Christina S. Ho –
In yesterday’s post, I evaluated Medicare for All and considered some of the implications of a single-payer system. Today’s post will assess the Medicare for America bill, which, by contrast, is a public option. This label may not appear obvious, and is even disputed by some, since the bill sunsets the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges and individual private health insurance. Instead, it enrolls the majority of Americans in a public Medicare plan with benefits close to what Medicare for All would offer.
While the Medicare for America bill is arranged with great promise and enormous care, its real significance lies not in this snapshot description but in the distributional and politico-historical dynamics that its opt-out structure unleashes over time.