“Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated,” President Donald Trump told us a few weeks ago. As the failure of the House Republican bill shows: Healthcare is hard.
The American Healthcare Act failed to clear the House of Representatives despite catering to longstanding conservative demands: rid the ‘individual mandate’ (designed to force able-bodied people to pay insurance so it’s cheaper for sick people), subsidies to individuals, and revamping Medicaid into block grants to states.
Even with the claim it could be deficit-neutral, the act failed to win enough moderate or conservative Republicans.
While Obamacare stays, the progressive wing of the Democrat party still calls for a single-payer Medicare-for-all health care system.
They would offer a dual catharsis: the moral certitude of declaring health care as a right; and the beguiling simplicity that one only need expand an existing entitlement and simply include the 264 million Americans not currently covered.
But leave aside questions of practicality and which option balloons the national debt further (both actually would), no proposed alternative delivers a cure-all.