Medicare for all has become a populist campaign line for many Democratic Party candidates for President. However, very few people really understand what Medicare for all really means, and polls show indeed that it means different things for different people.
I am on "traditional Medicare" with an additional Medigap supplementary AARP sponsored private policy for that "additional 15 percent" that you see so often advertised in the TV commercials. My Medicare and AARP policies serve my purpose quite nicely. They both have deductibles, copays and lots of exclusions, but nothing that would break me financially. I would have no issues with the "under 65" crowd buying into it as a public option. That is what many believe when they hear "Medicare for all".
That is not the case for the Bernie Sanders version of Medicare for all. The Sanders version is a single payer universal coverage program covering EVERYONE and just about EVERYTHING under ONE policy. If you like your employer based policy (and most people do), you will no longer be allowed to have it. Even us seniors on traditional Medicare would be giving up those polices for the all encompassing "Berniecare". Ditto for the Veterans health care as it too will be phased into Berniecare.
It would indeed cover a range of things not covered by traditional Medicare, but perhaps covered in part by the private Medicare Advantage polices (called Medicare Part C). Dentists, eye doctors, eye glasses, podiatrists, and even abortions (never mind the Hyde Amendment) would be covered under Sanders version of Medicare for all. No deductibles or co pays. Sanders, however, has not said in his piece of legislation of what it would cost and how it would be paid for. Those are small details to be worked out later, but the Urban Institute has estimated it would cost $32 trillion over 10 years.
It would indeed be nice if America had such a plan for all. And although it seems to have a populist support now, once people understand what is in the Sanders bill they'll shift. When Colorado put a version of Medicare for all (Amendment 69, Colorado Care) on the ballot in 2016 it failed by an 81-19 margin. There were two big reasons. One is that most people really like their private employer based policies and do not want to give them up for some government mandated program. The second reason is that all ballot measures in Colorado have to put the costs up front in the first line and paragraph describing the legislation. The enormous cost to the taxpayer put people off. They voted a resounding "NO".
I mention all this because it is the reality. Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and the whole bunch of other wanna be contenders better do their homework before they do a wholesale endorsement of Bernie Sanders Medicare for all...aka BernieCare. Unlike Sanders who has put out some vague proposals for funding it in his website (but not inside his legislation), they will be asked to be more specific. And they will then own it going up against Trump or another in the 2020 election. Like the people of Colorado who said "hell no" their vote will be conditioned on how the candidate stands on "BernieCare".