Just as many Democratic lawmakers have signed on in the past year as co-sponsors of Sen. Bernie Sanders Medicare for All bill, healthcare corporations are banding together to fight the swelling wave of support for a single-payer healthcare system.
Health insurance and drug companies have formed a coalition aimed at “Building on the strength of employer-provided health coverage,” according to the groups-a transparent attempt to defeat the momentum building among Medicare for All advocates, using attack ads and research biased against a single-payer system.
The coalition, called the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future and including the industry groups America’s Health Insurance Plans, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the American Medical Association, and the Federation of American Hospitals, is being taken not as a significant threat to Sanders’ plan and a similar proposal in the House, but as evidence that the country is closer than ever to implementing single-payer healthcare.
Industry giants’ apparent anxiety over the end of for-profit health insurance is “Clear evidence that we are making progress,” Adam Gaffney of Physicians for a National Health Program told The Hill.
Sanders himself told the outlet that it did not surprise him “That the insurance companies and drug companies will spend an enormous sum of money in lobbying, campaign contributions, and television ads to defeat Medicare for all, but they are on the wrong side of history.”
Public support for Medicare for All has been rapidly rising since Congress passed the Affordable Care Act in 2010. This past March, polling by the Kaiser Family Foundation showed that 59 percent of Americans support a national health plan paid for by the government.
“Whether they like it or not,” Sanders said of health insurance and pharmaceutical giants, “We will succeed in guaranteeing healthcare for all because this is an idea whose time has come.”