Sanders' Medicare for all vs. the Secret GOP Plan
© Getty Images
While Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden says he won't legalize marijuana because it may be a 'gateway drug' Democrats seize on report of FedEx's Bernie Sanders tax bill to slam Trump's tax plan If we want to save earth, we need to change how we eat MORE (I-Vt.) correctly claims victory in the battle of ideas in healthcare policy and champions Medicare for all across the nation, Republicans write their healthcare bill in secret (except for lobbyists they "leak" details to.)


 
For weeks Republicans, desperate to achieve at least one major new law during the first six months of the Trump presidency, have been writing their bill behind closed doors. They are in a panic to undo the damage of the widely unpopular House-passed RyanCare bill, with its 23 million people to be thrown off healthcare.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
The secrecy of the Senate GOP leadership is so great that many Senate and House Republican members say that even they don't know what is in the plan as they frantically rush to vote before July 4.
 

Sanders and all of us who support a Medicare for all system are so proud of our position, and so confident of its merits and political appeal, that we want the maximum public discussion and debate.
 
Senate Republican leaders, who act as though they have something to hide on healthcare, are now using the legislative tactics more like Soviet dictators who drafted edicts behind closed doors in the Politburo than the Senate that was once called the great deliberative body.


 
Sanders and all supporters of Medicare for all correctly note that countries throughout the democratic world love their single payer systems. Not one of them faces serious movements to repeal its single payer system.

Conservative leaders globally have joined with liberal leaders in supporting their nation's single payer system.
 
For those on the right who inaccurately claim that a Medicare for all system would be too expensive, let’s challenge them to name even conservative leaders of democratic nations who agree  and want to move their nation to a RyanCare system, or TrumpCare system, or a McConnellCare system — once Americans are allowed to know what it is.


 
It is fitting that Sanders, who embodies the democratic ideal of participation in politics, favors the healthcare system applauded throughout the democratic world, while GOP leaders, who favor a politics permanently financed through special interest money and secret donations, favor a process that works in secret to force feed legislation that not one democratic nation in the free world would impose on its people. 


 
There is one fundamental truth that defines healthcare in America. If a system based solely on profits is not balanced or replaced by an alternative that treats healthcare as a human right available to ALL, the people will pay a heavy price in money and health.
 
It is that simple. 

ObamaCare clearly improved healthcare in America, but equally clearly, the law has faults that must be corrected. The law’s original was when President Obama and his White House staff surrendered on the public option during its creation, when it could have been passed if they had fought for it.
 


The reason insurers and their lobbyists hated the public option — please follow my logic, it is important — is that if a public option existed side-by-side with the insurer-dominated system, most consumers would have chosen the public option — unless insurers dramatically lowered their premiums.
 


Dear voter, if you want lower insurance premiums, vote Democratic, and if you want higher insurance premiums, vote Republican. Whatever form of Medicare for all or a public option Democrats support is far superior for citizens than RyanCare, TrumpCare, or the coming McConnellCare plan that will benefit the people who hire the lobbyists to preserve, protect and defend their profits.


 
Ultimately Senate Republican leaders will honor the American people by letting us know the secrets of their McConnellCare plan, though allowing hearings to intelligently consider their proposal is almost certainly out of the question.
 


The good news for America is that the 2018 midterms and the 2020 presidential campaign are coming. A long overdue great debate has now begun. With Sanders and progressives championing Medicare for all, the future will be won by healthcare of the people, by the people, and for the people.
 
Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), then-chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. in international financial law from the London School of Economics.

The views of contributors are their own and not of The Hill.