In an interview broadcast Sunday, Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown pushed back against the idea of “Medicare for all,” insted calling for “Medicare at 50,” the Hill reports.
The Ohio Senator, who is eyeing a presidential run, broke with the vast majority of potential Democratic Party candidates, arguing against universal and government-funded medical care, and suggesting that the first step should be to expand health care for individuals older than 50. Brown laid out his proposal, explaining that he does not want to repeal the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare. Rather, he said, he would like to improve it and fix consumer protections.
“I want to expand Medicare to 50,” Brown said.
“Now, if we get enough people, we will see a lot of people get in — in that plan, 58-year-olds and 62-year-olds that have lost their insurance, lost their jobs. We will see the success of that, and that will end up continuing to broaden and expand coverage for so many Americans.”
As the Hill notes, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, and Kristen Gillibrand — all of whom are either officially running for president, or are rumored to want to run — support “Medicare for all.”
It comes as no surprise given that their proposals are immensely popular. According to polls, 85 percent of Democrats support Medicare for all, as per reporting from CNBC, and even the majority of Republican voters support it.
Championed by the likes of Bernie Sanders, “Medicare for all” is often described by critics as a more expensive option than the Affordable Care Act. But, as Business Insider reported, a study from the libertarian Mercatus Center found that Sanders’ plan would, in fact, save money — the federal government would save an additional $32.6 trillion over 10 years.
Similarly, a Koch brothers-backed study found that implementing Bernie Sanders’ plan would actually be much cheaper than keeping or upgrading Obamacare, according to the Nation.
But according to Sherrod Brown “Medicare for all” has to wait.
The Ohio senator explained that he wants to “help people now,” which is why he wants to upgrade the Affordable Care Act. Contradicting polls, Brown opined that it would be difficult to “sell” the idea of universal, government-funded healthcare to the people.
Brown is not the only member of the Democratic Party to push back against progressive healthcare plans. As Politico reported, dozens of other Democratic lawmakers have suggested that expanding and upgrading Obamacare is the ideal option, criticizing universal, taxpayer-funded healthcare as unrealistic.
Earlier this month, the Intercept reported that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is reassuring insurance executives and donors, and advocating against single-payer healthcare on behalf of the Democratic Party in closed door meetings.