How do we respond to “Medicare for All”?

John Barrett

Over the course of the insanely overcrowded 2020 Democratic Primary, all of the candidates have expressed a plan for addressing the current U.S. healthcare crisis.

Democratic voters have expressed healthcare as a top priority in this upcoming election, just as they did in the 2018 midterms.

But as the public is moving increasingly leftward on the issue of healthcare as the private sector, the employer-based system continues to leave people without care when they most need it.

Just last year, a study out of the Harvard School of Medicine showed that more than 45,000 Americans die every year from lack of access to health insurance. 

There is both a practical and moral solution to this, and one that a strong majority of the American people support: single-payer Medicare for All.

A recent HarrisX poll showed that 70 percent of total voters want to see a transition to Medicare for all and even a slim majority of Republican voters (52 percent) want to see the same thing. 

Given that Democrats are supposedly the party of expanding the social safety net to benefit working class Americans, one might assume that support for a transition to single-payer would be a no-brainer.

But, like with most of the Democratic party’s politics, lining up behind objectively good ideas is never that easy.

The current primary frontrunner, former Vice President Joe Biden, has called Medicare for All an insult to his son who died of cancer.

Biden claimed that his private insurance brought prompt care during his struggle with the disease and made him feel like he wasn’t alone .

It is mind-boggling how providing healthcare to all Americans as a human right logically ends in insulting cancer patients.

Perhaps Biden should be asked, “What if your son didn’t have the former Vice President of the United States as his dad and a multi-million dollar family net worth?”

Other conservative goons in the Democratic party like John Delaney and Tim Ryan followed suit with Biden, perpetuating lies about Medicare for All.

It comes as no surprise that all three of these individuals took large sums of money from the for-profit health insurance industry.

In fact, before becoming a public servant, Delaney made hundreds of millions of dollars as a high-level executive at a major health insurance company.

The centrists of the primary race come in the nebulus, shapeshifting forms of Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Sen. Kamala Harris, Sen. Cory Booker and Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

These politicians like to co-opt progressive language on healthcare policy, but lawyerly do the bidding of insurance companies as well.

Extreme attention to detail is required when looking at the policy propositions of the above candidates.

Credit where credit is due — Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Andrew Yang have all unabashedly supported a swift transition to the single-payer system that would save the lives of so many at much less of a cost.

But this article isn’t about them.

It’s about the candidates who are behind the times and against bestowing basic dignity upon the working class and the working poor in our country.

The Democratic party is changing radically toward robust social welfare policies, and those who are in the way need to join or step aside.

If you call yourself a Democrat and you reject Medicare for All, you should not be taken seriously.

You either believe that people have a fundamental right to live and be treated when they get sick, or you don’t.

Those who don’t should find a more comfortable home in a different party.