But there’s so much more we could do right now to bring down the costs of quality health care for every American. We could start by ending health insurance company price gouging – ending high deductibles, surprise bills, and endless fights with insurance companies over coverage for critical medical procedures or out-of-pocket costs. We could also cut the cost of prescription drugs by importing drugs from Canada, where the same prescription can sometimes cost far less than in the US. Bipartisan improvements are possible – in fact, just a few weeks ago, President Trump signed my bill with Republican Chuck Grassley to make hearing aids more affordable by allowing certain hearing aids to be sold over the counter.
Nationalizing health insurance would have further destructive consequences, creating a system governed by political rather than market incentives. A single-payer system would devote resources to people who are mildly sick. It could well be popular, as many people would have positive experiences. But the investment of capital spurred by economic incentives has made the American health-care sector the most innovative in the world. While those innovations do not offer immediate political rewards, they benefit those with more-serious ailments, especially over a longer time horizon. Despite the rhetoric of its supporters, single-payer is not the more humanitarian approach.
In the face of this grassroots enthusiasm and pressure, “the Democratic Party has moved swiftly to the left on healthcare,” notes Vox ‘s Jeff Stein. “Most key 2020 contenders—including Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-.), and Corey Booker (D-.)— have said they support the idea of single payer without necessarily backing Sanders’ bill or an existing bill. More than half of House Democrats now support Rep. John Conyers’ (D-Mich.) single-payer bill —a historic high.”