After listening to the Democratic debates, it was clear the insurance and pharmaceutical industries were acting like fog machines at a rock concert, obscuring the truth and confusing the public about Medicare for All.
When asking candidates about it, moderator Lester Holt’s words reflected industry bias: “Who here would abolish their private insurance in favor of a government-run plan?” Would Holt have referred to public schools as “government-run education”? By saying “private health insurance” instead of “corporate-profiteering plans,” Holt perpetuates the misleading terminology.
The health insurance industry is pulling out all the stops to undermine Medicare for All’s growing popularity. Holt doubled down on his bias later in the debate, claiming Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All bill “would put essentially everybody on Medicare, then eliminate private plans that offer similar coverage.” In fact, Sanders’ bill provides everyone with comprehensive health-care coverage, including dental, hearing, vision and home-based long-term care – all without co-payments or deductibles. You don’t find this kind of blanket coverage in private plans today.
While Medicare for All would use a government-funded single-payer model, independent hospitals and physicians would run the system with standardized rates. A single public agency would organize the financing; like Medicare, private providers, physicians and hospitals will deliver the care – not the government.