It’s time for Democrats to get their facts right on Medicare-for-all
By Pramila Jayapal, a Democrat, representing Washington’s 7th Congressional District in the U.S. House.
In the wake of the second Democratic presidential debate, it is clear that Medicare-for-all has become a defining issue of the 2020 election. Earlier this year, when I introduced our comprehensive, 120-page “Medicare for All Act of 2019,” I expected attacks from big pharma and for-profit insurance companies. But I did not expect misrepresentations from Democratic presidential candidates about what the bill is and is not.
Let’s be clear about the scale of this crisis. The United States currently spends an astronomical $3.6 trillion per year on health care — almost double what peer countries spend — and it is set to increase within 10 years to $6 trillion annually. Pharmaceuticals such as basic insulin cost up to 10 times less in Canada for the exact same drugs. Approximately 500,000 Americans turn to bankruptcy each year because they cannot afford medical costs — and that includes people with insurance.
With so much at stake, facts matter. So let’s get them right.