Now that the necessary “supermajority” in the Senate (a tenuous concept at best) is gone, the Democrats, like Lenin a century ago, are wondering: what is to be done?
Here’s a suggestion: nationalise (or more accurately federalise) Medicaid. Currently a joint venture of the states and the Feds, making it an entirely Federal program would have many possibilities:
- It would relieve the states of their largest running budget headache. That would insure the support of all fifty governors, Republican and Democrat alike.
- It would enable the Feds to set a uniform standard for eligibility, etc. That problem has bedevilled the current process, and led to the more egregious payoffs (LA, NE, etc.) we saw in the Senate process.
- It’s already a government program, so this (in principle) doesn’t “expand the role of government.” That would put the small-government Republicans in a box.
- It addresses the medical insurance issues of the portion of the population least able to afford it. Isn’t that what social welfare is all about?
- It would end the “health insurance shopping” that helped turn TennCare into the disaster it became before the state pared down the eligibility requirements.
I personally think that, although there would be opposition to this, it would be very difficult to sustain.
I know this is too simple either for our Ivy League trained elites or our “action oriented” political system (it is, in reality, an act of funding legerdemain.) But if you left wingers are serious about your ultimate objectives, you’ll get behind this.