Conventional wisdom holds that the progressive dream of Medicare for All died—or at least was deferred—when Joe Biden secured the Democratic presidential nomination. Many supposed the former vice president would be more moderate on health care than the president under whom he served. But recently Biden has started sounding a lot more like Barack Obama or even Senator Bernie Sanders. In early July, six unity task forces convened jointly by Biden and Sanders released their policy recommendations for a putative Biden Administration. If implemented, they’d represent the most left-wing governing program in U.S. history.

The healthcare task force stopped short of endorsing Medicare for All. But Biden’s “public option” alternative amounts to single-payer in slow motion. Perhaps most alarmingly, the Democratic presidential hopeful has embraced the idea that Americans have a right to health care. That idea is certainly popular—nearly four in five Americans believe that everyone should have a right to health care regardless of their ability to pay. But declaring something a right does not make it so. In fact, a government-guaranteed “right to health care” would undermine many of the other more fundamental rights that Americans hold dear.

A False Choice

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