Take it from me, tweaks won’t fix health care. Democrats should focus on Medicare for All.

Democrats have secured a 40-seat flip of the House of Representatives, based largely on a nationwide call for health care reform. Many Democrats, led by Brian Higgins of New York, are planning to use their newfound control of the House to work on a Medicare buy-in bill.

I spent 20 years as a health insurance executive before leaving my job as a vice president at Cigna. I can tell you firsthand that by focusing on a half-baked measure like a Medicare buy-in, Democrats would hand a huge gift to the private insurance industry while doing less than the bare minimum to help struggling businesses, workers, families and patients.

When the next Congress starts in January, House Democrats should use their new majority introduce, debate and vote on significant legislation that would assure universal coverage, protect taxpayers, and dramatically transform our health care system: Medicare for All.

The Higgins plan to let people aged 50-64 to buy Medicare coverage does nothing to restrict the ability of insurers to profit from our fragmented coverage system. It would allow insurance companies to continue to control prices for almost everyone under 50, while pushing many of their most expensive-to-insure patients out of their risk pool and into Medicare’s — which shifts the cost onto taxpayers.

– USA Today

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