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Rapid Response: Jonathan Cohn throws the kitchen sink at single payer

In his latest, Jonathan Cohn praises single payer in other countries for producing “terrific results — providing everybody with comprehensive insurance for far less money than the U.S. currently pays” – and then pulls a Donald Trump, basically saying “but it’s just not for us”.

While his piece manages to revisit almost every single payer lie you Rapid Responders have already squelched, we find his reiteration of the claim that single payer is bad for the working poor to be particularly egregious.

Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein piece Cherry-picking Statistics to Bash Sanders’ Medicare-for-All Plan debunked this claim, pointing out that only 3% of poor or near-poor Medicaid recipients would be at risk of financial loss (while gaining much better coverage).

Woolhandler and Himmelstein note that the plan could be easily tweaked to avoid affecting this small group. Even Cohn suggest that Sanders would probably do so. Why then, does he focus on the estimated 1.2 million Americans for whom the plan might be less than optimal, rather than the effects on the other 317 million Americans who gain comprehensive coverage and freedom from fear of medical debt?

Cohn is very active and responsive on Twitter. Tweet him in response to his article here.

You can also like Ben’s comment on the piece here (Ben’s is the first comment when you follow this link to the article), or leave your own.

Comments

One Response to “Rapid Response: Jonathan Cohn throws the kitchen sink at single payer”
  1. Nearly all of the evidence indicates that the VAST majority (i.e. nearly all) Americans would be better off under a single payer “improved Medicare for All” plan proposed by Bernie Sanders, or the alternative version currently proposed in the House, HR 676. Dr.’s Woolhandler and Himmelstien of Physicians for a National Health Program have debunked Sen. Clinton’s claim that the plan would be a “bad deal” for the working poor. These doctors point out that only 3% of poor or near-poor Medicaid recipients would be at risk of financial loss (while gaining much better coverage).

    They further state that the plan could be easily tweaked to avoid affecting this small group. Even Cohn suggests that Sanders would probably do so. Why then, does he focus on the estimated 1.2 million Americans for whom the plan might be less than optimal, rather than the effects on the other 317 million Americans who would gain comprehensive coverage and freedom from fear of medical debt?

    If American’s have such a great system, why are we the only country in the developed world that embraces a for-profit, multi-tiered inefficient non-system that wastes about 33%? The U.S. is long overdue for a single, universal publicly-funded health plan. Kudos to Senator Sanders for championing improved Medicare for All!