Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg thinks that the proposal to replace private, employer-provided health insurance with a Medicare-for-all system would be financially impossible. Medicare-for-all has been a popular progressive policy in recent years but it won’t work in the US according to Bloomberg. The New York City-based billionaire was speaking during a meeting with pin factory employees in Nashua, New Hampshire.
Bloomberg added that Medicare-for-all would cost trillions of dollars and the country cannot afford it at the moment. However, the former New York City Mayor claims that it’s possible to have a Medicare-for-all policy for people who are yet to be covered. Bloomberg said that this is actually a small number of people and it won’t cost as much money as a universal coverage for all Americans.
The comments from Bloomberg come barely days after Kamala Harris, a Democratic Senator from California and presidential candidate for the 2020 election, voiced her support for the idea. Harris said that private insurance as we know it “will have to end” paving way for a more universal system. But there are still a few other potential 2020 candidates who don’t support the idea. Responding to Harris’s remarks, former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said that the idea of abolishing private insurance is “not American.”
Schultz is weighing in a possible run in 2020 as an independent candidate. Speaking during a CBS interview, he said that the private insurance industry is an integral part of the US economy and any effort to abolish it would be counterproductive. The former Starbucks CEO also feared that such a move could create a bad precedent that would affect other industries in the future.
Bloomberg’s appearance in New Hampshire sparked increased speculation that he’s positioning himself as a potential candidate for the Democratic Party in 2020. Unlike previous visits to the state, this one was packed with open political events including question-and-answer sessions at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at St. Anselm College. This is a popular campaign stop for presidential candidates.
Bloomberg is also planned to make a stop at a coffee shop in Dover where he will make an appearance with Billy Shaheen, the husband of Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen. Billy Shaheen has worked with former Democratic candidates and was responsible for orchestrating victories for John Kerry and Jimmy Carter in the New Hampshire primaries. Bloomberg, who’s a successful business magnate, was clear that the US shouldn’t be embarrassed by its capitalist system. He argued that the system has worked very well so far compared to other systems drawing an example from Venezuela to make his case.
The lineup for potential Democratic nominees for 2020 has been shaping up nicely in recent months as more candidates are coming out. So far there are at least four candidates who have shown their interest and it’s increasingly likely that Joe Biden may also join the race. Bloomberg, if nominated, will be looking to unseat Trump who surprisingly won the presidency in 2016. Many feel that his business background could grant him an advantage over Trump.