Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) plans to unveil a new version of his “Medicare-for-all” proposal on Wednesday. But the actual substance of the plan may matter less than what he says about it ― and the role he envisions that proposal playing in future debates over how to reform the U.S. health care system.
He could try to make it a litmus test, by presenting his proposal as a near-finished piece of legislation and demanding that Democrats pledge fealty to its particulars. Or he could present it more as a concept, something he expects progressives to spend the next few years refining, with a greater emphasis on the goal of truly universal coverage than the specific means for achieving it.
The former approach sounds bolder. The latter could ultimately do more to make health care available and affordable.