Robert Reich: Now’s The Time For Medicare For All – OpEd


As Republicans in Congress move to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Democrats are moving toward Medicare for All – a single-payer plan that builds on Medicare and would cover everyone at far lower cost.

Most House Democrats are already supporting a Medicare for All bill.

With health care emerging as the public’s top concern, according to recent polls, the choice between repeal of the Affordable Care Act and Medicare for All is likely to be the major domestic issue in the presidential campaign of 2020 (other than getting Trump out of office, if he lasts that long).

And the better choice is clear. Private for-profit insurers spend a fortune trying to attract healthy people while avoiding the sick and needy, filling out paperwork from hospitals and providers, paying top executives, and rewarding shareholders.

And for-profit insurers are merging like mad, in order to make even more money.

These are among the major reasons why health insurance is becoming so expensive, and why almost every other advanced nation – including our neighbor to the north – has adopted a single-payer system at less cost per person and with better health outcomes.

Most Americans support Medicare for All. According to a Gallup poll conducted in May, a majority would like to see a single-payer system implemented. An April survey from the Economist/YouGov showed 60 percent of Americans in favor of “expanding Medicare to provide health insurance to every American.”

That includes nearly half of people who identify themselves as Republican.

If Republicans gut the Affordable Care Act, the American public will be presented with the real choice ahead: Either expensive health care for the few, or affordable health care for the many.

Robert Reich

Robert B. Reich is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies, and writes at Reich served as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, for which Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century. He has written fifteen books, including the best sellers "Aftershock", "The Work of Nations," and"Beyond Outrage," and, his most recent, "The Common Good," which is available in bookstores now. He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, chairman of Common Cause, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and co-creator of the award-winning documentary, "Inequality For All." He's co-creator of the Netflix original documentary "Saving Capitalism," which is streaming now.

2 thoughts on “Robert Reich: Now’s The Time For Medicare For All – OpEd

  • July 6, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    I think the best, and least expensive, health care delivery system would be to divide health care by publicly funding primary care service, including reproductive services and allowing American consumers and insurance companies sort out the kinds of products that could be made available for all other health care needs. The more people that participate in high quality primary care, the smaller the burden of chronic medical conditions impose on medical services and, therefore, the cost of insurance. Tax cuts should never be a part of the health care debate.

  • July 7, 2017 at 4:34 am

    I think health care should not be only for the wealthy or Government employees who get their health care from their jobs (which we pay for). I think all people have a right to health care. If the rich people want to get more than the average person, let them pay for their own boob jobs, face lifts, and chemical peels. But let everyone else have at least the minimum health care (and this includes reproductive care) without losing their homes or being harassed by debt collectors because they cannot pay.
    All other 1st World countries have a one-payer health care system. ONLY AMERICA is stuck in the past instead of leading the world, like they claim they are.
    The “ObamaCare” is a joke. I just recently got a letter from the ONLY carrier in this state and they said they are dropping out at the end of 2017. Well, that leaves me with NO INSURANCE even if Trump doesn’t get ObamaCare dropped. I’m sure the Republicans only want to enrich the bloated insurance companies and shareholders rather than make things better for more people. Let’s get rid of insurance companies entirely and let the government set a fair price to pay the hospitals and doctors and pharmaceutical companies.
    I, for one, am tired of having never cheated anyone out of anything in my life, to be constantly cheated and ripped off by my Government and it’s leaders. I used to be a proud American, but that was in the distant past… now I am just ashamed.


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