Medicare-for-all “doesn’t get rid of all insurance.”
— Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.)
Harris is a co-sponsor of Sen. Bernie Sanders’s Medicare-for-all bill, which envisions a single-payer health-care system with virtually no role for private health-care insurance. That would be a big change for most Americans: In 2017, according to the Census Bureau, 67 percent of Americans — 217 million people — received health insurance through a private plan, mostly through their employer. Yet Harris gamely insists there would still be a role for insurance companies (even though Sanders does not).
As a practical matter, the Sanders plan proposes to cover such a comprehensive set of benefits that there would be virtually no role for private insurance.
“Forty percent of Americans say they don’t have enough cash to cover a $400 emergency expense.”
This statistic is courtesy of a Federal Reserve report on the “Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households.” But the report noted the ratio is an improvement from 2013, when half of the adults said they were “ill-prepared for such an expense.” In 2017, 59 percent said they could cover the expense, a significant increase, and the number grew to 61 percent in 2018. With the continued growth of the economy, the figure is probably even higher in 2019.