There has been a lot of talk about “Medicare for all”. The Democrats have pitched the idea that healthcare is a right, that everyone should be given the same medical treatment, and that “right” should be supplied by the government. Politicians in deep blue districts and states used this mantra with some success in the 2018 elections. Democrat Presidential hopefuls are now using the same message in their fledgling campaigns, and the concept is gaining traction. The promise of “free healthcare” is very alluring, and leftist politicians are counting on this message in part to lead them to victory in 2020.
These politicians are looking at polls, and the numbers are very positive. The Kaiser Foundation poll on this issue rates the issue at 59% positive. Other polls have shown positive ratings as high as 75%. This issue being rated this high is a trigger for politicians to hit hard at this possibility, and on first glance, it is hard to find an argument against this possibility. In fact, it looks like a clear winner for politicians that support a single payer health plan. What possibly could be the downside to something this popular?
These same politicians site the UK, Canada and many countries in Europe and elsewhere as examples of successful single-payer systems. The argument is that if it works in these places, why then would it not work here in the USA? That argument is very compelling, especially since Obama Care is on its deathbed, and people want something that works to replace it!
Once one scratches the surface of what a single payer system would entail, peoples perceptions changes, and not to the positive. When people are told of the costs of such a program, which would be a minimum of 33 trillion dollars over the next decade, resulting in much higher income taxes, their favor-ability begins to fade rapidly. When confronted with longer wait times for service, burgeoning bureaucracy, and care rationing, the numbers go down further. Understanding that over 155 million people will lose their employer based system and their doctors, reality starts to set in. When shown the ongoing failures in countries that currently have this system, the numbers do not improve. Noting that every single payer system has a algorithm to determine who gets real medical care, and who just gets palliative care the numbers drop to as low as 26% supporting this effort.
Something that looked like a clear Progressive winner, now looks like a winning argument for Conservatives in 2020. To leverage this to votes at the polls, Conservatives also need to come up with a definitive plan to fix the mess that was Obama Care, and use a viable plan to get the message out that “single payer” is a clear loser. If this does not happen, then the Democrats still have the ability to take this false promise to the polls and win!