HuffPost - December 24, 2019
"In fact, Yang’s health plan, which he bills as an iteration of the left’spreferred “Medicare for All” policy, is more conservative than proposals introduced by the candidates typically identified as moderate."
Entrepreneur Andrew Yang has had unexpected staying power in the Democratic presidential primary thanks in part to the enthusiasm for his plan to provide every American with a basic income of $1,000 a month.
But the boldness of his signature idea only serves to underscore the unambitiousness of the health care plan he released earlier this month.
In fact, Yang’s health plan, which he bills as an iteration of the left’s preferred “Medicare for All” policy, is more conservative than proposals introduced by the candidates typically identified as moderate.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota all at least call for the creation of a public health insurance option that would be available to every American. (Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts favor Medicare for All, which would move all Americans on to one government-run insurance plan ― though the two senators disagree on the timeline for implementing the idea.)
In terms of expanding health insurance coverage, Yang says on his website merely that he would “explore” allowing the employees of companies that already provide health insurance the chance to buy into Medicare.
“We need to give more choice to employers and employees in a way that removes barriers for businesses to grow,” Yang writes.
Under Yang’s plan, people employed by businesses that do not provide insurance, or who are self-employed, would continue to purchase coverage on the exchanges created by former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
The decision not to focus on expanding coverage distinguishes Yang dramatically from his competitors. And in the foreword to his plan, he explains that that is a deliberate choice, since enacting single-payer health care is “not a realistic strategy.”
“We are spending too much time fighting over the differences between Medicare for All, ‘Medicare for All Who Want It,’ and ACA expansion when we should be focusing on the biggest problems that are driving up costs and taking lives,” he writes. “We need to be laser focused on how to bring the costs of coverage down by solving the root problems plaguing the American healthcare system.” ...
Read full commentary at HuffPost