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Tue Nov 5, 2019, 03:59 PM

Elizabeth Warren Is Asking the Most Important Question on Health Care

Last week, Senator Elizabeth Warren released the much-anticipated financing details of her Medicare for All proposal. And they look good — too good, critics say. She has managed to outline a plan that could, in theory, finance generous universal care without a middle-class tax increase.

Experts and opponents are diving in, and they’re already finding much to dispute. But we shouldn’t lose sight of what Ms. Warren is trying to do. She’s making an evidence-based case for shifting the debate away from the perilous place it’s now in. Rather than “Will taxes go up?” or “Will private insurance be eliminated?” she wants us to ask a more basic question: How can we move from a broken system — a system that bankrupts even families who have insurance and produces subpar health outcomes despite exorbitant prices — to one that covers everyone, restrains prices and improves results?

That’s a question I’ve been thinking about for a long time. I first started advocating a step-by-step path away from our current system toward universal Medicare almost 20 years ago. A partial version became the “public option” that was stripped from the Affordable Care Act before its passage. More recently, I contributed to the design of the Medicare for America Act introduced by Representatives Rosa DeLauro and Jan Schakowsky, which would allow high-quality employment-based health plans to continue but cover everyone else through Medicare. (Full disclosure: I’ve also offered advice to the Warren campaign.)

Getting to affordable universal care has always been a problem of politics, not economics. Given that the United States spends much more for much less complete coverage than any other rich democracy, it’s easy to come up with a health care design that’s much better than what we have. The problem is figuring out how to overcome three big political hurdles: financing a new system, reducing disruptions as you displace the old system and overcoming the backlash from those the old system makes rich.


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Reply Elizabeth Warren Is Asking the Most Important Question on Health Care (Original post)
Zorro Nov 2019 OP
lagomorph777 Nov 2019 #1
appalachiablue Nov 2019 #2

Response to Zorro (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2019, 05:19 PM

1. We keep allowing the media to ask "What will it cost in taxes?" instead of

"What is the net savings (difference between tax increase and the elimination of insurance premiums)?"

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Response to lagomorph777 (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 6, 2019, 10:08 AM

2. +10

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