Delaney probably won’t be president. But check out his universal health care plan anyway.
John Delaney has been running for president for nearly two years. Most people haven’t heard of him, and so far, he isn’t getting much traction in the polls.
But the former Maryland Congress member has cooked up one of the more unique universal health care plans of anybody in the 2020 field. Delaney’s plan sticks out for two reasons: He is a former health care financier, so he brings an unusual amount of expertise to the issue, and while his plan is a path to universal coverage, he is going out of his way not to call it Medicare-for-all.
Granted, there are a lot of details Delaney still needs to fill in, but the bones are pretty simple:
Every American under 65 would be enrolled in a new public plan that covers a certain set of basic medical services, comparable to the essential health services covered by Obamacare. Employers and individuals could purchase supplemental insurance. Medicare for people over 65 would be untouched. The plan would be paid for mostly by maintaining the shared state-federal payments for Medicaid and by ending the unlimited tax break for employer health benefits.
I spoke at length with Delaney about his health care proposal; it tells us a lot about the different ways Democratic candidates can think about the issue of universal health coverage and constructing their plans to achieve it. The conversation is below, edited and condensed for clarity and length.
Help me understand the most important divergences in your mind between what you’re proposing and what’s in the Bernie Sanders bill.