Don't we already cover most healthcare costs? You know, old people, Medicare, hint, hint"?
“Medicare-for-Everyone” is one of the proposals that have been put on the table by some. I have tended to dismiss it as politically impossible, thinking the added cost would be too enormous to handle, while suggesting that a universal Federal umbrella of the same nature but with kick-in points much higher than Medicare (i.e., much higher deductibles and co-pays) is almost un-opposable politically once it is put before the American people. The universal umbrella concept is very, very simple to understand. This is an absolutely critical factor in building public momentum that the consultant-heavy Democratic candidates don’t quite get yet, and it addresses the two problems with our current mish-mash that dwarf every other concern: (1) the threat of losing everything you own and have built for a lifetime if you lose your job; (2) the drag on employers scared to add new jobs for fear of benefit costs racing out of control. It also retains the political benefit of letting the private-sector insurance companies offer much lower-cost policies underneath the umbrella. It is the 98% solution.
At some point as you lower the deductibles and co-pays of a universal Federal umbrella program, it becomes Medicare-for-Everyone. So if we decide that fiscal prudence means we can only go for the Chevrolet version of quite high deductibles and co-pays (with most able to reduce those with relatively inexpensive private insurance, through their jobs or otherwise, and with current Medicaid applied to helping the poor get it, too), call it “Universal Federal Umbrella Insurance,” and describe it as “Modified Medicare-for-Everyone.” If we can go for the Cadillac and get it down to full Medicare coverage, then take away the “Modified” and go for it: “Medicare for Everyone.” All you need to say to blow away the fears, is this: “The costs will be manageable because we already cover the people who need healthcare the most under Medicare. It is do-able. It is more than do-able, it’s really become critically necessary now.” [AND GET BUFFETT AND GATES TO WORK ON THE BIG CEOs TO LEND VOCAL SUPPORT.”] Whatever you do, candidates, it’s K-I-S-S. It’s the key to everything.