A medicare for all bill, HR676, was introduced in Congress back in January, and despite getting over forty co-sponsors in the House, the legislation has hardly made a ripple in terms of serious national attention.
Bernie Sanders will be unveiling similar legislation in the Senate in the near future, but it’s unclear just how much headway that will make either.
I’ve been saying for months now that Democrats need to make a single payer healthcare system part of their platform now. Obviously, with Republicans controlling the House, Senate and White House, such legislation isn’t going to pass anytime soon. But that’s no reason not to fight for it anyway, and be unequivocal about moving towards a single payer system as soon as possible.
A few Democratic candidates running in the 2018 midterm elections are doing just that.
Randy Bryce, an ironworker in Wisconsin attempting to unseat Paul Ryan, has been vocal early on about his support for a medicare for all health care system. His first campaign video went viral and it was was all about health care.
The you have Amy Vilela, a candidate who’s primarying a Democrat in Nevada because he didn’t sign onto medicare for all. Vilela actually tragically lost her 22-year-old daughter a few years ago, alleging that hospital staff didn't treat her daughter's blood clot because she didn't have insurance.
Dave Benac is a candidate running for the Michigan 6th District is also running on Universal Healthcare.
Dorothy Gasque is running in Washington state’s third district on universal healthcare, and there are a few more candidates around the country who have already expressed their support for a single payer system.
Look, I don’t know if these people have a shot or not. But I do believe that unless the Democratic Party makes this a part of its broader platform, individuals running for single payer, particularly non-incumbents, aren't going to benefit that much from it.
There's also a problem with lack of public knowledge about what's going on (which is partially corporate, mainstream media’s fault ).
33 percent of Americans support single-payer, a five percent increase since January, according to a Pew poll published in June. That number might suggest many aren't sure what single-payer means, since the same survey showed 60 percent of Americans think the federal government should provide health care coverage to all Americans.
Single payer is an awkward phrase that I suspect was created to replace the much more appealing phrase "universal healthcare.” Single payer sounds costly and is also just one subset of the multiple universal healthcare structures so there are multiple opportunities to divert conversations onto side tangents.
But even with all of that confusion, a number of polls show that the majority of the American people support government run, universal healthcare.
That reality has not been reflected in the media, or by the Democratic party establishment, which would be blowing a major opportunity by not getting ahead of this and embracing universal healthcare before the 2018 midterms.
The bottom line is that the left has to change the conversation and move towards medicare for all being at the forefront of discourse. Following the Republicans epic failure trying to replace Obamacare, Democrats need to bring the idea out of the shadows, make it a talking point, and make a real, sincere push to bring it into reality.