A leftover from yesterday that shouldn’t go unmentioned. She’s mighty glib here about flushing the insurance of 180 million people down the toilet, but then all single-payer supporters are.
.@AOC, asked about warnings from Joe Biden on Medicare for All, says nobody is “heartbroken” at the idea of losing private insurance.
“People like their health care, they like their doctor,” she says. “But I’d be interested in what the public polling on Aetna would look like.”
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) July 17, 2019
Define “heartbroken.” From a Gallup poll published last December:
Democrats are very familiar with that graph. Especially Kamala Harris, who gets fidgety every time she’s asked about MFA and quickly reassures her questioner that “supplemental” private insurance will still exist once she’s president.
What she doesn’t mention unless forced to do so is that “supplemental” means insurance to cover tummy tucks, not health treatments. But that’s a mere detail, apparently, and Harris doesn’t sweat details.
What AOC means here, I think, is that it’s not their insurance per se that people are wedded to, it’s the quality of their coverage. No one cares if their insurance company gets bought out so long as their coverage remains intact with the same (or greater) benefits, the same (or broader) network, and the same (or less) cost. Well, she’s saying, just think of Medicare for All as one big buyout. You’ll get the same coverage, or better! And it’ll cost the same, or less! And you’ll be able to keep your doctor! Is all of that true? Per the AP, there’s reason to worry:
The Mercatus study explained that such savings would be unlikely since that would hinge on hospitals and health care providers accepting much lower payments than they get now.
A research report this year by the nonprofit Rand think tank estimated that Medicare for All would do the opposite of what Sanders is promising, modestly raising national health spending.
The Rand study modeled a hypothetical scenario in which a plan similar to legislation by Sanders had taken effect this year. It found that total U.S. health care spending would be about $3.9 trillion under Medicare for All in 2019, compared with about $3.8 trillion under the status quo.
If your private insurer hikes costs, slashes benefits, and/or shrinks your network, there are alternatives available. If Uncle Sam takes over health coverage and hikes costs, slashes benefits, and/or has trouble convincing doctors to take a pay cut in the form of lower fees, there’s … emigration, I guess.
My favorite poll result of the week, by the way, comes in the form of two tables. Table one looks good for MFA fans:
That’s 52/33 in favor. Pretty good! But then people read the fine print. Table two:
Explain to people that “Medicare for All” doesn’t mean Medicare as an option for all but mandatory Medicare for everyone, with private insurance out the window, and support drops to 37/43. Not a disastrous number for lefties — there’s room for growth as they make their case — but they’re starting in the hole, not with majority support. And of course the opposition hasn’t spent much time making its own case either. Democratic voters who haven’t realized yet that MFA means the end of private insurance are going to get a rude awakening about that from Joe Biden at the next debate when this subject comes up. And there are a lot of Democratic voters out there like that. A lot.