Medicare for All is politically popular | Letter to the editor

To the editor:

Medicare for All is overdue. While the current political excitement about shifting to a single-payer healthcare system may seem like a radically new idea, universal health insurance was actually the true goal for the architects of the 1965 Medicare Law.

One of those architects, Robert Ball, Social Security commissioner in the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations, wrote in the Winter 1995 issue of Health Affairs that, “All of us who developed Medicare and fought for it …. had been advocates of universal national health insurance. We all saw insurance for the elderly as a fallback position, which we advocated solely because it seemed to have the best change politically…. we expected Medicare to be a first step, perhaps with ‘Kiddiecare’ as another step.”

Medicare for seniors has been a public health triumph and a rousing political success.

Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Kamala Harris are right to call us to complete that vision in their Medicare for All Act, Senate Bill 1129.

Eighty-eight percent of those old enough to qualify for Medicare consider its coverage excellent/good, according to a December 2018 Gallup poll, far above the 69 percent of 50-64 year-olds who consider their private insurance excellent/good.

Medicare for All isn’t a politically damaging, insurance take-away, as some political commentators such as Dick Polman (Bainbridge Review, July 5) have characterized it.

Rather it’s a health insurance upgrade to more comprehensive and less-expensive coverage even for people with satisfactory private insurance, while being a literal lifesaver for the uninsured.

Medicare for All is also politically popular; 58 percent of respondents strongly or somewhat supported the idea in a July New York Times/Survey Monkey poll, including even at least 4 percent of President Trump supporters.

It’s about time that the U.S. took that next step to universal coverage with its concomitant improved healthcare outcomes, increased worker productivity, and greater income equality.


Bainbridge Island

More in Letters to the Editor

Outrage is appropriate

Sending the military to teargas peaceful protestors exercising their constitutional rights for… Continue reading

Ethical meatpacking is essential

This letter is responding to “Rise above it all: Bainbridge slowly learning… Continue reading

Remembering Joyce Veterane

Joyce Veterane, a long time fixture in the Bainbridge Island community, passed… Continue reading

People of color don’t want resolutions from city council

In response to the June 9 city council meeting regarding the Race… Continue reading

With thousands dead, Trump thinks only of himself

How did we ever end up with someone as unsuited to be… Continue reading

Listen seriously to those who wish harm

I’m writing with regards to the person who said the only good… Continue reading

Leaders in Congress must hear our voices | Letter to the editor

To the editor: Perfect timing to suggest we spend money to save… Continue reading

Join the Citizens Climate Lobby team | Letter to the editor

To the editor: Snowy Cascade and Olympic mountains are bright and clear… Continue reading

An apology to those who were protesting | Letter to the editor

To the editor: This is an open letter to the people protesting… Continue reading

Thoughtful leadership is desperately needed | Letter to the editor

To the editor: My wish for Mother’s Day this year — that… Continue reading

I should have asked: Why not wear masks? | Letter to the editor

To the editor: Why aren’t you protecting my life? While at Bainbridge… Continue reading

I’m joining the circle supporting Simmons | Letter to the editor

To the editor: I am pleased to announce my support for Tarra… Continue reading