I was half-listening to an interview with her—maybe it was the town-hall thing with Jake Tapper, I don’t remember for sure—and the reporter was asking her about her “Medicare for All” plan. She answered (I’m paraphrasing): “Right now we have a process where the insurance company has to approve your care, so if you need a procedure or treatment, the insurer first has to approve it before you can get it. Let’s eliminate all of that [the approvals].”
If Medicare becomes the sole payer, does she imagine that it will not have its own approval apparatus in place, a process that will still...
- make patients try cheaper treatments first, before it grants approval for a more expensive one, causing a delay that could harm the patient?
- make doctors submit copious documentation before an expensive treatment is approved?
- outright deny treatments that it deems “unlikely” to help patients (e.g., a treatment that hasn’t been FDA-approved for one specific cancer, though it has been anecdotally shown to work in some of those cases)?
And does she think a government-run approval board would somehow be an improvement over an industry one? Why?
It seemed like a naive, breezy answer, as did her speech about the benefits of jail time for parents of truant students, which is presently circulating online.
I realize that in some of these interview/speech/town-hall settings, candidates don’t always have time to go into detail about their plans.
And I do like a lot about her—she was mercilessly prosecutorial at the Kavanaugh hearings.
But these answers give me pause.