House Democrat Calls Medicare for All Proponents ‘Extremists’ | NTK Network House Democrat Calls Medicare for All Proponents ‘Extremists’

House Democrat Calls Medicare for All Proponents ‘Extremists’

“We’ve got extremists who want to shoot the moon,” one Democrat said.

By NTK Staff | 02.27.2019 @9:16am
House Democrat Calls Medicare for All Proponents ‘Extremists’

Despite having won the House majority last fall, Democrats appear more divided now than they have in recent years over a series of far-left policy proposals, including the Green New Deal and Medicare for All.

Democrats representing districts won by President Trump in 2016, many of them freshman, are concerned with how the far-left in the party appear to be the ones driving the agenda in Congress and the conversation on cable news.

One Democrat let loose in a conversation with The Hill, calling Medicare for All proponents “extremists”:

“We’ve got extremists who want to shoot the moon. Some policies would be wonderful, but you’re not going to get them out of the Senate and you’re not going to get them out of the White House,” said one House Democrat who represents a district won by Trump in 2016 and who wants the new Congress to tackle drug pricing first.

“It’s messaging versus action. I think we should go for action,” the lawmaker said. “And if we’re going to win as Democrats next time around, we better show that we can govern too. If we are just going to obstruct for the sake of it, that’s not going to help us keep the majority and certainly not going to win us the White House.”

Adding further pressure to the situation, Axios reported Wednesday that second-term Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) is introducing legislation even more extreme than that of Medicare for All’s originator, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

Many of the broad strokes are the same: Both bills would eliminate most private insurance and most existing federal health programs, moving everyone in the country into a new single-payer system. Neither would allow co-pays or deductibles.

Jayapal’s version, though, would cover some things Sanders’ bill wouldn’t — most significantly, long-term care like nursing homes. It also calls for a 2-year phase-in period, compared to Sanders’ 4 years.

And while there is an estimate for the cost of Sanders’ version of Medicare for All, no such figure exists for Jayapal’s.

The Democratic infighting over Medicare for All follows weeks of debate over the Green New Deal, a wildly ambitious resolution that seeks to eliminate the use of fossil fuels in the United States in 10 years. The resolution was introduced by freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), a self-described socialist, and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA).

But Democrat leadership appeared to scoff at the resolution, with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) calling it the “Green Dream” and Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) appearing on national television and asking, “What in the heck is this?”

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