dems Go All-In On ‘Medicare For All,’ Moderates Worried About ‘Seismic’ Disruptions To System Shy Away
More than 100 Democrats unveiled their new "Medicare for All" plan Wednesday, a proposal that would move every American onto a government insurer in the span of two years. Almost immediately, moderate Democrats started distancing themselves, offering more incremental improvements to the current health system. The topic is driving a wedge into the party and reveals a fault line between broad ideologies on how to move the country forward. Meanwhile, health insurers' stocks are not faring well on the news.
The New York Times:
As Over 100 House Democrats Embrace ‘Medicare For All,’ A Party Division Appears
Denouncing the profit motive in health care, more than 100 House Democrats rallied on Wednesday around a bill to replace most private health insurance with a national single-payer system, “Medicare for all.” The chief sponsor of the bill, Representative Pramila Jayapal, Democrat of Washington, said it would cure “a deep sickness within our for-profit system” of health care. But the bill highlights Democrats’ split over health policy going into the 2020 elections. (Pear, 2/27)
House Democrats Introduce ‘Medicare For All' Bill
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D- Wash.) told reporters that the goal of the Medicare for All Act of 2019, which has more than 100 co-sponsors, is to completely overhaul the U.S. healthcare system and convert it to a government-run entity. The legislation provides an outline of the thinking of some congressional Democrats on "Medicare for All," an issue that has been highly debated among Democrats running for president in 2020. (King, 2/27)
Kaiser Health News:
There’s A New ‘Medicare-For-All’ Bill In The House. Why Does It Matter?
In many ways, the proposal sounds familiar: The government would establish a health plan that pays for basically all forms of medical care for all citizens. That’s how it gets the moniker “Medicare-for-all.” Under this plan, patients would not be responsible for any cost sharing of medical expenses, and the government coverage would include hospitals, doctors, preventive care, prescription meds and dental and vision care. Private insurers would not be allowed to sell plans that compete with the government program. Senior citizens would be folded into the new Medicare plan, which would be more generous than their current coverage, and the government would make sure any medical care they are getting is not disrupted. The bill leaves two other government health care payers intact: the Veterans Health Administration and the Indian Health Service. (Luthra, 2/27)
Democrats Divided Over Medicare-For-All Bill
Last year, a record 62 percent of Democrats backed the House single-payer “Medicare-for-all” bill. Roughly 46 percent of House Democrats have so far signed onto the measure to be unveiled Wednesday. 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. It underscores the political calculations Democrats face now that the party controls the House and hopes to capture the White House in the 2020 presidential election. And as the party gains power, its ideas will be taken more seriously. (McIntire, 2/27)
Health Insurers Sink As `Medicare For All' Idea Gains Traction
Health insurers are leading declines among health-care stocks as investors turned their focus to Democrats’ new “Medicare for all” bill that would replace almost all private plans and assessed the implications of a Senate hearing on surging drug prices. The S&P 500 Managed Health Care Index plunged as much as 4.9 percent, the most since Dec. 6, led by UnitedHealth Group Inc., Humana Inc. and WellCare Health Plans Inc. The broader health sector index fell 0.8 percent. (Darie, 2/27)
POLITICO's Pulse Check: Meet The Industry Group Fighting Medicare For All
More than 100 House Democrats on Wednesday, led by Rep. Pramila Jayapal, unveiled their sweeping Medicare for All legislation. So what comes next — and why is the health care industry so opposed to it? First, POLITICO's Alice Miranda Ollstein joins Dan Diamond (starts at the 1:05 mark) on Capitol Hill to explain the state of play. (2/28)