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InTheseTimes - October 15, 2019

"The attacks on Medicare for All also betray an impoverished understanding of freedom as a choice between insurance products. But people don't want a choice between Aetna and Cigna. They want the freedom of guaranteed healthcare; the freedom to choose their doctor, hospitals and treatments; and financial freedom from insurance, hospital and drug bills."

Debate over the future of American healthcare has led off every Democratic presidential debate so far this year. While Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have defended a Medicare for All system that would guarantee healthcare as a right, other more centrist candidates have sought to undercut such a plan—and they’ve been led by Joe Biden.

Ahead of Tuesday’s debate, Bloomberg reports, the Biden campaign has been “testing messages designed to undercut support among Democrats for Medicare for All.” The survey, commissioned by Wall Street-funded Democratic think tank Third Way, road-tested fear-mongering rhetoric that was crafted by the for-profit health insurance industry—and sounded a lot like Republican talking points.

Biden isn’t alone. In the last debate on September 12, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Kamala Harris and Beto O'Rourke all joined him in falsely suggesting that people would lose choice and freedom under a Medicare for All system.

O’Rourke called Medicare for All “an all-or-nothing gambit, forcing tens of millions off of insurance that they like, that works for them, to force them onto Medicare.”

Amy Klobuchar echoed, “149 million Americans will no longer be able to have their current insurance.”

Harris, meanwhile, said candidates should be “offering people choice, not taking that from them,” while Buttigieg claimed, “I trust the American people to make the right choice for them,” asking Sanders: “Why don’t you?”

This portrayal of private insurance plans as bastions of choice and freedom isn’t just misguided, it serves to defend profit-hungry companies at the expense of the millions upon millions of Americans who would benefit from guaranteed health care and financial security provided by a single-payer, Medicare for All system. ...
Read full report at InTheseTimes