Since the start of the 116th Congress, Nancy Pelosi has made it abundantly clear that she is not interested in Medicare for All and does not think it’s a good idea. According to Maplight and Sludge, that message has been clearly received by the goblins at the American Hospital Association, which is deeply opposed to single-payer and is a member of the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future.
A top lobbyist for the AHA, Tom Nickels, reportedly told the organization’s annual conference on Monday that Pelosi would likely not let Medicare for All come up for a vote this Congress, despite the fact that almost half of her caucus is a cosponsor on Rep. Jayapal’s bill. Pelosi, he said, wouldn’t ‘harm’ her caucus by doing so:
“We’re going to hear again from Mrs. Pelosi tomorrow,” he said. “She’s trying to thread the needle here, and she understands the difficulty that Medicare for All will provide for her caucus and for some of her members who have to go get re-elected, and my guess is she’s going to be pretty adept in making sure that nothing comes up that harms her members.”
The fact that the people who profit off the absurd costs in our healthcare system, ensuring we spend more than any other country while getting worse health outcomes, have the ear of a Democratic speaker better than single-payer advocates tells you everything you need to know about the Democratic party. Why does Tom Nickels know what Nancy Pelosi is going to do on Medicare for All before we do?
Nancy Pelosi believes that “harming” her more conservative members by bringing up a single-payer vote is more of a worry than people dying because they can’t afford healthcare. This is a fact. It’s a fact that she either lied or was completely, breathtakingly wrong about what Medicare for All actually is. It’s also been reported that her top aide, Wendell Primus, goes around telling the industry that leadership will help kill Medicare for All and asking DC wonks to help him do it.
If Medicare for All never happens, yes, the primary culprit will be the healthcare industry and those who seek to maintain their profits. But there’ll be blood on Nancy Pelosi’s hands, too.