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Unprovoked, Washington Post Suddenly Attacks Medicare for All

June 21, 2017 (EIRNS)— That capital city policy policeman the Washington Post, not having found any reason to write about single-payer (or "Medicare for all") health insurance for some time, suddenly devoted its lead editorial on June 19 to attacking the idea.

The high-profile "out of the blue" editorial attack was called "The High Cost of Single-Payer Healthcare." The Post’s claim of what a single insurance policy covering all care for nearly all Americans would cost, was quite preposterous. Medicare for all "would add $32.5 trillion to U.S. health spending over ten years," it said. This amounts to claiming that total national healthcare expenditures would rapidly double under a single-payer system. Otherwise, the paper claimed, many different groups in the population would have to give up medical services, or doctors sacrifice their payments, or hospitals and test providers go out of business.

In fact, in countries such as Canada which have recently (within the past two decades) changed to a single-payer health insurance policy, overall health expenditures have declined; in no case has there been shown a greater than marginal expansion of the total use of healthcare, simply because government insurance was guaranteed to everyone.

Guesses could be made as to why the Post suddenly came out, hypotheticals blazing, against single-payer health insurance. The California Senate recently passed a state version. Likely more important, a majority of House Democrats (113) have become sponsors of Rep. John Conyers’ H.R. 676, "Medicare for All" bill. The editorial followed by just two days, an outburst June 17 by Republican Sen. Bob Corker at a press conference about the Senate’s forthcoming repeal-Obamacare bill. "You know what the Democratic alternative [to the Republicans' repeal-and-replace] is," Corker said. "It’s a single-payer system, and single-payer would bankrupt the country!"

The ladies may be starting to protest too much.