With 15 Senators, including Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), and 119 Members of the House of Representatives supporting Medicare for All, the Democrat party’s dream for America’s health care system is clear: single-payer health care. Former Vice President Joe Biden supports expanding the Affordable Care Act, but make no mistake, this is a stepping stone to the Democrats’ dream of government-run health care.
In fact, Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), who chairs the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, has said, “I’m putting this on the table because let’s not pretend about anything here. We’ll work together on what we can work on. But to try to take what we have done, what our North Star is, in terms of universal health care. We will fight to our deaths for that for the rest of our lives. I’ve said it before, I’m going to say it again ‘it’s in our DNA…it’s in our DNA…it is in, our, DNA.’”
Proponents of single payer health care have already outlined how the public option is just a strategy to get to complete government take-over of our health care system. A top Democrat on the Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over the health care sector broadly as well as federal health care agencies has stated so publicly:
“I know that many of you…are single payer advocates, and so am I…Those of us who are pushing for a public health insurance option, don’t disagree with the goal…This is a fight about strategy for getting there and I believe we will,” said Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL).
“Medicare for All” may sound nice, but as Energy and Commerce Republican Leader Greg Walden (R-OR) said, “When you expose it for what it is, then they lose their political talking point.”
158 million Americans who enjoy their employer-sponsored health care plan would lose it. There would be fewer choices for all Americans, and more uncertainty for our most vulnerable – like seniors and those living with a disability who are covered by Medicare Advantage.
Let’s not forget about the $32 trillion dollar price tag for Medicare for All. How in the world do Democrats propose we pay for socialized medicine?
This would require raising an enormous amount of taxes, of course, at a time when people and businesses are struggling to stay afloat during COVID-19. Worse, some Democrats are pushing for expensive, unworkable single-payer health care when Senate Democrats just blocked much-need COVID-19 relief to American families. They also voted against funding the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to help keep businesses open and employees getting paid.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi is slow walking additional COVID-19 relief but had no problem dropping $400 million to prop up ACA enrollment in June, including $100 million for the navigators program. With a cost of $767 per person or $62.5 million to enroll just 81,426 individuals, this program has wasteful government spending written all over it.
Don’t believe the Democrats’ talking point that there are no protections for pre-existing conditions without the ACA. More than a decade before the ACA, Republicans backed the first protections for pre-existing conditions in Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, and this Congress, Republicans have been blocked several times by Democrats when trying to uphold these protections.
What should we be working on to improve our health care system? Walden shared a few ideas on the House floor.
“We need to work together to lower prescription drug prices; aid states in stabilizing health markets damaged by the ACA; lower out-of-pocket costs for patients – including capping seniors’ drug costs – encourage participation in private health insurance; fund our community health centers; increase the options available through the market; and end surprise medical bills. We could do that, together,” said Walden.
Unfortunately, House Democrats continue to play games and pursue their disastrous, innovation-crushing, big government plans for Americans’ health care. Rest assured, House Republicans will keep rejecting these misguided proposals, and we’ll keep fighting to for commonsense reforms that will – unlike the unconstitutional ACA – make affordable health care a reality for every American.