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What if you like your private insurance?

Susan Estrich on

About 138 million Americans voted in the last presidential election.

Almost 220 million have private insurance.

"Medicare for All"? I can't begin to imagine the bureaucracy.

Employer-based insurance is still the most popular; more than half of the population is covered by employer-based private plans. Jobs with benefits, my mother taught me as a kid -- those were considered the good jobs. Even when you retired, good jobs with private insurance would provide for the huge gaps in Medicare.

Why in the world would we want to give up those benefits?

But my focus here, after watching Sen. Elizabeth Warren take on Mayor Pete Buttigieg on television, is not public policy. Warren, more than any other candidate, can hold her own in a public policy debate.

 

My focus is on winning the election.

Six in 10 Medicare recipients supplement Medicare with private insurance, either through retirement coverage provided by employers or by Medigap plans offered by private insurers. Among Medicare recipients, a group with the highest turnout records, those who have private supplemental insurance tend to be better educated and have higher income than other Medicare beneficiaries.

Likelihood of voting increases with age, education and income.

If the people on Medicare don't want to give up their private insurance and they are among the demographic most likely to vote, is this policy plan the Democrats' best path to the White House?

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Copyright 2019 Creators Syndicate Inc.

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