President Trump and other Republicans have mocked the idea of Medicare for all, saying it could ruin the program for older Americans and generate huge costs for the federal government. It would “come at a staggering cost to taxpayers,” said Alex M. Azar II, the secretary of health and human services.
Christine Vilord, an Idaho schoolteacher who described herself as a moderate Republican, said she could support a Medicare-for-all program of national health insurance even if it meant a small increase in taxes. She said she realized the need for such a program in October when her 25-year-old daughter was in a severe auto accident that left her unable to walk for two months.
Asked if his vision of Medicare for all included private Medicare Advantage plans, Adam Green, a founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, an advocacy group, said: “No, absolutely not. Why would it? Medicare for all, in the end, means fundamental systemic change. People would no longer be at the mercy of for-profit insurers that make money by denying people care.”
Mr. Sanders and Representative Pramila Jayapal, Democrat of Washington and a chairwoman of the Medicare for All Caucus in Congress, see no need for private Medicare Advantage plans.
Vedant Patel, a spokesman for Ms. Jayapal, said her vision of Medicare for all was the traditional Medicare program, not private plans. “The purpose of Medicare for all is defeated if there are other plans people can buy into,” he said.
Josh Miller Lewis, a spokesman for Mr. Sanders, said: “We would get rid of duplicative health insurance. Our version of Medicare would cover most procedures. There would be no need for a Medicare Advantage program.”
Other lawmakers support expanding Medicare, but do not want to disrupt coverage for consumers who like the insurance they have.