Senator Bernie Sanders' "Medicare for All" plan is a bit too much even for the New York Times' Nobel laureate economist and op-ed columnist, who writes:
So far, however, Sanders hasn't produced either an estimate of how much that would cost or a specific proposal about how to pay for it....actually making it happen would probably mean facing down a serious political backlash. For one thing, it would require a substantial increase in taxes. For another, it would mean telling scores of millions of Americans who get health coverage though their employers, and are generally satisfied with their coverage, that they need to give it up and accept something different. You can say that the new system would be better — but will they believe it?
Such concerns may not seem very salient right now: Given Republican control of the White House, single-payer is going to be at best an aspiration for the next three-plus years. But what if rigid support for single-payer — as opposed to somewhat flexible support for universal coverage, however achieved — becomes a litmus test? In that case, Democrats could eventually find themselves facing a Trumpcare-type debacle, unable either to implement their unrealistic vision or to let it go.
The point is that while unrealistic promises may not hurt you in elections, they can become a big problem when you try to govern. Having a vision for the future is good, but being real about the difficulties is also good.
Senators Booker, Franken, Gillibrand, Harris, Markey, and Warren have all signed on as co-sponsors of this bill.