Democratic Healthcare Choices


It’s good to have choices. Many years ago there was a Fram oil filter ad that showed an auto mechanic holding up one of their oil filters with a wry smile saying, “Pay me now (for the oil filter) or pay me later (for the engine repair).” One way or the other he was going to get your money; either in the short run or later.

I was reminded of this ad by the recent Democratic presidential candidate debate. They argued over slight variations in their healthcare plans – but sooner or later they were going to get to the same place – socialized medicine.

Senator Bernie Sanders is the leader of the charge for Medicare for All – his form of socialized medicine that would take effect immediately and eliminate all private healthcare insurance. In the first Democratic debate nearly every leading candidate including Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Corey Booker, and Pete Buttigieg agreed with Sanders. The only leading candidates that disagreed were Joe Biden and Amy Klobuchar.

Now, after the second debate, many are coming out with nuanced versions of their support. According to The Wall Street Journal editorial board, Harris now proposes her own version of Sanders’ plan that would move the country to single-payer healthcare over the next 10 years, rather than in four years as the Sanders bill outlines in the Senate.

WSJ says, “Ms. Harris says she’ll provide a “common-sense path” for folding everything from Medicaid to employer insurance into the federal system. She conveniently leaves out details on how she’ll land this Evel Knievel jump, but her political goal seems to be to claim that she wouldn’t eliminate private insurance.”

“She does this by saying that private offerings will continue to exist similar to Medicare Advantage, the program that lets private plans compete for retiree business. One reason to be suspicious: Democrats have hated Medicare Advantage for years and raided the program to pay for the Affordable Care Act.”

Joe Biden tries to paint himself as the moderate in this debate because he wants to keep the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) intact, which preserves the private health insurance that 180 million Americans get from their employer. However, Biden is once again promoting the “Public Option” be added to ObamaCare, an idea too radical for Democrats who controlled Congress when the ACA was passed during the Obama-Biden years.

The Public Option (see Public Option Kills Private Insurance) is just a slower path to single-payer healthcare than Medicare for All. The Public Option is a business model that can’t fail because it is backed by the taxpayer. When lowball premiums lose money for the business, the government will simply raise your taxes to pay the shortfall. No private insurance company can afford to compete and lose money. Eventually it will crowd out private insurance and you’ll be left with only government –run healthcare.

So the choices are clear:

  • Sanders’ Medicare for Allsingle-payer healthcare in 4 years
  • Harris’ Medicare for Allsingle-payer healthcare in 10 years
  • Biden’s ObamaCare with Public Optionsingle-payer healthcare sooner or later


All three choices eventually will eliminate your private health insurance.

Just like the Fram oil filter mechanic: single-payer healthcare now, or later. Your choice!

(Since I first wrote this post, Senator Elizabeth Warren has become the front-runner and has doubled down on Medicare for All.)