Ron Sider: Health Care for All; but not Medicare for All

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Evangelical theologian Ron Sider has a blog.  Check it out here.

In his most recent post, Sider tackles healthcare.  Here is a taste:

A number of Democratic candidates for president are embracing “Medicare for All”. By that they mean moving to a Canada-type single payer system where everyone has government run health insurance. Is that a good political proposal?

We must distinguish two statements: 1) every single person in the US should have health insurance; 2) every person in the US should be part of a government run health insurance program.

These are two quite different statements that must not be confused.

The US is the richest nation in history but it is the only industrialized nation that does not provide health insurance for all its people.  Studies show that people without health insurance go to the doctor less frequently than people with insurance, are in poorer health, and die younger.  Health insurance for all is a pro-life issue. Every person who cares about the sanctity of human life should support it—and demand that our politicians promptly make that happen.

 But does that mean we should support “Medicare for All”–that is, a single payer system like that in  Canada? No for two reasons.

 First there are very fine, very successful systems (for example in the Netherlands and Switzerland) where everyone has health insurance without having a single-payer system. In both the Netherlands  and Switzerland, people can choose among options and health insurance via a private insurance company is one of the available options.

The second reason Democrats should not embrace “Medicare for All” is because it would be political suicide. About 70% of Americans have private health insurance and they are relatively happy with that private insurance. If the government told them that they must abandon their private insurance and join a government run single-payer system, they would be furious. Making “Medicare for All” the Democratic policy is probably the best way to reelect Donald Trump in 2020.

Read the entire post here.

2 thoughts on “Ron Sider: Health Care for All; but not Medicare for All

  1. Making “Medicare for All” the Democratic policy is probably the best way to reelect Donald Trump in 2020.

    A LOT of what the Dems are doing now — no matter what it is — is the best way to reelect Donald Trump in 2020, 2024, 2028, and President For Life.

    The latest one to fall is Joe Biden, who is now targeted by the #MeToo piranhas for some behavior done 30 years ago. More SJW Woke Than Thou infighting with itself and the Dems will all destroy themselves into little cliques of one while Trump retains a Court Evangelical Base who think he’s the Second Coming of Christ.

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  2. I agree that “universal coverage” would be a far superior motto to “Medicare for All.” As Sider says, there is more than one way to skin a cat. In addition to the countries he notes, I believe Japan manages to cover all citizens through a combination of public options and employer-based insurance. So you may lose a job at Sony or Honda but you won’t go without health insurance.

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