Sighhhh. [Addendum added.]

Sarah Kliff has a very helpful account of Vermont’s attempt to create a state-level single-payer health care system, and why it failed. It’s a bit like the old joke about the farmer, asked for directions, who says “Well, I wouldn’t start from here.”

The point is not that single-payer is a bad idea. It is that given where the U.S. is now, achieving the kind of low costs we see in other countries would involve imposing large losses on many stakeholders, including people with generous policies, health care providers, and more — which is the point I’ve been making. The gains would almost surely be bigger than the losses, but that’s not going to make the very hard politics go away.

— Paul Krugman, Lessons From Vermont, today

I don’t have time right now to read Kliff’s piece, so I don’t know whether she, like Krugman, says that Sanders’ single-payer plan precludes the purchase by employers for their employees, or by individuals, of separate, private-insurer, supplemental policies?

Medicare-for-all means Medicare for all.  Or something close enough to it to allow separate, private-insurer, supplemental policies.  Just like real Medicare does!

As an aside, I do wish Krugman would address the candidate he champions’ campaign tactics, especially regarding healthcare insurance but also about … well … things.

Gotta run.


ADDENDUM: By Noni Mausa in the Comments thread:

Noni Mausa / January 20, 2016 6:59 pm

Canada here. I had a good professional job for 20 years, which included a generous supplemental health policy. Having been retired for 15 years (!) that means that for at least 35 years public and private coverage have rolled along smoothly side by side here.

Still haven’t read the Kliff piece.  But, for the life of me, I don’t understand the basis of this claim that Sanders’ single-payer proposal precludes the availability of supplemental healthcare policies. Or precludes employers from providing them as benefits.  Or whatever these folks are saying.

It sounds like a classic canard, to me.