Bernie Sanders, the senator from Vermont who gave Hillary Clinton nightmares in her race for the presidency, is an unabashed liberal. And he’s right in believing in a national health care system. That’s basically what he’s proposing in his “Medicare for All” bill that would cover all Americans with Medicare, the health program for the elderly.
It’s not a bad idea and recognizes the inevitable – a single-payer national system. That’s basically the plan in most if not all other industrialized countries in the world.
But even Sanders knows that support in Congress for his idea just isn’t there. And with the exception of a fanciful Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare (see above), most members of Congress likely believe the health care debate needs to be quiet for a while.
But that’s not Sanders’ style. So here he comes, and the risk is that he’ll put some Democrats in an impossible position – feeling they have to support Sanders or they’ll lose the liberal base, but knowing that his plan is short on financing details and planning.
Bernie Sanders added much to the debate in the presidential campaign. But there is a time for practicality, and he could help the health care debate by, if he really does believe in Medicare for All, coming up with specifics on how it would be financed and overseen. Then, the American people could make their own serious judgments.