Texas GOP Congressman Michael Burgess says the Medicare-for-all policy proposed by some Democrats is “absolutely stunning” and will mean the end of private insurance.
Burgess will be present during the House Rules Committee’s hearing on the Medicare-for-all on Tuesday, the first such hearing ever in an effort to push the policy that would phase out private insurance and instead force Americans to use the same health plan as provided by the government.
“Well, just think back to the good old days like if you like your doctor, can you keep your doctor. In this consideration you get to keep nothing,” Burgess, who is also a doctor, told “Fox and Friends” on Tuesday morning.
“All health insurance, all private health insurance as we know it is gone. In fact, Medicare, as we know, is gone. Medicare advantage is gone,” he continued.
“All health insurance, all private health insurance as we know it is gone. In fact, Medicare as we know is gone. Medicare advantage is gone.”
— Texas Rep. Michael Burgess
“It's just absolutely stunning when you read through and it's not terribly long bill when you read through the aspirational document that we'll have in the rules committee today, it is stunning because everything will be taken over by the federal government.”
Multiple 2020 presidential candidates have openly endorsed Medicare-for-all, including Sens. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker. Kamala Harris, after initially saying she supports the elimination of private insurance to give way to the single-payer system, has since backtracked and said she’s open to more moderate policies that don’t necessarily ban private insurance.
Burgess notes that such overhaul of the system has “never been tried before on this scale” and is likely to have dire consequences for patients in the U.S.
“Look, if I have a new treatment that I want to offer a patient, I have to do a randomized clinical trial. I have to show it's not going to kill too many people when I administer it. None of that is required with this. Just by congressional fiat, we are going to change the entirety of healthcare in this country,” he said.
The Republican says that instead of trying to radically change the healthcare system, people ought to celebrate the existing policies that are working.
“Why don't we celebrate stuff that's working. Since Donald Trump was inaugurated, 2.5 million people, not just are working, but they have employer-sponsored insurance that didn't have it before. This is a great success of the Trump administration. I don't know why we don't talk about it more,” he said.
The much-anticipated hearing on Tuesday while is a victory for the left-wing lawmakers and activists, some have expressed skepticism, saying the panel lacks strong voices supporting for the single-payer system on the panel.