Five Reasons Medicare For All (Or Anything Like It) Won’t Pass In 2021

By Billy Wynne | Health Affairs

At the end of 2016, after the election of President Donald Trump, Republicans across the country were elated by the perceived inevitable, imminent repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Democrats mirrored these expectations with despair.

As I wrote at the time, however, political realities and policy complexities have a way of colliding with such irrational exuberance. The infamous demise of the “Repeal and Replace” campaign bore out these verities.

It didn’t take long for the pendulum to swing. Comparably high expectations have arisen among Democrats that Medicare for All, or one of its many siblings or cousins, could pass in 2021.

While conventional wisdom, and some presidential candidates, have already begun to temper these expectations, my goal here is to document five reasons why Medicare for All (M4All), Medicare buy-in, or federal public option legislation cannot pass in the near future. My hope, in doing so, is that we Democrats spare ourselves the precious time, internal acrimony, and political fallout that Republicans faced when their lofty ACA repeal promises went unfulfilled.

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