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How Much Would It Cost To Cover Us All?

UNITED STATES - JULY 19: Progressive Democrats of America holds a news conference to announce the launch of a Medicare for All Caucus at the Capitol.
Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Proposals for single-payer healthcare, also known as Medicare-for-all, have cropped up in various iterations over the years. And now, with Democrats in control of the House, we may be seeing more of them leading up to 2020.

Paige Winfield Cunningham writes in The Washington Post:

Think of these next two years as a laboratory for Democrats leading the House and those running for president in 2020 to experiment with how various degrees of Medicare expansion might play with the public. Democrats are unified on this goal: extending health coverage to all Americans. What they’re divided about is exactly how to bridge the gap between the 13.7 percent uninsured rate and universal coverage.

What exactly would a Medicare-for-all plan look like? Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) describes it this way:

A system in which a single public or quasi-public agency organizes health care financing, but the delivery of care remains largely in private hands. Under a single-payer system, all residents of the U.S. would be covered for all medically necessary services, including doctor, hospital, preventive, long-term care, mental health, reproductive health care, dental, vision, prescription drug and medical supply costs. The program would be funded by combining our current, considerable sources of public funding (such as Medicare and Medicaid) with modest new taxes based on ability to pay.

A new poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 56 percent of Americans support a nationwide Medicare-for-all plan. But that number dropped considerably when participants were told the plan could raise taxes or increase wait times.

We’re continuing our week of audience-selected shows with a look at the costs and benefits of single-payer healthcare, and what it would take to get there.

Show produced by Paige Osburn. Text by Kathryn Fink. Show topic suggested by Doug Hastings.


Dan Diamond, Health Reporter, POLITICO; Host, “Pulse Check” Podcast; @ddiamond

Julie Rovner, Chief Washington correspondent with Kaiser Health News; host, “What The Health?” podcast; author of “Health Care Policy and Politics A-Z”; @JRovner

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