No, You Can’t ‘Keep Your Plan’

Support For The Radical Government Takeover Of Health Care Democrats Call ‘Medicare For All’ Plummets Once Americans Hear It Would ‘Eliminate Private Insurance,’ Create Waitlists To Access Care, And Cost $32 Trillion


Many Democrats Have Embraced A Radical Government Takeover Of Health Care Framed As ‘Medicare For All’

“The new Democratic majority in the House will hold the first hearings on Medicare-for-All legislation, a longtime goal of the party’s left, after Speaker Nancy Pelosi lent her support for the process. ‘It’s a huge step forward to have the speaker’s support,’ said Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), who will be the House sponsor of the legislation, usually denoted as HR 676.” (“House Democrats Plan To Hold Hearings On Medicare For All,” The Washington Post, 1/03/2019)

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA): “[W]e need to have Medicare for all. That's just the bottom line.”

CNN’S JAKE TAPPER: “[T]o reiterate, you support the Medicare for all bill … initially co-sponsored by Senator Bernie Sanders. You're also a co-sponsor onto it. I believe it will totally eliminate private insurance. So for people out there who like their insurance, they don't get to keep it?”

HARRIS: “Well, listen, the idea is that everyone gets access to medical care, and you don't have to go through the process of going through an insurance company, having them give you approval, going through the paperwork, all of the delay that may require. Who of us has not had that situation, where you've got to wait for approval, and the doctor says, well, I don't know if your insurance company is going to cover this? Let's eliminate all of that. Let's move on.”

(CNN, 1/28/2019)


“Harris is not alone. Two other presidential contenders, U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., have both co-sponsored legislation introduced by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., in the past that would have created a national single-payer health care system.” (“As Democrats Shift Left And Debate ‘Medicare For All,' What Does That Mean For The Insurance Capital?,” Hartford Courant, 2/04/2019)

“[Sen. Cory] Booker [D-NJ] has also announced his support for the Medicare-for-all plan by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to nationalize the health-insurance industry and provide universal government insurance.” (“Cory Booker’s 2020 Policy Agenda: ‘Baby Bonds,’ Criminal Justice Reform, Action On Climate Change,” The Washington Post, 2/01/2019)

“‘If we could make the leap straight to Medicare for All, I would love for us to do that,’ [Sen. Jeff] Merkley [D-OR] said.” (“Democrats’ Plan To Neuter Medicare For All Irks Liberals,” Politico, 1/22/2019)


What Does ‘Medicare For All’ Mean?

You Would Lose Your Current Health Care Plan

THE NEW YORK TIMES: “How Medicare for All Would Affect You … The plan would also have big effects on the health care industry, since it would eliminate private health insurance …” (“How Medicare for All Would Affect You,” The New York Times, 9/14/2017)

“Nearly any single-payer plan would require substantial disruptions in the current health care system, upending the insurance arrangements of the 156 million Americans who get their coverage from work ... and shifting more health care spending onto the government ledger.” (“How Single-Payer Health Care Could Trip Up Democrats,” The New York Times, 9/11/2017)


‘An Astonishingly High Price Tag’ – ‘$32Trillion’

THE WASHINGTON POST: “[T]he government’s price tag would be astonishing. When Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) proposed a ‘Medicare for all’ health plan in his presidential campaign, the nonpartisan Urban Institute figured that it would raise government spending by $32trillion over 10 years, requiring a tax increase so huge that even the democratic socialist Mr. Sanders did not propose anything close to it.” (Editorial, “Single-Payer Health Care Would Have An Astonishingly High Price Tag,” The Washington Post, 6/18/2017)


Government Health Care Rationing

THE WASHINGTON POST: “Even if the United States adopted Medicare-for-all or some other version of national health insurance, Americans would not get everything they want whenever they want it. No one, in any country, does…. [W]hat Medicare-for-all could not do — and what Ms. Harris and others who may tout the idea during the coming campaign cannot claim honestly — is end health-care rationing. Doctors, or somebody, would still have to tell patients that some procedures or prescription drugs are covered and some are not. The government would have to decide what does get covered.” (Editorial, “You Can’t Have It All — Even With Medicare-For-All,” The Washington Post, 1/31/2019)

“Experts say the debate so far glosses over the enormous challenges of putting in place a single-payer system with the government fully in control of the $3.5 trillion U.S. health care system.” (“Some Dems Demure On ‘Medicare-For-All’ As Pitfalls Emerge,” The Associated Press, 2/04/2019)


Illusory Support For A Single-Payer System Plummets Once Americans Understand What It Would Do To Them

“[A] University of Chicago survey released in January found that a majority of people believe, incorrectly, that public insurance would be optional under Medicare for All and that they would be able to keep their private health coverage.” (“Republicans Can’t Wait To Debate ‘Medicare For All,’” Politico, 2/10/2019)

  • “Fifty-five percent of respondents said they believed that Medicare for All would be voluntary, allowing Americans to keep their existing plans. But Sanders has suggested a single-payer system that would replace all current forms of health insurance.” (Politico Pulse, 1/25/2019)

“This month’s KFF Health Tracking Poll finds the net favorability of attitudes towards a national Medicare-for-all plan can swing significantly, depending on what arguments the public hears…. [N]et favorability drops as low as -44 percentage points when people hear the argument that this would lead to delays in some people getting some medical tests and treatments. Net favorability is also negative if people hear it would threaten the current Medicare program (-28 percentage points), require most Americans to pay more in taxes (-23 percentage points), or eliminate private health insurance companies (-21 percentage points).” (“KFF Health Tracking Poll – January 2019: The Public On Next Steps For The ACA And Proposals To Expand Coverage,” Kaiser Family Foundation, 1/23/2019)

In a recent CNN poll, even among those who said they supported a government-run single payer system, 54% said that system “should not completely replace private health insurance.” (SSRS CNN Poll, p.4, 2/06/2019)


A New Poll Finds 'Voter Support for ‘Medicare for All” Tumbles in New Year’

“Although ‘Medicare for all’ enjoyed net support of 27 percentage points (calculated by subtracting the share of opponents from the share of supporters) among registered voters at the onset of 2019, that share dropped 15 points in the Feb. 7-10 survey, to 12 points. The poll, which surveyed 1,991 voters and has a margin of error of 2 percentage points, found opposition to a system in which all Americans get their health insurance from the government grew among voters of both political parties, with net support sinking 11 points among Democrats and 21 points among Republicans.” (“Voter Support for ‘Medicare for All’ Tumbles in New Year,” Axios, 2/13/2019)



Related Issues: Health Care, Obamacare