As Democrats in Washington made headlines slamming President Trump on the healthcare issue, California’s Democratic lawmakers last week used their supermajority to block universal health care legislation. The Democrats halted the senate-passed bill after their party raked in big campaign contributions from drug companies and insurers. The move was the culmination of a successful lobbying campaign to portray the proposal as unrealistic and unaffordable.
But would a state-based Medicare-for-all system really be the unaffordable budget-buster that opponents have long claimed? On this episode, I talk to University of Massachusetts economist Robert Pollin. He is a former economic adviser to California Gov. Jerry Brown, who campaigned for president in support of single-payer but who did not support the single-payer legislation in his own state. Pollin was commissioned by single-payer advocates to study the California bill. After publishing a report about his findings, Pollin argues that opponents of the bill have misrepresented the most basic facts about health care economics.