FRIENDSHIP HEIGHTS, MD – Today, the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed, titled “Democrats and John Delaney’s Dad,” praising John Delaney for supporting a universal health care system that allows for private insurance options, unlike the current Medicare-for-All bill in the Senate.
At last night’s debate, two candidates raised their hands to indicate that they would support making private insurance illegal. Delaney, a candidate with “actual knowledge about the private economy,” responded by saying, “I think we should be the party that keeps what’s working and fixes what’s broken.”
The Journal writes, “Other Democrats might not like to hear it, but Mr. Delaney is doing them a favor. He is warning that Medicare for All is a socialist trap that Donald Trump and Republicans will exploit in the general election if one of the Medicare for All candidates wins the Democratic nomination. Millions of union members like John Delaney’s father have excellent health insurance they would like to keep.”
The full piece is copied below and can be found online here.
Democrats and John Delaney’s Dad
The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board
June 27, 2019
A primary campaign is the fight for a party’s nomination but it also lays the political ground for the general election. On that point, the most important moment of the first presidential debate Wednesday night came when Sen. Elizabeth Warren raised her hand to say she would eliminate private health insurance.
NBC moderator Lester Holt teed up the moment when he asked the 10 candidates who would do away with private insurance. Two raised their hands: Senator Warren and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. Ms. Warren went on to explain the savings that would result from eliminating administrative costs, co-pays and steep medical bills, and the Democratic crowd applauded.
Other candidates chimed in with variations of the “public option” for ObamaCare that failed to pass in 2010, supporting a mix of private and public insurance. But then John Delaney spoke up to break the socialist reverie. Mr. Delaney was an entrepreneur before he was a three-term Maryland Congressman, the only Democrat on the stage who isn’t a lawyer or career politician. In other words, he has actual knowledge about the private economy.
“A hundred million Americans say they like their private health insurance, by the way,” he said. “I think we should be the party that keeps what’s working and fixes what’s broken.”
He continued: “And also it’s [Medicare for All] bad policy. If you go to every hospital in this country and ask them one question, which is how would it have been for you last year if every one of your bills were paid at the Medicare rate? Every single hospital administrator said they would close. And the Medicare for All bill requires payments to stay at current Medicare rates. So to some extent we’re supporting a bill that will have every hospital closing.”
He’s referring to the fact that, to control costs, Medicare reimburses hospitals and doctors at 80% or less of the actual cost, often considerably less in high-cost states like New York. The providers stay in business by making up the losses on other patients who have private insurance. Without private insurance, Medicare would either have to pay more or ration care.
“I mean my dad was a union electrician, right,” Mr. Delaney continued. “I actually grew up in a working-class family. He loved the health care that the IBEW [union] gave him. And I just always think about my dad in anything that I do from a policy perspective. He’d look at me and he’d say, good job, John, for getting health care for every American. But why are you taking my health care away?”
Mr. Holt missed a chance to ask Ms. Warren to respond, but he ought to take the point up with Bernie Sanders on Thursday evening. Ms. Warren has signed on to Bernie’s Medicare for All bill that would also eliminate private health insurance.
Other Democrats might not like to hear it, but Mr. Delaney is doing them a favor. He is warning that Medicare for All is a socialist trap that Donald Trump and Republicans will exploit in the general election if one of the Medicare for All candidates wins the Democratic nomination. Millions of union members like John Delaney’s father have excellent health insurance they would like to keep.