What to Expect Re: Medicare for All

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By Chris Woodward

A non-partisan public policy “think tank” is prepared for the upcoming hearing on a key issue for Democrats to be an “unreasonable” one.

The House Rules Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow on the Medicare for All Act. According to Washington Examiner’s Kimberly Leonard, the bill is also expected to be heard by the House Budget Committee on a date to be determined.

“They have to feel like they’re making progress on that,” says Merrill Matthews, Ph.D. of the Institute for Policy Innovation. “Medicare for All, I think, is going to be one of the key issues for Democrats going forward into the 2020 presidential campaign, [and] I suspect it’ll be part of the Democratic Party platform.”

More than 100 members of the House support the measure, which also enjoys the backing of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont). While that may sound like a lot of muscle, the amount of sponsors has fallen from previous years, and some Democrats are more open to the idea of expanding ObamaCare.

“Nancy Pelosi knows they don’t have the votes probably in the House, certainly in the Senate, to pass that right now, but they want to look like they’re making progress on that, so they’re going to have a hearing,” says Matthews, author of the new book, On The Edge: America Faces The Entitlements Cliff. “I think it’s partly a way to placate the far-left element of the Democratic Party in Congress, which is a much larger section than it used to be, to say that we’re doing something on this, but I don’t suspect it will make any real progress until we see what happens in the 2020 election.”

Dr. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) is at least one Republican on the House Rules Committee who has a medical background.

“He’ll be a good, reasonable voice in probably what’s going to be an unreasonable hearing,” thinks Matthews. “The press will be fawning all over themselves over this, [and] I don’t think you’ll see the press asking hard questions — one — because they don’t know the questions to ask, and — two — they want to see something like this move forward.”

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