Blog

March 8, 2019

Medicare for All and Nothing Less!

by DSA M4A

From our campaign Organizing Resources.

Our Medicare for All advocacy is built around five simple principles:

  1. A single health program: Everyone will be covered by one health insurance program, administered by the federal government, and have equal access to all medical services and treatments.
  2. Comprehensive coverage: All services requiring a medical professional will be fully covered. You go to the doctor of your choice. Dental, vision, mental health, and pharmaceuticals are all included.
  3. Free at the point of service: All healthcare costs will be financed through tax contributions based on ability to pay: no copays, no fees, no deductibles and no premiums. Ever.
  4. Universal coverage: Coverage for all United States residents — non-citizens included.
  5. Jobs: A jobs initiative and severance for those affected by the transition to government-run healthcare.

The two Medicare for All bills—one in the Senate and one in the House— are both true pieces of single-payer legislation. As written, they would enroll every American resident in a single, national insurance plan. Healthcare would be delivered free at the point of use and the program would be funded through progressive taxation, meaning no more copays or deductibles.

Both bills prohibit private insurers from offering competing benefits. Given that the bills offer comprehensive benefits—including things like dental, vision, and hearing (the House bill even covers long-term care)—this would effectively eliminate private insurance companies from their role in the healthcare system, thereby democratizing over one-sixth of the US economy.

Single-payer legislation like this will have real staying power. By covering every single American, the program will carry with it a universal constituency. There will be no envy of other plans and it will be in everybody’s common interest to continue to improve it.

Medicare for All is a crucial stepping stone for advancing socialist politics— but it’s vital that nobody waters it down. Compromising on any one of our campaign’s five principles will weaken the program and cause it to fail in its pursuit of eliminating financial barriers to care.

Unfortunately, the broad political center is attempting to do just that. Currently there are four notable public option bills designed to protect the private insurance industry from single-payer legislation. Check out our Nothing Less! pamphlet for a detailed comparison of the different legislative measures. It's yours to print as a pamphlet to distribute at meetings, tabling and canvasses. Also, check out the rest of our campaign's Organizing Resources page for a wealth of material to aid your chapter in this fight for our health and our lives.