It looks that single-payer health care is starting to be accepted among Democrats. The Center for American Progress (CAP), a bastion of the Democratic establishment, this week released a plan that comes very close to a single-payer system.
This is the oposite from two years ago when Hillary Clinton rejected Senator Bernie Sanders attempt to push his program “Medicare for all” as politically unrealistic.
According to The Hill, the CAP plan, called “Medicare Extra for All,” would provide government-run health insurance for everyone, though people would still have the option of obtaining coverage from an employer.
The Hill also reported that in another sign of the increased prominence of single-payer among Democrats, many lawmakers seen as top contenders for the party’s presidential nomination in 2020, including Senators Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and Elizabeth Warren, are backing Sanders’s latest Medicare for all bill.
Democrats say that the experience of trying to make private markets work in ObamaCare, which was opposed by the Republicans at every turn has changed their perspective on the likelihood of achieving universal coverage.
“I think Bernie Sanders has definitely laid out a vision and created a movement toward Medicare for all, and no doubt that has been a big factor,” said Topher Spiro, vice president for health policy at CAP.
“It’s become clear we’re not going to get any cooperation from Republicans in terms of making the current system work optimally, and there’s a lot of frustration there,” Spiro added.
The Medicare Extra plan is seen as the “final step” to universal coverage after ObamaCare, “We’re beginning that debate now, which will continue for a few years on how best to finally reach that goal,” the CAP president concluded.
However the shift among Democrats is unexpected, having in mind that during the fight to pass ObamaCare in 2009 and 2010, another government-run insurance plan or “public option,” was killed because the Democrats did not gave enough of their votes.