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.