Senator & recent Democratic candidate Michael Bennet has been making the national TV rounds disparaging Medicare for All using Right Wing talking points. He recently attacked it on Morning Joe where he called it a government takeover of healthcare which it is not, though that would not be a bad thing giving its success in many industrialized countries.
This morning he appeared on Meet the Press with Chuck Todd and continued his disingenuous criticism. The video clip includes both his appearance on Morning Joe as well as on Meet the Press.
Michael Bennet: Medicare for All hatchet-man
So which Right Wing Talking points did Bennet use against Medicare for All?
- It would take insurance away from 180 million Americans: FALSE – Everyone would be insured and in the aggregate, it would be better insurance since there would be no deductibles, co-pays, etc.
- It would take insurance away from every labor union in America. FALSE – Same as above.
- It would cost 30 trillion dollars. MISLEADING – While taxes will go up, premiums, copays, and deductibles go away ensuring that most who pay insurance today will have more income in their pockets.
- It is a government takeover of healthcare: FALSE – Hospitals, doctors, drug makers all remain in the private and non-profit sectors. This is the most egregious statement because it is the most polarizing. And making that association as a Democrat increases the weaponized payload from Republicans.
Michael Bennet is doing the dirty work of the insurance company by proposing Medicare X which is less disruptive but allows insurance companies to continue ripping off the American people by profiting from denying services. Moreover, it remains a bifurcated service. While Medicare for All is more disruptive, once it’s normalized it’s the most seamless system possible as seen in many other countries whose citizens are amused by America’s troglodyte form of healthcare.
Medicare X would allow all Americans to buy a public health insurance plan. That plan would pay doctors the same prices that Medicare currently does, and it would allow patients to be seen at the offices and hospitals that Medicare has in network.
But it would have a different benefit package from the public program that covers Americans over age 65. The Medicare X plan would cover things that Medicare does not, such as pediatrics and maternity care.
Bennet and Kaine envision the Medicare X plan growing slowly. In 2020, it would become available only in counties with one or zero health plans selling on the Obamacare marketplace. In 2023, it would open to the entire country and, in 2024, allow small businesses to enroll too. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), one of the sponsors, says he could foresee a future where large employers are also allowed to buy into the plan. (That is not included in the current version of the plan.)
Medicare X and single-payer represent distinctly different views of the future of American health care and what role the federal government ought to play. Medicare X fits neatly into the system that exists right now. It slots into the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces and Medicare’s doctor network.Vox
Remember, many candidates entering the race who are against Medicare for All know they do not stand a chance of winning. They are likely there to change the debate rightward with the expectation of future contributions from the Healthcare Industrial Complex and other segments of the Plutocracy.