To expand coverage to those without it, Democrats in 2010 sacrificed cost control methods that might have helped those already insured. The law therefore did not offer most Americans what they wanted most. President Obama and those who thought like him convinced themselves the legislation would control costs by reforming how health care is organized, but any such effects have been both weak and unpopular. Now many commentators are accusing Democratic candidates of making the same mistake by prioritizing an ideological vision of “Medicare for All” over voters' worries about out-of-pocket costs. Yet Medicare for All, unlike less “radical” approaches, addresses those concerns directly. Unfortunately, neither elites (outside the industry!) nor voters seem to understand that, and it is politically risky because of the same fears about change, industry opposition, and distrust of government that inhibited more effective action a decade before.

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