Will the Republican Health-Care Debacle Pave the Way for ‘Medicare far All’?

By Robert L. Borosage
The Nation, May 25, 2017

This week, the Congressional Budget Office confirmed what was already apparent: The revised House Republican health-care bill will still deprive millions of Americans — 23 million in the CBO estimate — of health insurance. Senate Republicans are devising their plan in secret, because it too will likely deprive millions of health coverage. In contrast with Republican horrors, Obamacare has grown in popularity, but premiums are rising as insurance companies consolidate monopolies in various states and Trump works to sabotage it. Surely, now is the time for progressives to wage a fierce campaign for Medicare for All.

Americans are more than ready. The popularity of expanding Medicare is surprising, given how little support it has received from the political class.

Will Republican efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare pave the way to Medicare for All? Only if progressives force the debate. Americans are looking for sensible reform. Medicare for All is the right answer. Now is the time for progressives to educate and enlist to take on the entrenched interests that stand in the way.


With the backlash against the Republicans for their ongoing failure to deliver effective health care reform, and with the failure of ACA to provide affordable health care for everyone, the pathway to Medicare for All may now have been paved.

Robert Borosage suggests that it is time for progressives to push the process – force the debate, educate, and enlist. But that should not be limited to progressives in the Democratic party. We should work with Republican progressives, independent progressives, Democratic Socialist progressives, and even, albeit rare, libertarian progressives. By forcing the debate, educating, and enlisting, even conservatives and others who do not usually assign to themselves the “progressive” label, should be ready for a serious consideration of single payer.

Assured health care, at a price we could all afford, who could be against that? Neither ACA nor AHCA would bring us that. Members of Congress will be home on a break this next week. Let them hear from you, though you may not want to announce yourself using the “progressive’ label.