As the 2020 presidential election only gets closer, more Democratic presidential candidates turn out to be in support of “Medicare for all,” a nickname for a universal public health care program. During an appearance on CNN, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) issued a passionate defense of the proposal, even as Republicans continue to gripe about its cost.
As she put it to host Chris Cuomo:
‘People talk about the “sticker shock” of Medicare-for-all — they do not talk about the “sticker shock” of the cost of our existing system… At the end of the day, we see that this is not a pipe dream. Every other developed nation in the world does this — why can’t America?.. Why is it that our pockets are only empty when it comes to education and healthcare for our kids? Why are our pockets only empty when we talk about 100 percent renewable energy that is going to save this planet and allow our children to thrive? We only have empty pockets when it comes to the morally right things to do.’
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Posted by Occupy Democrats on Saturday, March 9, 2019
At least among Democrats, the Medicare for all proposal has made significant progress since its recent reintroduction by now two-time presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). He even introduced single payer health care legislation in Congress in late 2017 as Republicans struggled through an eventually failed effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. Sanders put forward a number of proposals to fund the program, which he made sure to note would be instead of, not on top of existing health care costs. As he explained, replacing average private health insurance costs with a 4 percent income based premium would save the average family of four taking in $50,000 a year over $4,000.
Meanwhile, Republicans keep circling around with nonsense like that put forward by now former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wi.), who after the Republicans passed a tax reform package packed to the brim with handouts for the super-rich touted a lower level worker saying their salary went up by $1.50 a week as a benefit. That works out to an additional $78 a year. Just $78.
Just in recent days, Sanders’ team indicated that he was again reviving the legislative version of his Medicare for all proposal, this time including long term care — which Democratic presidential candidates including Sens. Cory Booker (N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), and Kamala Harris (Calif.) indicated they’d support as of Friday.
The plan sits alongside other ambitious strides from Democrats like the “Green New Deal,” which not too long ago finally took its own legislative form with the introduction of a joint Congressional resolution including items like a push for net zero carbon emissions from the United States within ten years.
Trying to gain ground among Republicans on climate change issues again has Democrats running into a wall. Confronted with a report on the pending dramatic effects of climate change from his own administration, President Donald Trump said simply that he didn’t believe it.
An opportunity for the American people to get that nonsense out of office is only getting closer.
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