'Medicare for all' is still the best solution

By The Editorial Board
The Capital Times (Madison, Wis.), March 6, 2017

Given the choice between maintaining the Affordable Care Act, as many Democrats propose, or eliminating it, as many Republicans propose, The Cap Times favors retaining as much of the current health care program as is possible and practical.

But we have no illusions. We know that the ACA is more costly and inefficient than it needs to be. We are with the plurality of Americans that favors retaining the parts of the ACA that work well and then reforming it so that it can do more.

The best way to do more is to move, as quickly as is politically possible, toward a single-payer “Medicare for all” program.

The single-payer model treats health care as a basic human right and guarantees that everyone is afforded that right. That’s the correct approach and we are pleased that Congressman Mark Pocan, D-town of Vermont, is a co-sponsor of HR 676 — The Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act.

While Pocan opposes the efforts of Republicans like Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Paul Ryan to gut the Affordable Care Act and usher in a new era of profiteering by insurance companies and for-profit health care corporations, the Democrat from Wisconsin recognizes that the best way to provide health care for all while keeping costs down is to build on the successful Medicare model.

Medicare is not perfect. But the government-run program is treasured by Americans because it is so much more reliable and efficient than private programs. That reliability and efficiency, as well as genuine access to quality care, can be enjoyed by all Americans if reforms of the ACA move us in the direction of a “Medicare for all” system.