Ross: Could threat of free health care be enough to reform industry?
Bernie Sanders is now all-in on changing health care from top to bottom. He promises, if elected, to shift everybody to Medicare. Essentially, you would keep your doctor, but your new government insurance would pay the bill.
Obviously taxes would go up, but your insurance premiums and most co-pays would go to zero.
Now, I realize that for a lot of people, this is terrifying.
But I am going to argue that you should not be terrified, and here’s why.
Remember the President’s promise to cut drug prices? It turns out to be very popular in Congress. And as more politicians began supporting the idea, we started hearing stories, like when a major drug company cut the cost of insulin hours before executives were to be grilled on Capitol Hill.
It’s like nuclear deterrence: Even if nothing actually passes, just the credible threat of health care reform can move the needle, and even make the needle cheaper.
So when you’re called by a pollster and asked about Medicare for All, or about controlling prescription drug prices, say something like, “y’know, that’s not a bad idea!”
If the health care industry really believes that Americans are so fed up that they’re ready to turn the whole shebang over to the government, the industry might reform itself before the politicians push the big red button.