Today in Slate, Jacob S. Hacker critiques "Medicare for All," the Democrats' latest health-care proposal. Hacker, author of The Great Risk Shift, generally impresses us with his insights on the failures of our current system.
This time, though, we take issue with his analysis. Hacker proposes a revision of Medicare for All which would give companies the option to sponsor workers' coverage through a low-cost, public program; for people whose employers opt out, a Medicare equivalent would cover health care.
So what's the problem? The problem is Hacker's assumption that his proposal will take care of the entire population: "All Americans with direct or family ties to the work force would be guaranteed affordable coverage, at a cost of just under $110 per person in increased health spending. (The unemployed would be signed up through state unemployment offices or through outreach efforts run by hospitals and public-assistance programs.)" What about the 30% of the workforce that the GAO calls "contingent workers" (and that Freelancers Union calls our constituents)? Where do they fit into that guarantee?