Is “Medicare for All” a Winner for Democrats in 2018?

Bill Clark/Congressional Quarterly/Newscom via ZUMA

Atrios says:

Gotta Give People Something to Vote For

The issue has never been annoying bernie bros who piss you off on the internet. It’s the vast number of people who don’t bother voting because why should they…. “Trump sucks” might win 2018, but if Dems don’t deliver then “Dems suck” will win in 2020.

This is true, but it’s also a problem. Donald Trump will be president until 2020 no matter how well Democrats do in next year’s midterm elections. Given that, there’s really no way for them to deliver anything. And even if they do, Trump will probably get the credit for it. Presidents always do.

Still, if there is anything that Dems could credibly promise, my best guess is some version of universal health care. The basic pitch would be that they’ve learned their lesson: incremental change doesn’t work because Republicans will sabotage it the first chance they get. If we want real health care for everyone, with no nonsense about out-of-network swindles or narrow networks or skyrocketing costs, then we need something like Medicare for All. Maybe that’s what Dems should propose. Maybe something else. Or maybe an improved version of Medicare for All (probably my choice)¹ that phases in over time. And liberals being liberals, it should be accompanied by a hundred-page white paper explaining precisely how it would work and precisely how it would be paid for.

I dunno. Do you think Democrats could get their entire caucus to buy into this? After the events of the past year, you’d sure think so. But then, we’re talking about Democrats here. You just never know.

¹Or maybe an improved version of Medicaid for All.

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