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(3,282 posts)
Sun Apr 19, 2020, 10:10 PM Apr 2020

Have we crossed a line regarding UHC?

Editing to include definitions:

UHC = Universal Healthcare - Policy meant to ensure all individuals have health insurance

M4A = Medicare for All - A form of UHC that is gained through government provided healthcare for all individuals.

Six months ago I'd have told you that M4A was a losing issue in the general election, and at the time that was right. However, COVID-19 has since changed everything. The issue didn't help Bernie in the primary, but there were a lot of reasons for his loss, particularly that voters didn't want a revolution and they didn't want to burn down the Democratic Party.

Still, there's nothing better to make the argument that there needs to be a disconnect between employment and health insurance than a deadly pandemic disease that leads to 25-30 million people becoming unemployed almost simultaneously.

So, would it be a good idea for Biden to make a big policy announcement where he comes out in favor of a slightly more moderate version of M4A. One where private insurance isn't abolished but rather left as an supplemental thing, much like the Canadian model?

We can rehash the UHC debate we've had forever, but looking at it just from a political stance right now shifting to M4A would do a few things.

1: Solidify the Bernie supporters. That is their main complaint, that they want M4A. So it would be the ultimate olive branch to them.

2: It forces Trump defend employer based insurance fully. As long as M4A is open, there's a chance Trump could incorporate it. Look, it's ridiculous to think republicans would support it, but Trump would do or say anything he thinks would help him win and that includes atleast hinting that he will do M4A. Take the position and don't give him the chance.

3: The cost seems a lot lower now. In the past few weeks we have seen trillions of dollars spent. Hearing numbers that big will make the M4A pricetag easier to defend.

4: There are going to be stories upon stories of people who don't have insurance going through hell because of unemployment and COVID from now to election day. We should position ourselves to be clearly on the side that wants to take care of them without them having to take on payments that they can't afford.

So, should he adopt the position or stay with what he has?

12 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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Have we crossed a line regarding UHC? (Original Post) BGBD Apr 2020 OP
Sounds like a winning issue. theaocp Apr 2020 #1
There is an assumption that everyone knows the meaning of M4A.I don't & I have been here a long time Stuart G Apr 2020 #2
Medicare 4 All. Alex4Martinez Apr 2020 #3
k BGBD Apr 2020 #4
It isn't going to happen, but some people won't let go of the idea. TexasTowelie Apr 2020 #5
It's not necessarily BGBD Apr 2020 #6
Probably even less likely after this blow to economy. HOWEVER Hoyt Apr 2020 #7
My understanding of the House and Senate M4A bills, area51 Apr 2020 #8
Bernies BGBD Apr 2020 #9
I doubt it kurtcagle Apr 2020 #10
I don't think he'd do it. BGBD Apr 2020 #11
Nobody is discussing the cost of COVID-19 treatment... brooklynite Apr 2020 #12

Stuart G

(38,672 posts)
2. There is an assumption that everyone knows the meaning of M4A.I don't & I have been here a long time
Sun Apr 19, 2020, 10:13 PM
Apr 2020

Please do not use an abbreviation that is not well known to everyone..Thank You for reading this..


(113,717 posts)
5. It isn't going to happen, but some people won't let go of the idea.
Sun Apr 19, 2020, 10:31 PM
Apr 2020

1. If there are Bernie supporters who still aren't willing to support Biden as the nominee, then no amount of concessions on M4A, free college, or any other issue will placate them. Biden, in the minds of that group, is a Vichy Democrat, corporatist, and part of the establishment.

2. Trump is not going to be forced to defend employer based insurance, he will go on the offensive attacking the proposal as socialism and more government interference in the lives of Americans.

3. After paying out $2 trillion on the current stimulus package and another package for the next phase there isn't going to be a lot of support for spending over $3 trillion each and every year (that is a low-end estimate, btw).

4. I don't believe that we actually have any information as to what percentage of the COVID-19 patients are uninsured. The elderly over 65 should have Medicare that will pay for their medical care (or at least a substantial portion of it). People that are self-employed and on private insurance through the ACA will be in the same boat as the elderly. Some of the newly unemployed are on furlough and also remain on insurance. I'm sympathetic to those who have lost both their jobs and their insurance with it, but I doubt those numbers are large enough that it is going to have such a drastic effect that Biden is going to change his position on M4A.



(3,282 posts)
6. It's not necessarily
Sun Apr 19, 2020, 10:42 PM
Apr 2020

COVID patients, it's the 2nd and 3rd order effects. People without insurance are unable to afford medications that they need, things that keep them from getting severely ill or dying. They try to ration and end up in bad shape needing medical attention which they either can't get or can but increases the load on the healthcare system and exposes them to COVID.

I think maybe right now Trump attacking it as socialism would have the least effect as ever. M4A is probably going to be as popular over the next year as it ever has or ever will be. I think it's just really hard not to see 30 million unemployed people without coverage and not see M4A as the best option.



(54,770 posts)
7. Probably even less likely after this blow to economy. HOWEVER
Sun Apr 19, 2020, 10:44 PM
Apr 2020

I think we’ll see a call for heavily subsidized care — means tested — to ensure some basic coverage is affordable for almost everyone.. That is, expansion of Medicaid and a Public Option — with subsidies— for those at in lower income groups.

I think the virus does move us closer to universal coverage and an enhanced safety net.


(12,001 posts)
8. My understanding of the House and Senate M4A bills,
Sun Apr 19, 2020, 11:16 PM
Apr 2020

is that private insurance could offer supplemental coverage.


(1,757 posts)
10. I doubt it
Sun Apr 19, 2020, 11:30 PM
Apr 2020

1) He's going to do nothing to help the blue states, and anything that looks like he's doing that can be construed as abandoning his base.
2) The Republicans have painted themselves into a corner by failing to tackle health insurance and if they go along with the Democrats, then their past record looks exactly like it was: political obstructionism.
3) The Republicans feel they caved far too easily on the stimulus package, and are already backtracking on any additional aid in that direction.
4) Trump does not think in terms of what's likely to be best for the country. There has to be something in it for him. He also believes that reaching across the aisle to work with Pelosi will make him appear weak in front of his base, regardless of whether it benefits him in the election or not. I'm not sure he's even intellectually capable of compromise at this point.
5) There's no time. It took nearly Obama's entire first term to get the ACA passed. Trump's going to have his hands full just getting the economy to turn around by the time November rolls around.

It's a nice thought, but it's not something I see happening under Trump. Under Biden, yeah, I think that a single-payer option, if not M4A, will almost certainly pass, but we have to get Biden elected first.



(3,282 posts)
11. I don't think he'd do it.
Sun Apr 19, 2020, 11:34 PM
Apr 2020

I think he'd say he'll do it.

I don't think he's worried about his base at all. He is right that he can pretty much do whatever he wants and they will fall in line. He could tell them he wants to build a harem of girls and there would be a line 15 miles long of people in MAGA hats anxiously waiting to give their daughters as tribute.



(96,641 posts)
12. Nobody is discussing the cost of COVID-19 treatment...
Sun Apr 19, 2020, 11:42 PM
Apr 2020

...MfA isn't gaining in popularity. Arguably, MfA will be less popular because the Government response to a healthcare crisis would make undecided people comfortable with a Government managed healthcare system.

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