Rep. Jim McDermott, a Democrat from Washington, will soon introduce legislation that would allow states to use federal funds to create their own single payer plans. From The Los Angeles Times:
If passed into law — admittedly a long shot with Republicans controlling the House of Representatives — McDermott’s State-Based Universal Healthcare Act would represent a game changer for medical coverage in the United States.
It would, for the first time, create a system under which a Medicare-for-all program could be rolled out on a state-by-state basis. In California’s case, it would make coverage available to the roughly 7 million people now lacking health insurance.
McDermott’s bill would be a boon for those of us who support SB 810, the California bill that would establish a state Medicare-for-all system. For one, the legislation would address the cost issue of establishing single payer in California by allowing state tax revenues to be combined with money for Medicare and Medi-Cal beneficiaries. However, the bill is contingent on the Affordable Care Act, and the accompanying state opt-out waiver, surviving a U.S. Supreme Court challenge.
If Republicans were truly interested in states’ rights, they would support this bill. What is wrong with the states experimenting with alternatives to the ACA? What is wrong with trying to prove that single payer can work? Isn’t innovation an American virtue?
To show your support for Rep. McDermott’s State-Based Universal Healthcare Act, go to his web site here.