The Progressive Agenda Now: Jobs and Medicare for All

April 3, 2017 | American Prospect |

To win over and mobilize the public, social justice advocates must articulate what we’re for, not just what we’re against. The American people deserve better than what’s currently on offer from team Trump, but for many, the status quo also falls short. If progressives are to fulfill one of our core principles—the use of public policy to improve the lives of those left out or underserved by the market economy—we need a simple, plausible plan that excites people. Two key components of that plan are Medicare for All and a guaranteed jobs program. [...]

How to get from where we are to Medicare for All is a huge challenge. Paul Starr recently suggested a smart, incremental step in the Prospect: “Midlife Medicare,” which extends the system to 50- to 64-year-olds without employer coverage. Demos strategist Vijay Das recommends expanding Medicare first to kids. In a political climate where some conservatives want to cut social insurance, these ideas provide examples of turning from defense—“hands off Medicare!”—to offense: expand Medicare’s eligibility.