Janine Jackson: The March 11 Washington Post headline told readers that the Medicare for All bill, recently introduced by Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal, “reflects influence of hard-line progressive groups.” Not quite a hit piece, but something very like it, the article said “a slew of groups further to the left” shaped the bill, which would “upend health coverage for tens of millions of Americans,” and “cost many times more than the ACA.” Which is why, the Post claims, “To some progressives, this is a step (or steps) too far.”
Words like “upend” and “drastically” do their work. And at one point, “advocates on the left” are counterposed with “most health policy experts.”
“Supporters of the Jayapal bill insist there’s a groundswell of grassroots enthusiasm” for overhauling the country’s healthcare, the piece says—without reference to any of various polls that would indicate precisely that.
The thing is, public support for a fundamental change in the way we do healthcare persists, despite years of this sort of elite media treatment—perhaps because for most Americans, healthcare is not a partisan debate, but a crisis.
Joining us now to talk about how Medicare for All would respond to that crisis is Diane Archer. Founder and former president of the Medicare Rights Center, she is president of Just Care USA. She joins us now by phone from here in New York. Welcome to CounterSpin, Diane Archer.
Diane Archer: Glad to be here.
Well, can we start with just some basic information on Jayapal and more than 100 cosponsors’ Medicare for All Act? How, for instance, does it differ, or is it different, from the proposal Sen. Bernie Sanders put forward last year?
It’s quite similar to the Bernie Sanders bill. It is Medicare that we have today, only improved and expanded to everyone. And it’s improved by giving people vision, hearing,…