The Thorny, Political Catch-22 That Is ‘Medicare For All’: How Do Candidates Push It Without Alienating Moderates?
Supporting universal health care is emerging as a "must" for the progressive base, but many Americans are wary about eliminating the private insurance industry to get there. The issue is opening up a rift in the party, with moderates cautioning against taking an extreme stance on the issue. “Most of the freshmen who helped take back the House got elected on: ‘We’re going to protect your health insurance even if you have a pre-existing condition,’ not ‘We’re going to take this whole system and throw it out the window,’” said Kenneth Baer, a Democratic strategist.
The New York Times:
Medicare For All Emerges As Early Policy Test For 2020 Democrats
Senator Elizabeth Warren spoke at length this week about her vision for improving the American health care system, like strengthening the Affordable Care Act and making prescription drugs more affordable. Twice, though, she ignored a question posed to her: Would she support eliminating private health insurance in favor of a single-payer system? “Affordable health care for every American” is her goal, Ms. Warren said on Bloomberg Television, and there are “different ways we can get there.” To put it another way: I am not walking into that political trap. (Martin and Goodnough, 2/2)
The New York Times:
Cory Booker On The Issues: Where He Stands
In his six years in the Senate, Cory Booker has progressed from a moderate who defended private equity to a leading progressive voice on issues like criminal justice reform and marijuana legalization. As he transitions to a national presidential campaign, which he announced Friday, the candidate has been focusing on some key issues that animate the left wing of the Democratic Party. ... In 2017, Mr. Booker announced his support for the Medicare for All Act drafted by Senator Bernie Sanders, and reiterated his support in an interview after he announced his candidacy Friday, saying “I signed up and am a big believer in Medicare for all.” (Corasaniti, 2/1)
Cleveland Plain Dealer:
In A Democratic Primary, Sherrod Brown’s Lack Of Support For Medicare-For-All Could Prove Problematic
It’s been hard to find a glaring weakness in Sen. Sherrod Brown’s swing through Iowa this week. Voters have been at the very least curious, with some enthusiastic for a possible presidential run by the Ohio Democrat. But during a meet and greet Friday night, the inevitable question about universal health care came up. (Richardson, 2/2)
Buttigieg: 'Medicare For All' Wouldn't End Private Insurance
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a declared 2020 presidential candidate, on Sunday said a single-payer health care system is "the right place for us to head as a country," while saying a "Medicare for All" program doesn’t necessarily require doing away with private insurance. Buttigieg responded to questions from ABC host George Stephanopoulos about whether Medicare for all means an end to private insurance. (Beavers, 2/3)
Nurses Union Readies Push For Medicare For All Bill
House Democratic leaders' efforts to avoid a messy fight over "Medicare for All" may be put to the test by a 150,000-member national nurses union that's mounting a campaign to force the issue to the top of lawmakers' to-do list. The union starting Monday will recruit volunteers in key congressional districts for anticipated rallies, phone-banking and other activities promoting a House Medicare for All bill and the need for hearings. (Ollstein, 2/1)