There is a significant number of Democrats, including several 2020 presidential candidates, who have expressed their full support for a government-run, single-payer health care system that has been dubbed “Medicare for All.”
Unfortunately for those Democrats, party leadership has been rather tepid in supporting that push, and now House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has all but killed the idea by announcing that she prefers to protect and strengthen the already existing Affordable Care Act instead of scrapping it for Medicare for All.
Prefers ACA over Medicare for All
Pelosi revealed her opinion in an interview with The Washington Post, during which she said of the Medicare for All proposals, “I’m agnostic. Show me how you think you can get there.”
“We all share the value of health care for all Americans — quality, affordable health care for all Americans. What is the path to that? I think it’s the Affordable Care Act, and if that leads to Medicare-for-all, that may be the path,” she continued.
The Speaker suggested that “Medicare for All” had become little more than a buzzword among her party’s activists that stood for a generalized ideal of universal health care coverage for all Americans, but one with few specifics that quickly lost support among the average American once specifics such as cost, and the prospect of losing private health insurance plans came into focus.
“When most people say they’re for Medicare-for-all, I think they mean health care for all. Let’s see what that means. A lot of people love having their employer-based insurance and the Affordable Care Act gave them better benefits,” Pelosi said.
ACA could rightly be called Pelosicare
Though the Affordable Care Act has long been dubbed “Obamacare,” in truth it could just as accurately be called Pelosicare, as the then-Speaker was instrumental in getting the law passed through Congress. Her memorable 2010 admonition that we needed to pass the legislation first to find out what’s in it was part of what ironically led to a Republican takeover of the House and Pelosi losing her speakership.
Perhaps in light of that, Pelosi has been incredibly protective of the ACA, especially now that President Donald Trump has made it clear his administration will make no further efforts to defend the law against legal challenges, and instead will work on a replacement for that law whenever it is inevitably declared to be unconstitutional.
But while Republicans consider a more free market-centered replacement, and far-left Democrats push for completely socialized medicine, Pelosi remains in the middle, as she views the ACA as the best solution to date, and one that can be built upon and improved going forward.
She said, “I don’t think you can say, ‘Let’s get rid of the Affordable Care Act so we can have Medicare-for-all,’ because you can’t get to Medicare-for-all unless you have some of the resources of the Affordable Care Act.”
“So we’ll have hearings, again, let’s see what it is. Right now it’s a $30 trillion price tag. What do people get for that in terms of care, and what do they pay for that along the way?” she added.
Pelosi is the House speaker and nominal leader of the Democratic Party, but her leadership has been challenged by the far-left of her party, and it remains to be seen if she will be capable of reining in the progressive left’s socialistic tendencies on this health care issue, or a whole host of other issues, for that matter.