At Politico, Jeff Greenfield explains what he calls “The Land Mine that Just Got Laid for Elizabeth Warren.” Greenfield is referring to former congressman John Delaney’s revelation that Medicare for all would bankrupt every hospital in America. Warren, as well as Mayor Bill De Blasio, Sen. Kamala Harris, and Sen. Bernie Sanders have all endorsed doing away with private healthcare insurance entirely. But as Delaney pointed out, as currently imagined, such a move would kill every hospital in America. Greenfield writes (abridged):
On several occasions in Wednesday night’s Democratic debate, the NBC moderators invited candidates to take a shot at Senator Elizabeth Warren, and neither of her fellow senators, Amy Klobuchar or Cory Booker, took the bait. But one candidate may have planted a land mine under her candidacy—and she wasn’t even his target.
The moment came when the 10 participants were asked, by a show of hands, who would dispense entirely with private health insurance. Only New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Warren signaled “yes.” That’s when former Rep. John Delaney, one of the least visible of the 24 announced candidates, weighed in.
It’s bad policy. If you go to every hospital in this country and you ask them one question, which is how would it have been for you last year if every one of your bills were paid at the Medicare rate? Every single hospital administrator said they would close. And the Medicare for All bill requires payments to stay at current Medicare rates. So to some extent we’re basically supporting a bill that will have every hospital closed.” And then he finished with a stinger about his electrician father on union health insurance: “He’d look at me, and he’d say, ‘Good job, John, for getting health care for every American, but why are you taking my health care away?’”
As an argument inside the Democratic Party, where “Medicare for All” is a rallying cry, this may not resonate. But once there’s a general election, it’s a new landscape, and if Warren—or Bernie Sanders, who shares the “no private insurance” view—makes it to that stage, it could be a much bigger deal.
Read more here.
Delaney expanded on his point after the debate in an interview with Chris Matthews.
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