Pramila Jayapal, a Democratic Congresswoman from Washington, indicated on Tuesday that the time has come to begin laying the groundwork to vote on a Medicare-for-All bill once Democrats take control of the House in January 2019.
“We are going to be pushing for it to get a hearing … to have this debate on the floor,” Jayapal told National Nurses United union members during a conference call, reports The Hill.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal speaking at a ‘Hands Off’ rally to voice opinions about Trump’s budget proposal – May 2017
Organizers from liberal groups, led by National Nurses United, said on the call that they are going to be organizing grassroots support, including phone calls especially targeting the 13 House Democrats on the key committees of Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce who they said have not signed onto the Medicare for All bill yet.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the idea’s leading champion, also joined the call and called for “massive grass-roots support” to push for Medicare for all.
Jayapal, co-chairman of the House’s Medicare for All caucus, is likely to face headwinds regarding the potential legislation as Party leadership has yet to sign on to a bill or shown any interest in bringing such a measure to vote.
In a recent interview with The Hill, Jayapal said the Medicare for All caucus is hard at work crafting a “revised version” of the Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act, and aims to introduce it during Congress’ upcoming sessions.
Hefty Costs For Those Who’ve Tried
California pondered the idea of a single-payer health care system until they realized it would cost about $400 billion a year—more than twice the state’s annual budget.
A single-payer bill passed by New York’s state assembly would cost $173 billion annually (the state generates about $71 billion a year in revenue).
Vermont had to scrap their plans for a single payer system after realizing it would cost an extra $2.5 billion annually, almost double the state’s current budget, and would have required an 11.5 percent payroll tax increase and a 9 percent income tax increase.
Nationwide “Medicare for all” could cost more than $32 trillion over its first decade, and other experts that may be a conservative number. Even if the U.S. were to double federal income and corporate taxes they would still not have enough to pay for this program.
Cost Is Not The Only Issue.
In Great Britain, 4.2 million patients were on England’s National Health Service waiting lists.
In Canada, the median wait time between seeing a general practitioner and following up with a specialist is almost 3 months.
The wait between seeing a doctor and beginning treatment is five months. According to a Fraser Institute study, the average Canadian waits 3 to 5 months to see an ophthalmologist, orthopedist and neurosurgeon.
However, this has not done anything to stop the promoters of Medicare for All. Our healthcare was already expensive and Obamacare made it worse. Instead of practical ideas like rolling back the tax burden on insurance companies (caused by Obamacare); lowering regulations on health plans; not forcing consumers to buy coverage they do not need or want; and allowing the free market to create competition and provide quality care at a better cost.
The best our politicians can do is promise “Medicare for All”?
Sadly, promising the masses free anything usually prevents rational people from asking questions such as, “How will this be paid for?” or “Forget the intention of the program … what is the effect?”.