Chris White, DCNF
Virginia Senator Tim Kaine is warning his fellow Democrats that Americans with full access to private health insurance will not be happy if they are forced to switch to a single-payer system.
“I’ve got some concerns about it,” Kaine said Monday at the Federation of American Hospitals conference in Washington, D.C. Americans are not inclined to accept switching to Medicare if they are already happy with their existing healthy insurance.
“I don’t think they’re going to feel good when we tell them, ‘We’re going to do a single-payer system, but don’t worry, you’ll like it just as much.’ For some reason, I just don’t think they’re going to believe us when we say that,” he added, noting how more than 80 percent of people are happy with their coverage.
Kaine, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s presidential running mate, was referring to the Medicare-For-All bill, which would expand Medicare into a national health insurance program, making every American citizen eligible for the program.
The bill would allow children under the age of 18 to participate within the first year of its enactment, but it wouldn’t come into full effect for four years. Senator Bernie Sanders, the bill’s primary backer, guaranteed every American access to free health insurance during his presidential campaign.
One of the ploy’s main criticisms is how Vermont’s Independent senator intends on paying the costs associated with the bill. Employers could face a 7.5 percent payroll tax that would go toward employees’ health care. Kaine is still not convinced a bill providing Medicare for all would go over well across the general population.
He instead suggested Democrats should sink resources into improving Obamacare. “I believe about any bill that you pass a bill and even if you can say, ‘This bill did significant good,’ you have to be analyzing it to see what can be done better,” Kaine said.