Bill S.619. An Act establishing Medicare for all in Massachusetts, can truly be said is an act whose time has not come.
This bill establishes a Massachusetts Health Care Trust, which will be the single-payer body responsible for the collection and disbursement of funds required to provide health care services for every resident of the Commonwealth.
Many times on this blog, I have argued that the issue of the Federal Government paying for a new program is a non-issue because the Federal Government creates U.S. Money. I hope you realize that everything I said about the government not having to worry about money to fund things applies only to the Federal Government, not to a state government. State governments do not create US money. Only the federal government creates US money. Any government that is narrower than the federal government has to worry about how it will pay for government programs.
So how does Jamie Eldridge propose that Massachusetts pays for Medicare For All? You can read the text of the bill to decide for yourself if it seems feasible. Perhaps with the state responsible for the collection of funds to replace the insurance companies’ collection of funds, this might all be possible.
There are things the Federal Government could do with relative ease, that state governments do not have the resources to do. We have to be very careful to make sure that the state has the financial resources to make this possible.
The preferable way to do single payer health care is at the federal level. Wishing won’t make it affordable at the state level. Many a local government has gone bankrupt trying to do the impossible. When that happens, it gives the right-wing “evidence” that they use to “prove” that government cannot work. This is already being done with Vermont that tried this and failed. See the article Bernie Sanders’s Single-Payer Health Care Plan Failed in Vermont.
Despite the ominous budget projections at the time, single-payer advocates now say they believe Shumlin’s decision was purely political.
It is not clear whether or not Vermont was going to collect in insurance payments, the money that had been going to private insurers.
Let’s not have progressives competing with the right-wing for the honor of proposing the silliest government actions. Cutting Medicare at the federal level is silly, but proposing it at the state level to compensate may also be silly.