Democrats turn to a socialist economic agenda ahead of midterms
By Leandra Bernstein
Self-declared socialists are fueling the energy of the Democratic Party, marked by the rise of figures like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and the mainstream of the party is embracing their agenda.
Last week, a group of roughly 60 Democrats established a Medicare for All Caucus to rally support for a government-sponsored single-payer health care system, an issue that is fast becoming a priority for almost every 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful.
. . . Universal health care is probably the best-studied proposal after Bernie Sanders, a self-declared democratic socialist, popularized the idea during the 2016 presidential race.
According to Sanders’ own analysis, the program would cost $14 trillion over ten years and would be paid for through a higher income tax and higher taxes on employers and the wealthy. Other analysis estimated the cost of the Medicare for All proposal was above $34 trillion.
However, there is a reason many politicians who campaign on universal health care typically abandon the idea after taking office, explained Sally Pipes, president and CEO of the conservative Pacific Research Institute.
“Many Democrats have walked back their enthusiasm for single-payer after getting a look at the just how much public money they’d have to come up with,” she said, citing state lawmakers in North Carolina, Vermont and California who canceled their programs before they were implemented. “That’s because single-payer is cost-prohibitive.”