Former Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick: Medicare for All ‘a Terrific Idea’

By Melanie Arter | August 6, 2018 | 11:51am EDT
Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (Screenshot)

( – Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick told CNN’s “State of the Union with Jake Tapper” on Sunday that he thinks Medicare for all is “a terrific idea” of how to get universal care to everyone.

Patrick was responding to a question from Tapper on whether he supports the movement in the Democratic Party for Medicare for all.


“I think it's a terrific idea as a sort of shorthand on the basic question on how we get universal care to everybody, and there's more than one way to skin that cat. I thought the idea of having a public option at the time that the ACA, or Obamacare, was debated was critical,” the governor said.

“And I think having Medicare for all, alongside various of the private options that are available under the ACA, is a terrific idea. That kind of competition, that kind of innovation is enormously, enormously important, and Medicare is a popular, highly efficient way to deliver health care that is affordable and effective to everybody, and that ought to be the aim,” he said.

“How do we get universal, affordable care to everyone? That is something that Democrats support, and I think we have seen, at least in this administration, and, frankly, from Republicans over the last several years, that that is something fundamentally they do not believe in, and we ought to call that question in the midterms and beyond,” Patrick said.

Patrick, who works for Bain Capital's Double Impact division, which focuses on social and environmental progress, describes himself as capitalist, but not a market fundamentalist.

“I don't think markets solve every problem just the right way, but I do believe in opportunity. I think we need an economy that is expanding and is expanding out, so it reaches people on the margins, not just up, so it's good for people who already have wealth and just want more,” he said.

Patrick called for alternative immigration enforcement policies to those enforced by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“We clearly need some alternative to the policies in ICE, whether you call it ICE or call it something else. The sadistic policies and practices of ICE today have got to go, separating families, the walking away from DACA, the deportation of spouses of immigrants who serve in the military today. Really?” he said.

“We are better than that, and the opportunity to have comprehensive immigration reform has been on the table before. There is bipartisan support for it. It needs to come back. We need to be serious about it,” Patrick said.

“And the only reason that it doesn't happen today is because, I believe, our president wants to keep it as an open wound, so he can rally his base, or the extreme of his base, around it for political purposes, and that's wrong,” he said.

When asked whether Patrick supports the abolishment of ICE or just a change in immigration policy, the former governor said, “We need somebody to do the job of ICE. Now, whether we keep it as in the name of ICE, or we give it -- give that assignment to some other agency with a different name is not as important to me. We need better policies. I think the name of the agency is less important than getting the policies right, and what we have today are the wrong policies and the wrong practices.”

When asked whether he supports impeaching President Donald Trump, Patrick said, “Yes, if the grounds are there, then that -- then we should proceed, and I think there are a lot of -- there's a lot of basis to believe that the grounds are there, but I don't think that's the first order of business.

“I think the first order of business is acting as a real check on this president, having the -- doing the job that the Constitution requires and expects. That is not happening with the House today,” the former governor said.

“And there's an awful lot of policy and legislative business that is going undone today, because we cannot get bipartisan or nonpartisan behavior out of the House today because of the extreme behavior of a small number or a small minority, a small, but vocal minority of the Republican Party in the House, and that's got to change,” he said.


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