Different Takes: Comparing ‘Medicare-For-All’ To Communism Makes No Sense; Short-Term Health Insurance Has Big Costs For Everyone
Opinion writers weigh in on these health care topics and others.
The Washington Post:
Giving Everyone Health Care Doesn’t Make You A Communist
One thing President Trump hasn’t changed about the GOP: Republicans still say any increase in government redistribution would be tantamount to communism. That was the case in the 1930s when Republican leaders lambasted the New Deal as Bolshevism-lite. It was in the 1960s when Ronald Reagan warned that Medicare would lead to a socialist dystopia. And it is today when the Trump administration tries to scare voters about the supposed dangers of Medicare-for-all. The only difference is they’re now willing to be more offensive about how they put it. (Matt O'Brien, 10/25)
Short-Term Health Insurance Should Worry You Even If You Don't Need It
Those of us with employment-related health insurance should care about policies affecting the few million people stuck between a rock and a hard place when buying health insurance because they use the same hospitals we do.By law, hospitals must treat uninsured or underinsured patients. The cost of this “uncompensated care” reached $38.3 billion in 2016. That’s a huge drain on hospital resources. A recent report estimated that each uninsured patient costs a hospital $800 in uncompensated costs. People with short-term insurance function as uninsured when they seek treatment for conditions their policies don’t cover, such as childbirth, heart attack, or emergency psychiatric care. (Vivian Ho, 10/26)
Medicare For All Is A Top Election Issue But What Does It Really Mean?
“Medicare for All” is now a political campaign talking point. Polls on Medicare for Alland single-payer health care have shown that public support varies depending on what the proposal is called and the arguments for or against it. Misconceptions abound about these proposals and their likely effects. (Jodi L. Liu and Christine Eibner, 10/26)
The New York Times:
Health Care, Hatred And Lies
Until recently, it looked as if the midterm elections might be defined largely by an argument about health care. Over the past few days, however, the headlines have been dominated instead by hatred — hysteria over a caravan of migrants a thousand miles from the U.S. border, and now the attempted assassination of multiple prominent Democrats. But whoever sent the bombs and why, the caravan hysteria is no accident: creating a climate of hatred is how Republicans avoid talking about health care. What we’re seeing in this election is a kind of culmination of the strategy the right has been using for decades: distract working-class voters from policies that hurt them by promoting culture war and, above all, racial antagonism. (Paul Krugman, 10/25)
Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation:
The Role Health Is And Is Not Playing In The Midterms
Health care has achieved top billing in the midterms. It’s the top issue for Democrats and independents, not Republicans, but that’s been more than enough to propel health to the top of the issue list in national polls, even ahead of the economy and jobs, a rare status for health care. Democrats have jumped on the salience health care has for their base, using it as a tool to energize voters and bludgeon Republicans — making 2018 almost the reverse of 2016. (Drew Altman, 10/25)