A majority of mayors believe the real solution to the nation’s health care mess is one that Congress isn’t even contemplating: a single-payer system. Nearly two-thirds said a single-payer plan offered in their state “sounds better than the current system.” A handful would only support adopting single-payer if Congress repeals Obamacare. Eleven of the 57 mayors surveyed said they didn’t think an entirely government-funded plan “would work in my city.”
Single-payer is an issue that unites Democrats from the most progressive to the most conservative. In California, state lawmakers are pushing a $400-billion-per-year single-payer bill for the state’s 40 million residents that relies predominantly on state and federal funds currently dedicated to Medicare and Medicaid services. Trump said publicly Wednesday that a nationwide single-payer program would “bankrupt” the U.S. and force citizens to “wait in line for weeks to see a doctor.” On Sunday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer indicated that single-payer could be a centerpiece of a bolder economic fairness message from the Democrats.
Generally, the mayors surveyed were not placated by the Senate GOP’s attempt to compensate for Medicaid cuts by sending $45 billion to states especially plagued by the opioid epidemic. In fact, two-thirds of mayors also said the most helpful thing to tackle to opioid crisis would be more funding for treatment programs not less. A dozen mayors want more regulations to prevent over-prescription by doctors.