Clinton Attacks Sanders on Medicaid-for-All Despite Strong Democratic Support

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is attacking Senator Bernie Sanders because he backs Medicaid-for-All (i.e. a single-payer health care system), calling it a ‘risky deal.’ Clinton also dispatched daughter Chelsea to attack Sanders claiming he would take health care away from millions.

Clinton’s stance on a national health care is somewhat odd given that 81% of Democrats favor a single-payer health care system. Moreover, President Truman first proposed national health care in 1945 and it was a campaign issue of his in 1948.

What’s the reason for Hillary’s change of heart? That’s hard to say. But Clinton made nearly $3 million off speeches to the industry from 2013 to 2015. Maybe losing a steady source of campaign funds and speaking fees is risky.

Comments (19)

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  1. Barry Carol says:

    It would have been less disingenuous for Clinton to point out that Sanders’ home state of Vermont already tried to implement a single payer health insurance system but backed away from it when they found out how expensive it would be and what it would take in new taxes to pay for it.

    Also, employees who have long had employer provided health insurance just don’t feel the full cost of it because it isn’t visible to them like a payroll tax, VAT or much higher income taxes to pay for a single payer system would be.

  2. Perry says:

    Clinton also dispatched daughter Chelsea to attack Sanders claiming he would take health care away from millions.

    That’s funny, the ACA has already done that. And of those that do have it, most have very poor value.

  3. Bob Hertz says:

    2 quick points:

    a. Hillary has promised not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $250,000 a year. Single payer in other nations costs about 14-18% of payroll for absolutely everyone.

    b. Democrats favor single payer until it reaches their own pocketbook. Vast numbers of public employees pay next to nothing for health insurance right now. They like the sound of single payer, but assume it can all be paid for by emmployers and big mean insurance companies.

  4. Devon Herrick says:

    I understand part of what sank the Vermont initiative was that members of the commission charged with investigating singe-payer couldn’t fathom a health plan that required any cost-sharing or limits on benefits. The actuarial value of the Vermont proposal was 94%!

  5. Barry Carol says:

    As I understand it, Senator Sanders proposes to expand Medicare to the entire population. In 2014, Medicare cost taxpayers $544 billion net of premiums paid by beneficiaries and states on behalf of Medicaid beneficiaries who are eligible for Medicare (dual-eligible). Medicaid cost $492 billion that year (federal + state share) including $17 billion of administrative costs. To cover the remaining 200 million people, excluding illegal immigrants, who get their health insurance through an employer, buy it themselves or are uninsured would likely cost at least $1 trillion at a conservative $5,000 per person. At the same time, estimates of the cost of Sanders’ plan that I’ve seen in the press are pegged at $15 trillion over a decade. It is likely to cost a minimum of $1.5 trillion at the outset plus more in the future for population growth, medical inflation and the aging of the population.

    The bottom line is that the estimate in the press is probably too low. Moreover, the $1.5 trillion first year cost equates to 8.33% of current GDP and that’s on top of the existing Medicare program. If it were financed by a dedicated value added tax comparable to the broad based VAT taxes in Europe and the tax was dedicated to paying for health insurance, it would take a tax rate of approximately 21% since the broadest based VAT’s in Europe raise roundly 0.4% of GDP for each one percentage point of tax rate.

    If we were to try to finance the program with a new payroll tax that only applied to wages (with no cap), the tax rate would have to be 19.3% on top of the existing 15.3% on the first $117K of wages that finances social security and Medicare Part A. In recent years, wages accounted for about 43% of GDP. Even if this scheme replaces existing insurance premiums and gets employers out of the business of providing health insurance to their employees, the magnitude of the highly visible new tax, whether it’s a VAT or a payroll tax or a huge increase in income tax rates for the middle class, isn’t likely to sell very well. But hey, administrative costs would go down but more fraud would probably offset any administrative savings and then some. It sounds like a pretty crappy deal to me.

    • Ron Greiner says:

      barry, that is what I have been telling you. Sanders and Clinton’s Socialized Medicine plans won’t work so we should focus on Republican Reform and bring freedom back to America.

      After 7 debates the New York Liberal Media has refused to ask one question about Obamacare or a Republican replacement. This is total propaganda by the left-wing media. An individual in Iowa at a Gov. Kasich town hall meeting asked an Obamacare question and Kasich said he would expand Medicaid and keep guaranteed issue on Individual Medical (IM) insurance. So, Kasich plan is exactly like President Obama’s!

      Maybe Dr. John Graham should write about this in FORBES or tell everyone that people in America can still buy low cost Short-Term-Medical (STM). Why do the non-profits not tell the story about Obamacare and how informed citizens are still buying low cost health insurance?

      This wasn’t reported in Iowa but it was in Kansas. The propaganda is really bad in 21st Century America.

      • Bob Hertz says:

        As an agent for United Health, a leading carrier of short term health insurance, let me add the following caveats:

        – anyone with a history of athsma, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, or sleep apnea cannot by short term medical inurance;

        – anyone over 5 ft 5 and 235 pounds cannot buy short term health insurance;

        – those who do buy short term insurance cannot keep the coverage over 6 months, in most states. If they want one year of coverage, they must reapply in 6 months and answer medical questions.

        This definitely does not make short term insurance a bad product. I have bought it for family members with zero problems.

        But let us not pretend it is a solution for all of us.

        • Ron Greiner says:

          Bob, you forgot to mention that your Short-Term-Medical (STM) only pays $3,000 a year maximum on Rx. You need a better STM buddy so your clients won’t be in danger. I can’t believe you sell that crap.

          YES, you are right that people with heart problems and cancer can’t purchase STM but everybody already knew that. I would also submit that at 5′ 5″ I will take them to 238 lbs. Anybody over that weight need to go on a diet Bob.

          Nobody said that STM was a solution for all people but to throw out this kind of Socialist garbage lets me know exactly what kind of health insurance agent you are. If you want to get coverage for someone who needs a $750,000 liver transplant then STM is not the answer. You don’t need insurance, you need some way to pay for medical expenses that are currently due.

          Not all States limit STM with United Healthcare to just 6 months. In many states UHC STM will pay for 360 days so as long as we are past Jan, 5th, which we are, then STM in those states is the perfect tool. I will admit that your STM does have that Rx problem but not all STM is so restrictive. Also, my STM is not restricted to any amount of time. I bet you didn’t even know that a product like that even was on the market.

          Also Bob, my STM is a PPO which is better than your STM too. I just don’t want to hear how insurance is bad because some people who are waiting for surgery can’t get somebody else to pay their bills. Bob, you sound like Hillary Clinton. Don’t call a way to pay expensive medical expenses insurance when insurance is to pay for an unforeseen claim or expense. Remember, you don’t buy home owner insurance after your home has burnt down. It is sad that even the insurance agents have become so confused.

          Also Bob, I talked with an old TIME manager last Friday who has went with a STM that is guaranteed issue. You didn’t know that kind of product was available either did you? That is what I am trying to tell you that the free and open markets will develop products that are innovative.

          Bob, I can’t believe you would sell your own family a product that will not pay for Rx. I guess that just proves that some insurance agents are a lot smarter than others. When I sold the 1st tax-free HSA in the United States you would have probably told them not to do it. I’m not saying I’m faster than other insurance agents, I’m just saying the other agents are a bit slow.

        • Ron Greiner says:

          ASTHMA: A bronchial condition causing difficult breathing.
          Mild – controlled by medication, no hospitalization or E.R. visit, and non-smoker.. Std
          Mild and smoker …………………………………………………………………… Std
          Moderate – hospitalization or E.R. visit, breathing treatment, allergy
          shots or multiple attacks, multiple respiratory infections………………………….. IC
          Severe, hospitalizations and/or Moderate and tobacco user …………………..…. D

          Bob, here is my underwriting guide for asthma and you can see they can get insurance unless it is severe or moderate as a smoker.

          STD – means standard and they can get insurance.
          IC – means individual consideration
          D – means decline

          SLEEP APNEA: A temporary cessation of breathing.
          Mild using CPAP machine ………………………………………Std

          So you need to think before you start saying that anybody with a history of asthma can’t get STM because that is just not true Bob.

        • Erik says:

          Not all STM satisfies the essential benefits mandate and do not count as creditable coverage and you may still be required to pay the tax penalty.

          • Ron Greiner says:

            OH really, Erik, can you name one Short-Term-Medical that has minimum essential benefits? I thought you would say that the HMOs are dangerous because their minimum essential benefits pay NOTHING if you go out of network so you might be planting a child in the cemetery.

            Why don’t you please explain how much someone would have to earn to be subject to the penalty if their family premium is $1,200 a month for the lowest priced Bronze plan.

      • PJohnson says:

        Yup. STM is still available and I have a policy. Partly, even mostly, what makes it cheaper ($~160/mo) vs Obamacare ( $500+/mo.on is it doesn’t include for me OBGYN and pediatric coverage (aka “Minimum Essential Coverage”. Fine. I’m a single empty nester man. And yes, I renew or re-shop every 6 months. And I may be flirting with penalty. For now I’m safe. At $500 month I’d have to report $75K (MAGI) or more to fall short of the 8.5% exemption.

  6. Bob Hertz says:

    As Barry notes, the total payroll tax with Medicare for all would be about 34%, which is right in line with what Italians, Germans, Danes, and Swedes pay.

    Three of those nations are not poor or getting poor, so an innocent soul might ask what’s wrong with higher payroll taxes.

    Many citizens in those nations take more foreign vacations and have more high-tech toys than Americans. When they get done paying higher taxes, the money in their pocket is available for consumption, since they do not have to save for health care or college.

    But even if the above image is accurate, (and I have never been to Europe), these nations did not just wake up after 1945 and raise payroll taxes 19% in one year — as a Pres. Sanders would have to. These nations have had high taxes for many decades, and have an ethnic solidarity that makes them less suspicious that government programs are a secret plot for racial minorities.

    • John Fembup says:

      “since they do not have to save for health care or college.”

      They also did not pay the taxes necessary to maintain a military capable of actually defend themselves. They depended on another country for that.

      • Barry Carol says:

        They also accept the standard of living tradeoff that includes living in a tiny house or apartment by our standards and driving a tiny car or even a moped or bicycle to get around. In Rome, mopeds are everywhere. In Copenhagen and Amsterdam, I saw thousands of people commuting to work on their bikes. Gas is the equivalent of $7-$8 per gallon in most European countries. Home ownership rates in Germany and Switzerland are 35%-40% vs. the mid-60’s in the U.S. Western Europe is not utopia as Americans would view it.

  7. The big ham says:

    What Ron has. Corecttly pointed out is that Healthy Individuals will always have alternatives.
    The goverment can mandate all they want. The free and open market will adapt faster than politicians can regulate. I started selling short term plans 1/1/2014 because the law made a 360 day policy a viable option for healthy individuals. I have re enrolled most of them into new 360 day plans several times. Out of the hundreds I have done I have only had to take a few uninsurables to the exchange plans. You don’t have to take the health family to the exchange just the one sick person. Healthy individuals will always have options. There is nothing the federal regulators can do to stop healthy individuals from taking advantage of cheaper alternatives. Millions of people are going the short term route and that is the major reasons Obamacare is in a death spiral …with all of the media coverage about Obamacare you would think this information would get out. However that would cause more people to take the short term alternative and destroy the exchanges even faster..we can’t have that..

  8. Bob Hertz says:

    Notes to Ron and Big Ham:

    1. Here is the knockout question on the applications that I can sell for short term insurance:

    Within the last 5 years, have you or has anyone listed on the application received medical or surgical consultation, advice, or
    treatment, including medication, for any of the following: liver disorders, kidney disorders, chronic obstructive pulmonary
    disorder (COPD) or emphysema, diabetes, cancer, heart or circulatory system disorders (excluding high blood pressure),
    Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, or alcohol or drug abuse or immune system disorders?………………………………………………..

    2. In MN at least, once a person has had short term insurance for 360 days out of the last 550 days, they cannot buy another policy….and the carriers enforce this, so that you cannot jump to a second company to beat the system.

  9. The big ham says:

    Like I said before Bob Healthy people have options. Sick people don’t. You have someone knocked out then they have to pay full ACA cost. Others that can make it through underwriting don’t. Obamacare death spiral is what is happening all over the country.

  10. The big ham says:


    United healthcare has the best business model around. They sell short term to the healthy individuals people. They get most of the kids on SCHIP , they can kick sick people off there’ group plans because of legibility. why would they want to stay in the exchange business? Insure the health and dump the sick .