Opinion writers express views on health care reform.
The Wall Street Journal: ‘Medicare For All’ Will Terrify Voters
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris made her party’s left-wing base happy this week. But in doing so, she might have made Democrats less attractive to general-election voters. In a CNN town hall Monday, Ms. Harris endorsed “Medicare for all.” Pressed about whether the proposal would abolish private health insurance, the California senator breezily declared, “Let’s eliminate all of that. Let’s move on.” After Republicans jumped on her for this policy’s radicalism, a Harris adviser said the attacks were “good trouble” for her. (Karl Rove, 1/30)
The New York Times: The Medicare-For-All Trap
A couple of weeks ago, one of the country’s most respected health care pollsters — Kaiser Family Foundation — conducted a survey on “Medicare for All.” And the top-line results looked great for advocates of the idea, like Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris. Some 56 percent of respondents said they favored “a national plan called Medicare for All in which all Americans would get their insurance through a single government plan.” A large majority of Democrats backed the idea. Almost a quarter of Republicans did, too. (David Leonhardt, 1/30)
The Washington Post: What Voters Need To Hear From Democratic Contenders On Healthcare
In her CNN town hall, Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) emphatically declared she was for “Medicare-for-all” and wanted to get rid of private insurance. A spokesperson pointed out, “Medicare-for-all is the plan that she believes will solve the problem and get all Americans covered. Period. She has co-sponsored other pieces of legislation that she sees as a path to getting us there, but this is the plan she is running on.” A walk-back! Inconsistency! Conflict in the Democratic Party! Let’s get real; actually, let’s have a real debate rather than a bumper-sticker battle. (Jennifer Rubin, 1/30)
Axios: The Quiet, Steady Rise Of Employer Health Coverage
After many years of steady decline, the proportion of people under 65 with employer health coverage has started to increase. About seven million more people gained employer coverage between 2013 and 2017 — nearly as many as the 10 million people who were covered through the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace last year. Why it matters: Since people with employer coverage are the largest insured group in the country, the next wave of health reform will be more politically successful if it resonates with their concerns. That’s why Kamala Harris’ comment this week about doing away with private health insurance, as part of a Medicare for All plan, exposes the danger for Democrats if they don’t convince people who like their private coverage that they have something better to offer. (Drew Altman, 1/31)
Chicago Tribune: The Dangerous Allure Of ‘Medicare For All’
(Kamala) Harris’ intention to get rid of private insurance will feed this fear. Americans rightly didn’t believe Barack Obama when he said, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.” When Harris says that people who like their health care plans will not be able to keep them, voters will believe her, to her detriment. Democrats can promise that “Medicare for All,” however it is defined, would be an improvement over the status quo, but millions of people with private coverage will figure they are about to get the shaft. (Steve Chapman, 1/30)
The Washington Post: The Media Is Badly Botching The Medicare-For-All Debate
The 2020 presidential campaign will surely wind up being horrifying in many ways. But the good news is that at the moment, it’s featuring a genuine debate about a profoundly consequential policy question. The bad news is that the media are already screwing it up, no less than when they cheered for the Iraq War in 2003 or gave minimal attention to Donald Trump’s spectacular history of personal corruption in 2016. (Paul Waldman, 1/30)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
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