Issues

McGovern (D): You Won’t Lose Your Health Care or Your Doctor With Medicare for All

House Rules Committee chairman Jim McGovern (D., Mass.) said Americans wouldn't lose their health care or their doctors if the country adopted a Medicare for All system on Tuesday.

McGovern's committee held the first-ever hearing on the proposed health care overhaul being debated as part of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, and McGovern effectively repeated an infamous promise by President Barack Obama.

"People aren't going to lose their health care with Medicare for All," he said. "You would actually to keep your doctors and go to your hospitals that you currently have. The only difference is you wouldn't have to deal with insurance companies. I don't know about you, but that's not my favorite thing to do when I get sick."

Obama repeatedly insisted that no Americans would lose the health insurance they had if they liked it during debate over the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. However, millions of insurance plans were cancelled after the law's provisions went into effect, leading Obama to get pinned with the "Lie of the Year" in 2013 by PolitiFact.

Medicare for All has become a catch-all phrase for universal health care and means different things to different Democratic lawmakers, with some on the far left like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D., Wash.) calling for the abolition of private insurance companies. Other Democrats like Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) are more wary of a true, single-payer health care system run by the government.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) initially called for the elimination of private health care plans before saying she was open to multiple paths to Medicare for All. Former Vice President Joe Biden wouldn't go as far as Sanders, calling for a public option for Americans to buy into Medicare.