We need national single-payer healthcare. Before the midterm elections tomorrow, let’s go over how the fight is going for Medicare for All, as well as for the New York Health Act.
Medicare for All Guide
For the left, the 2018 mid-term elections represent an opportunity to pack Congress with more votes for Medicare for All before 2020, when it is likely that presidential nominees and new congressional candidates will be campaigning on it.
In March, we published an infographic titled “The Practical Democrat’s Guide to Medicare for All” via our marketing company.
Between the title and the preview image containing Nancy Pelosi and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, we tricked lots of centrist Democrats into reading how Medicare for All was a common policy plank of the Democratic primaries. We also pissed off a lot of “donut Twitter” people who thought we were some high-powered political consulting firm or Russian agents.
Anyway, we found that close to half (271 of 561) of non-incumbent Democratic candidates in congressional primaries supported Medicare for All. The 290 candidates who didn’t support it advocated for half-measures, like:
- universal access to “affordable” coverage
- a public option to buy into Medicare
- strengthening Obamacare
- allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices
- fostering innovation in the healthcare marketplace
To update our data from March, we collaborated with Moritz Wichmann, a German data journalist who published a report titled “The Democrats Before the Midterms: A Movement to the Left?” for Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung. Moritz even put together an interactive map that shows every candidate in the United States’ position on Medicare for All.
Here are some of the insights:
There are 123 current co-sponsors of Medicare for All
In this midterm election 431 Democrats are running for Congress;
219 of them support Medicare for All
- 119 incumbents in Democrat-leaning or even districts
- 17 challengers or open seat candidates in Democrat-leaning districts
- 6 candidates for open seats in Republican-leaning districts
- 27 challenger candidatesin Republican-leaning districts
- 50 long-shot candidates in heavily red districts
Our Hopeful Prediction:
We will hopefully get over 140 co-sponsors of Medicare for All after this election!
New York Health Act Guide
New York State and California are both flirting with their own statewide single-payer healthcare systems.
In either cases, after passing such a proposal through the statehouses and governor’s offices, the White House would have to sign a waiver allowing federal Medicare funds to be re-allocated, which… is possible, but unlikely.
Before we get in the scenario of predicting whether or not Donald Trump would allow a state to enact single-payer, we still have to pass the damn thing. Since we live in upstate New York, we’re going to focus on the New York Health Act, a single-payer proposal which has passed the state assembly four years in a row. To learn more about it, check out the Campaign for New York Health’s website.
After passing the state assembly, the bill has languished in the state senate, where there’s been a deadlock: in the 2018 session, there there were 31 votes for the NY Health Act, and 32 against. Even after accounting for the IDC members who were taken down in this year’s primaries, at least one more vote (and several more for good measure) are needed to get the bill passed.
There are challenges being mounted to 24 of the 32 incumbent, non-supporting Republican seats.
Do the 24 challengers support the NY Health Act?
19 of them support the NY Health Act
5 do not
How likely are the 19 challengers to win?
8 are Likely (Enrollment advantage of over 10,000)
3 are Somewhat Likely (Enrollment advantage under 10,000)
3 are Somewhat Unlikely (Enrollment disadvantage under 10,000)
5 are Unlikely (Enrollment disadvantage over 10,000)
How safe are the 31 existing supporters?
15 are not facing a Republican challenger
16 are facing a challenger
The 16 who are facing challengers all have enrollment advantages of at least 10,000
Our Hopeful Prediction:
We hopefully will have at least 40 NY Health Act co-sponsors after this election!
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