Democrats Credit Health Care For House Win And Are Divided On What To Do
- Democrats are divided on what their next legislative step is when it comes to health care after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared “health care won” in the midterms.
- Many Democrats with more moderate bases would be in trouble should Pelosi put Medicare for all up to a vote.
- Medicare for all hearings could begin in April.
Months after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared “health care won” in the midterm elections, Democrats are divided on what their next legislative step is when it comes to health care.
Democratic Reps. Pramila Jayapal of Washington and Debbie Dingell of Michigan unveiled their Medicare for all bill on Feb. 27. It would place virtually all health care payments in the government’s hands.
But Medicare for all and its climate counterpart the Green New Deal have stalled in the House after being rolled out as “ambitious proposals,” reported The Washington Examiner Sunday. (RELATED: 10-Year Study Of More Than 650,000 People Releases Report On Measles Vaccine And Autism)
The Medicare for all bill had 106 co-sponsors when Jayapal and Dingell introduced it. Nearly three weeks later, no new Democrats had signed on, according to The Examiner.
Many Democrats with more moderate bases would be in trouble should Pelosi put Medicare for all up to a vote.
“Most people receive health care from their employer,” Democratic California Rep. Scott Peters said according to The New York Times. “They do not want to replace it with an untested government system.”
Pelosi herself has not expressed enthusiasm for Medicare for all. The Times reported:
Ms. Pelosi has publicly stayed out of the fight, but with hearings on Medicare for all and other proposals scheduled in the coming weeks, that stance may not be sustainable. People close to her say she has serious reservations about the single-payer bill and believes the nation can achieve the goal of universal coverage at a more manageable cost by building on the framework of the Affordable Care Act, which she worked tirelessly to secure in 2010.
Jayapal has said Medicare for all hearings could begin in April.
Many Democrats centered their platforms on ensuring protections for patients with pre-existing conditions, but the “full” House has not yet voted on any legislation on that topic, according to The Times.
Tensions between the Medicare for all faction and centrist faction is likely to continue as House Democrats try to craft their agenda-setting budget, the first of the session.
Republican lawmakers painted Medicare-for-all as a socialist nightmare after Jayapal introduced it.
“If I have a beef with the Medicare-for-all, they’re being totally dishonest with the American people,” Republican Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy told reporters at a meeting in February. “They’re not telling people how they’re going to pay for it.”
Republican Texas Rep. Michael Burgess, who is a physician like Cassidy, described the latest Medicare for all plan as a “one-size-fits-all, Soviet-style policy.”
Like the Democratic House, the 2020 Democratic presidential field is divided on the question of Medicare for all, although many are leaning towards the concept. The House’s Medicare-for-all proposal is broader than the one Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced in 2017. Other 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls including New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, California Sen. Kamala Harris and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren support his plan.
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