On 9-13-17 a single-payer health bill was proposed designed to embrace a bigger government role in health care. Single-payer refers to a government-run health insurance system, though details can vary. the bill would create a national Medicare-like insurance system and eliminate most out-of-pocket costs for individuals.
The surge in support rests on several factors including a rise in populist sentiment and a growing acceptance of the 2010 ACA’s principle that the government should provide coverage if necessary.
Backers of a single-payer plan have also been emboldened by the faltering of the Repeal & Replace concept recently presented but didn’t get enough votes to pass. A single-payer approach doesn’t command majority support from voters and will require much more collaboration by the law makers in Washington.
In the House, 117 Democrats are co-sponsoring a plan by Rep. John Conyers (D., Mich.) that would let people of all ages get Medicare—more than double the number who signed onto a similar bill two years ago. In New York and California, single-payer bills passed one chamber of the states’ legislatures this year before stalling.
The odds now of Congress enacting a single-payer plan are remote, but public sentiment has apparently shifted. According to a June 2017 poll by the Pew Research Center, 33% of the public favors a single-payer approach to health insurance which is up 12 points since 2014.
There is no clear indication that this option will make it to the Senate for a vote, but debate does continue.