Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A Gateway to Single-Payer for All Is Finally Within Reach

With the utterly embarassing and monumental failure of the Trumpcare/Ryancare bill occuring in tandem with increasing awareness of both the real and imagined flaws of Obamacare (even though it is not actually imploding OR exploding), we now have a very limited "Overton Window" of opportunity for true progressives such as Bernie Sanders to push through an idea that will be a gateway to single-payer healthcare for all.  And that idea is to simply lower the eligibility age for Medicare, effectively creating a public option that will put a ceiling on private insurance costs due to competition while also relieving insurance companies of the cost having to cover older Americans, further bending the cost curve downwards.
While we at the TSAP ultimately prefer a full-fledged single-payer system for all, this idea is a great steppingstone towards that goal.  First, lower the age to 62, then 55, then 50, and before you know it, the age limit will be lowered to zero, covering everyone if they so choose to participate, while (at first) leaving the rest of Obamacare intact.  Combine that with allowing prescription drugs to be imported from Canada as well as having the government negotiate lower drug prices over here via monopsony power, and the current private, for-profit sick-care racket will soon be history.  Then Medicare and Medicaid can be combined, and we will truly have single-payer for all, similar to Canada and most other industrialized nations.  And poll after poll shows that the majority of Americans support single-payer.

Ironically, Trump himself originally went on the record as having supported single-payer healthcare back in 2000.  Perhaps We the People ought to keep reminding him of that fact, and hound him about it until he finally returns to that idea, before he wipes the egg off of his face from his recent defeat.

Anything less would be uncivilized.  Believe me. 


  1. That would be great, believe me. However, I think the plan to lower the age of eligibility is too enthusiastic. The Freedom Caucus is a hard-right caucus that doesn't like government in health care. The Freedom Caucus tolerates Medicare but it would not advance bills to lower the age of eligibility. The Freedom Caucus is the caucus that is responsible for adding hard-right provisions into the terrible health care bill causing the bill to fail. Even to lower the age of eligibility, there would need to a Democratic majority in Congress. The Republican Party became a hard-right political party in the 2000s decade and many Republican supporters are far-right. If Democrats can control Congress starting in 2019, then the pathway to single payer health care can be started, until then, they are only proposals to be discussed.

  2. You may be right. All the more reason to throw the bums out in 2018.

  3. Yes, that is the strategy to restart progress.