Remember this during the VP debate, Kamala Harris is not moderate on health care
Let’s see if Harris makes the same mistake this week when she debates vice president Mike pence in Utah Wednesday night.
There is no doubt that Harris openly assumed the role of heir apparent to Biden.
If he wins in November, the former vice-president will be 78 when he takes the oath. He will necessarily be considered a lame duck from the day he is sworn in. And that could mark the moment Kamala Harris abandons the pretense that she’s some kind of moderate when it comes to healthcare.
Harris was, after all, the very first co-sponsor of Senator Bernie Sanders’ Medicare-for-all bill of 2017, which would have banned private coverage and initiated a takeover of the health insurance system by the government. government. She also approved Sanders’ second legislative candidacy for Medicare-for-All in 2019.
The Sanders plan is breathtaking in its radicalism. By ending private insurance, that would put 1.8 million Americans out of work, according to research by economists at the University of Massachusetts.
Estimates of the federal spending needed to pay for the brand of health care reform Harris, Sanders and the progressive wing of the party are pushing for vary from huge to staggering.
Most studies estimate the price to be between $ 30 trillion and $ 40 trillion in the first 10 years. These estimates may be low because they assume massive reductions in payments to doctors and hospitals that are unlikely to occur.
As a perspective, the total federal budget for fiscal 2019, before COVID, was $ 4.4 trillion.
The fictitious answer to the question of how we pay Medicare for All is to eliminate all the benefits and administrative costs associated with the current system and increased taxes on the rich. But even doubling all federal personal and corporate tax revenues would be insufficient to cover the Medicare-for-All bill.
Premiums, deductibles, and co-payments for U.S. policyholders would disappear as expenses for individuals and employers – and reappear as taxes.
In truth, public administration is likely to be much less efficient than private sector companies that have to make a profit in order to survive. If there are “savings” to be made, they will come from rationing of care it is universal in socialized systems.
When running for president rather than runners-up, Harris came up with her own version of “Medicare-for-all,” then disowned, then covered up.
No, it wouldn’t eliminate private insurance entirely – it would simply impose strict federal requirements on what private insurers should cover and regulate what they could charge. Think about the mandatory ObamaCare trade-in plans but with less choice. And she promised to put her plan in place over 10 years rather than Sanders’ four.
Harris backed down because she knows most Americans like the coverage they have now. Seven in ten people rate their coverage as “good” or “excellent”. Eight in ten people say that the care they receive personally is “good” or “excellent”.
But the ruling left of the party doesn’t care what public opinion says. They want radical change in all aspects of American life, with health care at the top of the list.
Biden could put on hold the Democrats’ quest for “Medicare-for-all.” Harris’ story shows that she will resume the movement for a government takeover of health insurance as soon as the opportunity presents itself.
Sally C. Pipes is President, CEO and Thomas W. Smith Fellow in Healthcare Policy at the Pacific Research Institute. His latest book is False Premise, False Promise: The Disastrous Reality of Medicare for All (Encounter 2020). Follow her on Twitter @sallypipes.