“Medicare for all would cost $32 trillion” ,”stripped down low-cost policies now available”, “Obamacare loses pre-existing condition protections”, “Democrats will highlight Healthcare in the mid-terms” and “House bill allows for more Health Savings Account (HSA) Flexibility”. Healthcare has been in the news lately and in political campaigns signifying noise but little forward motion. Democrats in many of the mid-term races are making healthcare a centerpiece. What that means varies between bailing out Obamacare to Medicare for All. By easing requirements to cover pre-existing condition and allowing stripped down short-term health policies the administration further destabilized the already wobbly Obamacare. What these efforts won’t do is bring us closer to a workable health policy. Just more nails in the Obamacare coffin without replacing it with a workable healthcare plan.
Charging into the breach, progressives led by Sen. Bernie Sanders and his young Congressional candidate companion, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with their plan to save the day, Medicare for All. The idea is everybody loves Medicare so let’s give it to everybody. On the face of it, it would seem a poor idea to add millions and millions of people to a program that no longer is keeping its head above water. Adding to the idea’s questionable fiscal sanity was a report by Charles Blahous of Mercatus Center at George Mason University showing the plan would add $32.6 trillion over the first decade of Medicare for All. Not deterred, Sen. Sanders and Ms. Ocasio-Cortez proffered Blahous’s report actually shows when all healthcare costs are figured in Medicare for All is a great bargain. Mr. Blahous apparently wasn’t amused and took to the Wall Street Journal Op-Ed page to show that this clearly was untrue. Citing not only his work but other concurring studies he laid waste to the Sanders-Ocasio-Cortez talking points. One would think that would be the end of their use of his report in their talking points, but you would be wrong. Days after the OP-Ed was published, MS. Ocasio-Cortez appeared on Chris Cuomo’s CNN prime-time show and repeated the same discredited talking point that Blahous’s report shows Medicare for All is a bargain. Of course Chris Cuomo brought up Blahous’ refutation of everything she was saying. Wrong. He sat there never uttering a question or fact. Now in show prep for her appearance this WSJ OP-Ed surely would’ve come up. We always thought Cuomo was a dim bulb but where were the producers? Cuomo just thanked Ocasio-Cortez profusely for her appearance and insights. Apparently Bernie and Alexandria will repeat this refuted talking point at every opportunity. Such is the state our healthcare discussion.