How Trumpcare’s Failure Sets the Stage for Single-Payer

March 28, 2017 | New Republic |

Trumpcare is dead. President Donald Trump is humiliated and so is House Speaker Paul Ryan. The Democrats can hardly believe their luck: The Republicans have hobbled their own agenda, while Obamacare, aka the Affordable Care Act, lives to fight another day. But unlike the law’s previous brushes with death—most notably its bruising encounters with the Supreme Court in 2012 and 2015—this latest example of its resilience represents a turning point, if Democrats choose to seize the opportunity. For three reasons—political, structural, and moral—now is the time for the Democratic Party to begin building a proposal for a single-payer health care system. [...]

Woolhandler, meanwhile, says the answer is an improved and expanded version of Medicare. “Make the coverage cover all medically necessary services without copayments and deductibles and proscribe the participation of private health insurance industry in the Medicare program,” she suggested. The result, she argued, would be less expensive than America’s current system. Vijay Das, a strategist for the think tank Demos, suggested a similar strategy, with a particular focus on state-based policies. “I think expanding Medicare to children is a safe way of expanding the risk pool, getting healthy people into the system and lowering costs,” he explained.