Nancy Pelosi Skeptical of Medicare for All: ‘$30 Trillion? How Do We Pay For That?’

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed skepticism about the “Medicare for All” plan that many Democrats seeking the 2020 presidential nomination have embraced.

Pelosi told Rolling Stone that there is no plan to finance a program as sweeping as Medicare for All despite many in the House and Senate calling for such a bill.

“Single-payer is just about who pays It’s not about what the benefits are. That is, administratively, the simplest thing to do, but to convert to it? Thirty trillion dollars. Now, how do you pay for that?” she asked.

“So I said, ‘Look, just put them all on the table, and let’s have the discussion, and let people see what it is. But know what it is that you’re talking about.’ All I want is the goal of every American having access to health care. You don’t get there by dismantling the Affordable Care Act. As Californians have said to me, ‘We get billions and billions of dollars out of the Affordable Care Act coming into California. Now they want to get rid of that.’ How are they gonna go to single-payer in California without the money from the Affordable Care Act? Anyway, this is not a bumper-sticker war — this is a complicated issue.”

House Dems just introduced Medicare for All bill:

Pelosi’s comments come after Washington Democrat Pramila Jayapal and over 100 co-sponsors introduced a sweeping Medicare for All bill earlier this week that goes even beyond what Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has proposed.

“We mean a complete transformation of our health care system and we mean a system where there are no private insurance companies that provide these core benefits,” Jayapal told reporters Tuesday. “We mean universal care, everybody in, nobody out.”

The proposal, Vox reported, would “create a universal Medicare program that covers all American residents in one government-run health plan.”

“It would bar employers from offering separate plans that compete with this new, government-run option,” Vox noted. “It would cover hospital visits, primary care, medical devices, lab services, maternity care, and prescription drugs, as well as vision and dental benefits. Jayapal’s bill would cover abortion services, as does the newest version of Sanders’s plan.”

How to pay for it?:

Jayapal did not explain how Democrats would fund the plan.

“Most bills don’t have that when they’re introduced, that comes later in the process,” she said. “I actually think the question is not about how we pay for it, the question is where is the will to make sure every American has the health care they deserve and have a right.”

“Jayapal mentioned a wealth tax or repeal of Republican tax cuts as possible options for paying for the system,” Vox reported. “But who pays how much more is a key question this Jayapal bill doesn’t answer.”


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