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Medicare for All


It’s looking pretty likely that Medicare for All is going to be on the 2020 Democratic platform. Kamala Harris is now co-sponsoring Bernie Sanders’ bill for such a action. This is obviously a move by someone looking to be competitive for the nomination appealing to leftist voters and move a politically popular alternative to the current health care situation ahead. I would now expect anyone who expects to compete for left votes in 2020 to get on board, which probably means everyone but Andrew Cuomo.

The other point here is that given that parts of the Bernie or Bust left who are trying to clear the field for him have already declared Harris an unacceptable sellout, this move undermines that claim. It also demonstrates that regardless the actions of a few Bernie diehards, organized and sustained leftist pressure really works in internal party dynamics when it the organizing takes place within the Democratic Party. Making some sort of universal health care a position as critical for a potential Democratic nominee as supporting the right to choose and gay marriage is a really big win.

The other thing I will say is that despite calls for a rather specific form of “single-payer,” as Scott frequently notes, there are several paths forward toward universal health care. I personally believe that universal Medicare is the most likely because of the program’s preexisting popularity for a half-century, even if it perhaps not what someone designing a health care system would prefer.

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