I would have preferred Medicare for All in an alternate universe where John Kerry or Al Franken were the individuals who were the last necessary vote instead of Ben Nelson or Joe Lieberman. I would have preferred Medicare for All in a universe where the marginal coalition member in the 2009-2010 House was a member of the Progressive Caucus instead of either a New Dem or a Blue Dog. But neither of those conditions were met, so we got the best that could be gotten plus or minus a little bit of wiggle room.
However, I want to carry out a thought experiment that assumed Medicare for All was rolling out Jan. 1 2014 and look at some of the headlines that would be on the major newspapers and op-ed pages:
Big City General is laying off 500 staffers
Big City General Hospital has announced five hundred layoffs as reimbursement rates have declined dramatically as commercial insurance is being phased out. Medicare pays significantly less than local insurers.. Big City General promises that patient care will not be compromised.
Local labor unions are furious
After spending seventy years negotiating an extensive benefits package for its members, Local 1982 of the IBEW is preparing to cancel its health insurance contracts and move all of its members to the govenrment run Medicare program effective 1/1/14. Joe Roemer, 53 of North Nowheresville, a diebetic, is not looking forward to paying premiums or deductibles for the first time in his life.
What new taxes will you see soon
Medicare for All is going live in five weeks and that means we’ll have to pay for it too. What new taxes can you expect to pay in the New Year — next on News Channel 8….
Any major system change in 17% or 18% of the economy is massively disruptive. Handwaving that disruption away in the scenario that a favored hypothetical policy passed is infantile.