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House Passes Health Care Bill

Discussion in 'Politics Forum (Local/National/World)' started by searcher, May 4, 2017.



  1. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  2. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Health Chief Says No Decision on Continuing Obamacare Subsidies
    [​IMG]
    Bloomberg

    Saleha Mohsin
    58 mins ago


    (Bloomberg) -- Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said Sunday that “no decision’s been made” on whether to continue key Affordable Care Act subsidies to health-insurance companies, but that the administration’s job is “to follow the law of the land.” A top White House aide said President Donald Trump will decide soon.

    Smarting from the failure of Senate Republicans to pass an Obamacare repeal and replace bill, Trump on Saturday threatened in a tweet to the subsidy payments, which help make insurance accessible to poorer Americans, a move that could critically destabilize health exchanges if it went ahead.

    The administration has previously floated the idea to stop paying the subsidies that help insurers offset health-care costs for low-income Americans, called a cost-sharing reduction, or CSR. The next payment is due on Aug. 21.

    “If a new HealthCare Bill is not approved quickly, BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies and BAILOUTS for Members of Congress will end very soon!” the president said in Saturday’s tweet. It followed a Twitter message on Friday in which he vowed to “let ObamaCare implode.”

    Asked on ABC’s “This Week” how soon the Trump administration could stop the cost-sharing payments, Price said no decision has been made and he can’t comment further because of a pending court case. He also declined to clarify what Trump meant by “implode,” saying the president’s comment “punctuates the concern” he has about changing he direction of the health-care system and getting Congress to act.

    ‘Law of the Land’

    Price said in a separate interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the administration’s “job is to follow the law of the land” and that “we take that responsibility very seriously and we will continue to do so.”

    White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said on “Fox News Sunday” that Trump will soon decide the fate of the subsidy payments. “He’s going to make that decision this week, and that’s a decision that only he can make,” Conway said.

    Trump’s tweet on Saturday also implied that he may target subsidies made available to members of Congress and their staff, who as part of the Affordable Care Act are enrolled in plans on the Washington, D.C., health insurance exchange. Subsidies are similar to those made by employers to pay for their workers’ health insurance premiums.

    Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that the president is weighing such a move, which was urged this month by a coalition of right-wing groups.

    Weeks of Brinkmanship

    A months-long effort by Senate Republicans to pass health-care legislation collapsed early Friday after Republican John McCain of Arizona joined two of his colleagues to block a stripped-down Obamacare repeal bill. McCain’s “no” vote came after weeks of brinkmanship and after his dramatic return from cancer treatment to cast the 50th vote to start debate on the bill earlier in the week. The “skinny” repeal bill was defeated 49-51, falling just short of the 50 votes needed to advance it. Republicans Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska also voted against it.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he’ll move on to other legislative business. But in a later tweet on Saturday, Trump suggested he isn’t giving up. “Unless the Republican Senators are total quitters, Repeal & Replace is not dead! Demand another vote before voting on any other bill!”

    The president said earlier that Senate Republicans “look like fools” after the repeal bill went down, and made a renewed call for the Senate to abolish a rule requiring 60 votes for some bills -- although the health-care measure needed only a 51-vote majority to pass, and fell short.

    Trump reiterated that position in a Twitter posting on Sunday, saying, “Don’t give up Republican Senators, the World is watching: Repeal & Replace...and go to 51 votes.”

    Graham’s Plan

    Republican Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Dean Heller of Nevada met with Trump Friday on a re-jiggered proposal. Graham said in a statement that Trump had been “optimistic” about the trio’s plan. “I had a great meeting with the president and know he remains fully committed to repealing and replacing Obamacare,” Graham said.

    For more on the efforts to repeal the ACA, click here.

    Ending the CSR subsidies, paid monthly to insurers, is one way that Trump could hasten Obamacare’s demise without legislation, by prompting more companies to raise premiums in the individual market or stop offering coverage. The administration last made a payment about a week ago for the previous 30 days, but hasn’t made a long-term commitment.

    Middle-Class Risk

    Responding to Trump’s earlier tweet on Saturday, Andrew Slavitt, acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in the Obama administration, said the impact of cutting off subsidy payments “will be felt by the middle class who will pay more to subsidize low income.”

    On Friday, health-care analyst Spencer Perlman at Veda Partners LLC said in a research note that there’s a 30 percent chance Trump will end CSR payments, which may “immediately destabilize the exchanges, perhaps fatally.”

    America’s Health Insurance Plans, a lobbying group for the industry, has estimated that premiums would rise by about 20 percent if the CSR payments aren’t made. Many insurers have already dropped out of Obamacare markets in the face of mounting losses, and blamed the uncertainty over the future of the cost-sharing subsidies and the individual mandate as one of the reasons behind this year’s premium increases.

    Moments after the Senate voted down the Republican bill on Friday morning, McConnell called on Democrats to offer their ideas for moving forward with health care. But he warned: “Bailing out insurance companies, with no thought of any kind of reform, is not something I want to be a part of.”

    A survey in April by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation showed that 61 percent Americans believe Trump and Republicans are responsible for future problems with the ACA, while 31 percent said President Barack Obama and Democrats would be at fault.

    “If the President refuses to make the cost sharing reduction payments, every expert agrees that premiums will go up and health care will be more expensive for millions of Americans, The president ought to stop playing politics with people’s lives and health care,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement.

    --With assistance from Sahil Kapur Toluse Olorunnipa Ben Bain and Mark Niquette

    To contact the reporter on this story: Saleha Mohsin in Washington at smohsin2@bloomberg.net.

    To contact the editors responsible for this story: Alex Wayne at awayne3@bloomberg.net, Ros Krasny, Kenneth Pringle

    ©2017 Bloomberg L.P.

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/polit...are-subsidies/ar-AAp1pUJ?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=iehp
     
  3. Buck

    Buck Fabian Society Gold Chaser

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    Trump can kill the subsidies for Congress only as this was an EO signed by the Obummer
    That shouldn't affect anyone else but Congress

    Actually kind of simple
     
  4. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Trump right about Australian healthcare: It's better
    • By GLENN BEASLEY
    • 7 hrs ago


    Was Trump right?

    Our president has touted the Australian health care system, calling it better than ours. Intrigued by his comment and a bit skeptical as well, I decided to check out his claim.

    Here is what I found. Everyone in Australia has health coverage. Everyone! The cost is approximately half that of the United States. Half! Essentially all indicators of health show that Australians are healthier than U.S. citizens, including life span, infant mortality rates and rate of obesity.

    Data published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on June 30, 2017 provides the following comparisons:

    • Average life span: U.S.-81.2 years, Australia-84.5 years

    • Infant mortality rate (deaths per 1,000 births): U.S.-5.8, Australia-3.2

    • Adult obesity (measured, percentage): U.S.-38.2, Australia-27.9

    • Cost per person in dollars: U.S.-9,892, Australia-4,708

    • Cost as a percent of GDP: U.S.-17.2, Australia-9.6

    • Number of people uninsured: U.S.-approximately 30 million, Australia-none

    The numbers are compelling. President Trump was right. Australia provides better health care for all of its people at about half the cost per person vs. the United States.

    What are some of the key characteristics of the Australian plan? First, all people are covered by Medicare, with higher income individuals also buying private health insurance (with incentives for the higher income people to purchase private insurance and penalties if they do not). Secondly, the government is authorized to negotiate prices for services and drugs, driving down costs. Third, health insurance is a consumer product. There are dozens of private health plans that compete on service, price and value. Fourth, the average Australian is a savvy consumer who understands what they are getting and the cost so he/she can make an informed decision about a treatment. (source: What Trump Got right about Australian Healthcare, “The Hill”, Deborah Gordon, May 15, 2017).

    The other key aspect of the Australian system is that it has been in place since 1984. That is over 30 years of experience. It is proven! No need to invent the wheel.

    There are over 30 countries in the OECD, including the U.K., France, Canada. All have similar plans to Australia’s plan so it is possible to look at them and decide what variation would work best for the United States.

    There are many aspects of the U.S. that are great despite our president’s rhetoric. It is true, however, that our country is not great when it comes to the health of our citizens. We are only as strong as we are healthy. As a national security issue, the federal government needs to play an important role in health care as it does in other national security issues as the military, the national road system, and education.

    So, the question for Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, Sen. Pat Toomey, and President Trump: Why not repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with what the Australians have? Why aren’t Republicans stampeding to endorse the Australian system instead of trying to pass plans that leave more Americans without health coverage. Why? Why? Why?

    The other question for our representative is why are you reluctant to have an open discussion about this critical issue? This would be a perfect topic for a real town hall meeting or a smaller setting such as the one I requested and was ignored.

    Enjoying our content? Become a Bucks County Courier Times subscriber to support stories like these. Get full access to our signature journalism for just 44 cents a day.

    Glenn Beasley, Newtown Borough, is a long-term resident of Bucks County with a deep commitment to good government.

    http://www.buckscountycouriertimes....cle_11622381-b558-5e68-a94c-4973c784e9bc.html
     
  5. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  6. andial

    andial Sir Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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    searcher likes this.
  7. goldielox1

    goldielox1 Silver Miner Seeker

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    This is the reason for all of the other statistics you cited. Don't worry though, once the petrodollar collapses, the US obesity rate will drop drastically.
     
  8. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  9. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  10. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Laws that subvert the rule of law
    • By GEORGE F. WILL
    • 8 hrs ago

    When John Adams wrote into Massachusetts' Constitution a commitment to a "government of laws and not of men," he probably assumed that the rule of law meant the rule of laws, no matter how many laws there might be. He could not have imagined the modern proliferation and complexity of laws, or how subversive this is of the rule of law.

    Such a subversion will confront Congress when it reconvenes. Congress is nimble at evading responsibilities but cannot avoid deciding either to repudiate or to tolerate a residue of President Obama's lawlessness, one that most, perhaps all, congressional Democrats and many, perhaps most, Republicans want Obama's successor to continue.

    The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) requires insurance companies to insure people with "pre-existing conditions," a locution minted to avoid the awkward candor of saying, in most cases, "people who are already sick." The individual mandate, requiring people to purchase insurance, is one way the ACA subsidizes insurance companies that are mandated to engage in money-losing undertakings.

    The subsidy that Congress must confront in September is the ACA requirement that the secretary of health and human services devise a program to compensate insurers for the cost of selling discounted plans to some low-income purchasers. Obama's HHS secretary created a program to disperse billions of dollars to insurers to defray the costs of the low-income purchasers who are more than half the ACA enrollees.

    But -- speaking of awkwardness -- although the ACA authorizes a permanent expenditure for this, an authorization is not an appropriation, and Congress has never provided an appropriation. Come September, these payments may dramatize the increasing difficulty of discerning Republican and Democratic differences commensurate with their heated rhetoric. Democrats are untroubled by the payments because progressives believe that unfettered presidents are necessary to surmount the inefficiencies, as progressives see them, inherent in the Framers' great mistake, as progressives see it -- the separation of powers. Republicans, however, have a dilemma: Halting the payments might unleash chaos; continuing them seals Republican complicity in perpetuating the ACA.

    The Constitution says: "No money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law." Nevertheless, the Obama administration spent the money for the insurance subsidies, breezily arguing that it was being faithful to something higher than the Constitution -- the ACA's text. Or its logic. Or something. Republican members of the House (including Georgia's Tom Price, who now is secretary of HHS) sued to stop the payments. In May 2016, a federal judge said they were right on the merits but stayed the decision to allow the Obama administration to appeal.

    Donald Trump has exceeded Obama's executive willfulness, which at least strove for a patina of implausible legality. Last month, Trump said that, absent Republican success in replacing the ACA, he might end the payments "very soon." Clearly, he thinks either spending or not spending unappropriated billions is a presidential prerogative.

    The Constitution -- yes, that again -- says that presidents "shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed." The framers, who were parsimonious with words, perhaps included the adverb for the reason Noah Feldman of Harvard Law School suggests: "The Constitution recognizes that the president can't necessarily enforce every law. But it requires a good faith effort." So, the intent of any non-enforcement matters: Is it to husband scarce enforcement resources? Or is it to vitiate a law?

    Trump's unparsimonious dispensing of words has included threats to intentionally cause the ACA to "implode" by halting the unconstitutional disbursement of unappropriated money. Feldman evidently thinks this would be "non-enforcement" in bad faith because the law could no longer function. It is, however, strange to say that dispensing unappropriated funds is faithful "enforcement" of a law just because without the funds the law would collapse.

    Were Trump constitutionally punctilious -- entertain the thought -- he would embrace the judge's ruling on behalf of the House members, and, obedient to his oath of office, stop the unconstitutional payments. But chaos might envelop the ACA exchanges and then the wider individual insurance market, causing many millions of Americans severe mental and financial stress. Republicans can say "let the rule of law prevail though the heavens fall," or they can say ...

    Enter Sen. Lamar Alexander, the Tennessee Republican who chairs the pertinent committee. He wants Trump to "temporarily" continue the payments "through September," pending "a short-term solution" for stabilizing insurance markets "in 2018." Watch carefully as Alexander copes with a pathology of modern -- meaning, presidential -- government unanticipated by John Adams: laws that subvert the rule of law.

    Enjoying our content? Become a Bucks County Courier Times subscriber to support stories like these. Get full access to our signature journalism for just 44 cents a day.

    George Will writes this column for The Washington Post. Email: georgewill@washpost.com.

    http://www.buckscountycouriertimes....cle_f6337504-91bc-5394-99cf-144818107525.html
     
  11. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Trump's healthcare uncertainty has sent prices rocketing: Insurance firms are pushing up costs to cut their losses as the president delays his highly-anticipated reforms
    • President Donald Trump has yet to make any definitive decisions on Obamacare
    • During the 2016 campaign he promised to repeal and replace the law
    • He has issued threats to pull funding from the program which would cut subsidies
    • This gives companies the option of either raising prices or pulling out of the ACA


    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4830882/Insurance-companies-profiting-Trump-s-threats.html#ixzz4r8Rs8jQD
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
     
  12. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  13. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Trump slashes funds to promote Obamacare enrollment by 90 per cent as Democrats accuse him of trying to torpedo medical insurance law
    • The Trump administration has announced sharp cuts in programs promoting health care enrollment under the Affordable Care Act for next year
    • Advertising will be cut from $100 million spent on 2017 sign-ups to $10 million
    • Funding for consumer helpers called 'navigators' will also be cut about 40 percent, from $62.5 million for 2017, to $36.8 million for next year
    • House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said the administration is waging a 'cynical effort to lower enrollment' that would 'create chaos' and increase premiums


    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4843306/HHS-cutting-way-funds-Obamacare-promotion.html#ixzz4rR1hV1pv
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
     
  14. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Is this the kind of America you want?
    Liberty, justice and healthcare for all
    • By the Rev. Bill Bloom
    • 11 hrs ago
    For people of faith, healthcare is a moral issue. All our faith traditions call us to care for the sick and the vulnerable -- to value human life as sacred. Jesus, a healer of the sick, taught his followers that when they cared for the sick, they cared for him.

    In Jewish tradition, the obligation to preserve life surpasses most every other religious commandment. The prophet Mohammed’s commitment to health care led to the world’s first public hospitals started in Muslim countries. As Pope Francis teaches us: “Health is not a consumer good but a universal right.”

    Every proposal in Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and restructure Medicaid so far has violated our obligation to care for the vulnerable. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office analysis of each bill shows the same frightening data: tens of millions of people would lose coverage, millions more pay higher out of pocket costs, and important protections for people with pre-existing conditions could disappear, leaving thousands at the mercy of insurance companies.

    Many of the more than 426,000 Pennsylvanians who gained healthcare through ACA marketplaces and the 700,000 who received coverage through the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid faced losing coverage under these proposals and for that reason, we are grateful that these proposals have been soundly rejected for the time being.

    But even as we appreciate salvation from these reckless bills that would have devastated millions, we recognize that ACA repeal isn’t the only danger facing our health care. As senators voted against repeal, lawmakers in the House continue to advance even more legislation which would do as much or more harm to our care including huge and permanent cuts to Medicaid and Medicare.

    On July 30, Medicaid and Medicare celebrated 52 years of providing healthcare to seniors, people with disabilities, children and low wage workers. Yet rather than celebrate this legacy by protecting these critical pillars of the healthcare system, Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is pushing a budget that would dismantle them. Pennsylvania would feel the impact locally and statewide. More than 2.5 million people in our state depend on Medicaid, including almost 250,000 seniors, more than 1 million children, 640,800 people with disabilities and 82,000 veterans.

    Like all Republican proposals to take healthcare away from working people, the bill would also give huge tax breaks to the rich and massive corporations. Speaker Ryan’s House Budget Resolution cuts trillions from healthcare, education, housing, and many other programs while giving the 1 percent richest households an average annual tax break of $213,000 a year.

    As a person of faith, I cannot condone sacrificing the health of our communities to greed. We know that without coverage, more people will die preventable deaths. We ask our representatives, “Is this the kind of America you want to see?”

    We must embrace our moral and spiritual teachings which call us to care for the vulnerable and to respect the sanctity of life. Let us build an America where we care for one another in times of illness and pain.

    I thank Congressman Fitzpatrick and Sen. Casey for standing up for what is morally right. I urge Sen. Toomey and the other lawmakers who voted to support repeal and replace to re-think their actions and work instead of improving Affordable Care Act, not repealing it in the future. Let us be one nation, under God, with liberty, justice and healthcare for all!

    Enjoying our content? Become a Bucks County Courier Times subscriber to support stories like these. Get full access to our signature journalism for just 44 cents a day.

    Rev. Bill Bloom is minister of music at the United Christian Church in Levittown. He also produces and writes hip-hop and pop music, including “Double Dutch Bus” by Frankie Smith.

    http://www.buckscountycouriertimes....cle_1fb238de-7abc-5731-97c6-441dd9354b0a.html
     
  15. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Booker signs on to Sanders's 'Medicare-for-all' bill
    [​IMG]
    The Hill

    Jordain Carney
    4 hrs ago


    Sen. Cory Booker is throwing his support behind a "Medicare for all" bill being introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), becoming the latest Democrat floated as a 2020 contender to back the legislation.

    The New Jersey senator told NJTV News that he would sign on as a co-sponsor of the bill, which is scheduled to be rolled out on Wednesday.


    "This is something that's got to happen. ObamaCare was a first step in advancing this country, but I won't rest until every American has a basic security that comes with having access to affordable health care," Booker told the New Jersey outlet.

    He added that "you should not be punished because you are working-class or poor and be denied health care. I think health care should be a right to all."

    Booker's office didn't immediately respond to a request for comment about his decision.

    Sanders put his push for a single-payer healthcare system at the center of his 2016 presidential bid, and he has pledged for months that he would introduce legislation.

    The idea is also gaining traction within the Democratic Party and is emerging as a litmus test for potential 2020 presidential candidates.

    In addition to Booker, Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Kamala Harris (Calif.) are supporting Sanders's legislation.

    Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) also announced his support on Monday.

    Booker had previously voiced some support for single-payer.

    Asked on Twitter if he would support the government-run healthcare system, he said "there is great value if not justice In opening up Medicare to all" but Democrats should be focused on stopping the GOP effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

    Despite growing support from the party's 2020 presidential crowd, Sanders's push for a single-payer system doesn't have unanimous support from the Senate Democratic caucus.

    Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said earlier this year that it should be one of the options on the table.

    And four Democrats up for reelection in states won by President Trump, as well as Independent Sen. Angus King (Maine), voted against a recent single-payer amendment offered by GOP Sen. Steve Daines (Mont.).

    Daines's amendment, which was expected to fail, was largely viewed as an attempt by Republicans to get Democrats to go on the record on the issue.

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/polit...-for-all-bill/ar-AArIceg?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=iehp
     
  16. michael59

    michael59 heads up-butts down Platinum Bling

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    What IF I just want to die? DO I NEED YOUR PERMISION booker and sanders? F off stupid-s and ur single payer crap.

    One day when I was a child I inadvertently cut myself, my health care at the time was to rub dirt in the cut. Not much has changed.
     
  17. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Medicare for all the right thing to do
    • By EUGENE ROBINSON
    • 7 hrs ago

    The smartest, savviest people in Washington will tell you Bernie Sanders' "Medicare for all" idea is dead on arrival, a waste of time and energy. But since those same smart, savvy people told you Donald Trump didn't have a prayer of becoming president, I'd advise keeping an open mind.

    What the Vermont senator's bill has going for it is simple: It's the right thing to do.

    The issue is not whether we should have socialized medicine in this country. We already do -- Medicare for everyone over 65; Medicaid for the indigent, the working poor and the disabled; the Children's Health Insurance Program for minors in modest-income families. That's a total of around 133 million Americans who already enjoy most of the benefits of a single-payer health system similar to those in other wealthy countries.

    The philosophical debate about whether government should play a major role in medical care is over, as evidenced by the GOP's "repeal and replace" fiasco. In trying vainly to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, Republicans argued about how to subsidize health insurance, not whether to do so. The most conservative approach -- working through the existing free-market, fee-for-service health care system mediated by private insurance companies -- had already been tried. It is called Obamacare.

    In the end, Republicans couldn't pull the trigger. The question now is whether Democrats will continue to settle for half-measures or finally demand what the party has claimed to want for decades: fully universal health care as a right, not as a privilege.

    Sixteen Democratic senators have announced support for Sanders' bill, introduced Wednesday, "to establish a Medicare-for-all national health insurance program." It is no accident that among them are such potential 2020 presidential hopefuls as Kamala Harris of California, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Cory Booker of New Jersey and Al Franken of Minnesota. They probably believe, as I do, that the party's activist base is ready to go big on health care, even if the congressional leadership remains guarded and skeptical. Both Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi are studiedly noncommittal.

    There is, of course, the not-insignificant fact that Republicans control both the Senate and the House. Even though Trump has to be considered a wild card -- he has, over time, taken every conceivable position on health care -- it is hard to imagine this Congress jumping on the universal-care bandwagon.

    But what Sanders did with his insurgent campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination was to bring "Medicare for all" in from the fringe and make it an acceptable topic for public debate. Medicare is enormously popular among seniors because it works. Why wouldn't it work for the rest of us?


    Critics reply that it would be ruinously expensive. They point to a 2016 Urban Institute study projecting that "Medicare for all" would cost a staggering $32 trillion over the next decade. However, this assumes the federal government would take over all current health care spending by state and local governments, employers and individuals, which would add up to $26 trillion over that same period. Even if this money were paid to the government rather than to health providers and insurance companies, according to this analysis, there would still be a sizable gap to somehow fill.

    During last year's presidential campaign, Sanders estimated that offering Medicare to all would cost $14 trillion over a decade and be offset by tax increases. He has not yet placed a price tag on the bill introduced this week.

    There is another way to look at costs, however. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, in 2015 the United States spent $9,507 per capita on health care. That's more than twice the amount spent per capita in Britain ($4,125), France ($4,530) or Canada ($4,533), all of which have universal health care. In rankings based on factors such as life expectancy and infant mortality, the United States lags behind countries that spend much less on health.

    As Trump and the Republicans in Congress discovered, health care is difficult. The details are devilish, but the big picture is clear: Our system is too byzantine, too expensive, too unfair. Other advanced nations produce better outcomes with single-payer systems that their populations would never trade for ours.

    The ACA was a giant step on the road that leads logically to something very much like what Sanders is proposing. Progressives should take the next step by loudly and proudly proclaiming the destination.

    Enjoying our content? Become a Bucks County Courier Times subscriber to support stories like these. Get full access to our signature journalism for just 44 cents a day.

    Eugene Robinson writes this column for The Washington Post. Email: eugenerobinson@washpost.com.

    http://www.buckscountycouriertimes....cle_d2b88de6-a7db-5fa4-8712-51793b8ace25.html
     
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