The Democratic Presidential contenders advocate a variety of stances and proposals for health insurance. Some want to get rid of private insurance altogether and institute Medicare for all. Some want to get rid of private insurance in favor of a single payer system outside of Medicare. Some want to keep private insurance through employers but allow anyone to instead buy into Medicare. And some want to keep private insurance through employers but allow anyone to instead get insurance through an expanded and improved ACA.
We can have spirited debates about the merits of these different proposals. Each has its own pros and cons. But we also have to agree that any of them would be better than what we have now, and any of them would be far better than what we had before the ACA. It might make sense for certain voters to care more about this issue than any other, and certainly anyone who has been touched by medical bankruptcy or medical tragedy due to lack of or inadequate insurance will feel passionately about the future of our health insurance policy. BUT it makes no sense to make any one proposal a purity test for the Democratic party.
To say “I will only vote for Democrat X if he or she wants to improve the ACA,” or “I will only vote for Democrat Z if he or she wants Medicare for all,” makes no sense. Why would any Democratic voter demonize any Democratic candidate for holding one of these positions? The Trump presidency is a historic disaster. He’s destroying the norms and institutions of our Democracy. He’s promoting white supremacy. He’s debasing the White House and the presidency every day. In the end, who cares how you pay for insurance as long as you end up having affordable, comprehensive insurance??
Democrats can’t afford to start making policy ultimatums and waging personal attacks on our candidates for holding health insurance views that fall within a reasonable range. And the views held by the Democratic contenders on this issue are all within reason. The goal isn’t to demand policy perfection from our candidates, the goal is to beat Trump and send him to the ash-can of history. There are several contenders that I really don’t like. But any of them would be better than the vile con-man and wannabe dictator in the Oval Office who is holding weekly Klan rallies on the taxpayer dime. We can be passionate and forceful about the kind of health insurance system we want, but we can’t let the trees keep us from seeing the whole forest.
Keep resisting and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”