Nevada’s largest and most influential union bucks leadership to support Medicare for All; new study from Yale economists is added to the extensive body of research arguing Medicare for All would save lives and billions of dollars; Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar’s healthcare plans finally receive some scrutiny, thanks to Elizabeth Warren


Show Notes

The Nevada Democratic debate turns into a blood bath! Elizabeth Warren goes after the healthcare plans of Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg – plans that have received almost zero scrutiny during the election cycle.

Stephanie takes on the Klobuchar healthcare plan for a public option, which is one paragraph long and offers no details. In that paragraph she says she supports universal health – and links to a tweet of hers about rural hospital funding as evidence. Weird?! She also says that her public option would be based on Medicare… or Medicaid. Kind of an important difference!

Ben critiques the Pete Buttigieg “Medicare for All Who Want It” proposal, which involves a public option and what’s called “retroactive enrollment” – if you are uninsured and go to a hospital, you will be retroactively enrolled in the public option plan, even if you have to pay the premiums for it. Morning Consult just ran a poll that found only 24% of Americans support a public option when coupled with retroactive enrollment – far less than support for Medicare for All. This completely undermines Buttigieg’s claim that Medicare for All is “divisive,” and that there is broader support for his plan.

Make sure to check out Healthcare-NOW’s page on the Presidential candidates’ healthcare positions if you haven’t already!

Also in the world of shocking new polls, NORC released a new survey finding that 8 million Americans have had to launch a crowdfunding campaign to pay for medical bills. Stephanie relates the story of her two friends fighting cancer – one in Denmark with comprehensive, coordinated care, and the other in the U.S. who had to launch a fundraising campaign to pay for the family’s cancer care costs.

The survey also asks “Who Should be Responsible for Providing Help When Medical Care is Unaffordable?” – although this precludes supporting Medicare for All in the answer, 60% of respondents picked “Government” first – over hospitals, clinics, charities, and doctors – and they picked family and friends last. Americans are not “anti-Government” when it comes to assuming responsibility for our healthcare security.

A major new economic analysis of Medicare for All by Yale economists found that Medicare for All would cover everyone, save more than $450 billion per year, and prevent more than 68,000 unnecessary deaths from lacking health insurance.

Ben points out that this is the latest in more than 4 decades of economic research on Medicare for All. While Joe Biden has been claiming we don’t know how much M4A will cost, and don’t have a plan to pay for it, there is far more research and certainty about paying for M4A than there is for his plan. The cost estimates for Biden’s and Buttigieg’s plans were created by their own consultants, without saying where their data is from or what assumptions they’re making, whereas multiple peer-reviewed and credible economic analyses of Medicare for All have been published in the last three years alone.

Finally we discuss the Nevada election outcomes! NBC entrance and exit polls found that 62% of Nevada caucus voters support Medicare for All – higher majorities than we saw in Iowa (57%) and New Hampshire (58%). Stephanie points out that this is in spite of the media frenzy over Nevada’s Culinary Union attacking Medicare for All. News reports also indicate that the members of the Culinary Union express support for Medicare for All, and overwhelmingly voted for Bernie Sanders.

Nevada was the first state where Medicare for All was used in a concerted effort to undermine working-class support for Sanders and Warren. As NBC News says: “rival candidates who staked their primary campaigns on opposing Medicare for All — most notably Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg — may have miscalculated.” Yup!

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