What does it take to run for president, anyway? You just build up a certain number of TV appearances over the years, and then it’s like, okay, I’m ready to be the leader of the free world now? It would seem that’s the case, judging from the current crop of Democratic candidates. Not a one of them seems to have much of a clue about anything, and Mr. Clueless himself, Cory Booker of New Jersey, embarrassed himself on CBS News this week by knowing about as much as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Which is to say, not very much at all.
In an interview with Norah O’Donnell on “CBS This Morning,” the White House hopeful was asked several times how much his Medicare-for-all plan would cost. Booker is one of many Democrats running on the platform, which would essentially nationalize American health insurance and make it free for everyone to go to the doctor. It’s a hell of a platform to run on, but it might seem a little less like storybook fantasy if these politicians actually did just a smidgen of homework about their proposals. Unfortunately, the only thing Booker seemed to research was how to avoid answering a simple question.
After telling the CBS hosts that Medicare-for-all was a popular item on the agenda, O’Donnell said, “A chicken in every pot is popular as well. How much would Medicare for all cost?”
“Norah, a couple things—”
“Just quickly,” she interrupted, “just so that people know how much it would cost.”
“Even the CBO says if you lower Medicare to allow 50-year-olds to get into it, you can not only save the government money, but you can lower premiums for all Americans,” Booker replied. “This is the thing. We’re not talking directly to issues that can expand access to care and create affordability, and to say that it can’t be done in Washington…”
“I’m just wondering,” O’Donnell mused, “if Democrats are having an honest conversation, while they are promising what sounds good, and it should be a universal right that people have access to healthcare. But if it’s $20 billion and $30 billion over 10 years, no one is having that discussion about how that will be paid for.”
Booker, who certainly didn’t want to correct O’Donnell and let her know that it would actually cost $20 to $30 TRILLION over that time period, decided it would be a good time to change the subject and talk about how there are too many black people in prison.
One of these days, Democrats will have to face the music when it comes to their pie-in-the-sky plans to revolutionize American healthcare. And when voters get a good hard look at what kind of tab they’ll be on the hook for when it comes to these programs, they might remember the old adage: There’s no such thing as a free lunch.
Nor a free medical checkup.