The left’s plan for single-payer health care
For Hillary and the Democrats, Obamacare is only the first step
If you loathe Obamacare, you’re going to hate what the Democrats have planned next. Their imminent assault on health care will go far beyond the quasi-socialized medicine of Obamacare.
While Hillary Clinton expressed satisfaction with the Supreme Court’s recent decision in King v. Burwell, which upheld federal subsidies in states that did not establish their own exchanges, she must have been disappointed that she didn’t have the decision to herself. Her major primary opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Democratic-Socialist, has long been in front of her on full-blown socialized medicine, generally known as single payer.
For the left, the King v. Burwell decision is a prelude to total federal control of the health care system. Forget insurance. They want complete government control — the British National Health Service on steroids.
Mr. Sanders is playing the single-payer card, and Mrs. Clinton is playing catch-up.
Mrs. Clinton is, of course, the grandmother of socialized medicine. She was pushing for it more than 20 years ago, when Mr. Sanders was an obscure local Vermont pol. And yet, she’s struggling match Mr. Sanders on the issue.
Another irony: A singlepayer system was tried — and went down in spectacular flames — in Mr. Sanders’ home state. That, of course, is immaterial to committed leftists, for whom ideological purity and warfare are everything.
Since the passage of Obamacare, the left has very effectively moved the goalposts so far to the extreme that single payer will no longer seem like a radical approach but the logical solution to fixing the program’s problems. Mrs. Clinton will argue that single payer is the obvious next step, a fait accompli.
Consider: Obamacare is currently being smothered by a raft of existential problems: everhigher premiums, disappearing subsidies, the collapse of Obamacare co-ops, fewer enrollees, rising loss ratios. The program is entering the long-anticipated and feared “death spiral.”
That, of course, was the endgame all along. The Obamacare architects rigged the system to implode so they could ride to the rescue with single payer.
That was always the leftists’ ideal vision. In 2003, thenIllinois state Sen. Barack Obama laid out his deepest health care wish: “I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer universal health care program … . But as all of you know, we may not get there immediately. Because first we have to take back the White House, we have to take back the Senate, and we have to take back the House.”
The leftists’ ambitions laid bare. But Democrats facing reelection in 2010 and 2012 did not want to have to vote for a highly unpopular single-payer system, so they pursued an easier political path.
They designed a health care scheme that was as close to single payer as was politically possible and stacked the deck so single payer would be the inevitable result.
A parade of leftists then broadcasted that intention. When Obamacare was passed in its final form in March 2010, Sen. Tom Harkin said, “I think of this bill as a starter home. It’s not the mansion of our dreams, but it has a solid foundation.” He added, “By passing this legislation, we will achieve a progressive prize that has eluded Congresses and presidents going back to Teddy Roosevelt.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi chimed in, “Once we kick through this door, there’ll be more legislation to follow.” Mr. Obama himself told then-Rep. Dennis Kucinich, “We’ve gotta start somewhere.”
This is why they purposefully built collapse into the program: They want employers to drop private coverage and have evermore Americans pushed into Obamacare.
They will next argue that we tried the market approach, but gosh golly, it just didn’t work, so we’re going to have to do the full socialized medicine monty.
The night of the King v. Burwell decision, Mrs. Clinton released a fundraising email, indicating that she was ready to go far to the left, and destroy the GOP as villains.
“This ruling is … a reminder that while progress never comes easy, if we keep working, keep pushing, and never, ever give up, anything is possible,” she wrote.
“Add your name if you agree that access to health care is a basic human right.
“Despite two clear rulings by the highest court in the land, Republicans running for president still want to take basic health security away from millions of Americans …” she continued.
“The next president will either protect and expand health care for every American, or undo the progress we’ve made.”
Note her language: “keep pushing,” “basic human right,” “protect and expand health care for every American.” This is code for moving Obamacare quickly and seamlessly into a single-payer system — under the guise of “improving health care for all.”
The real reason is to finalize the critical cornerstone of what Mr. Obama in 2008 called the “fundamental transformation of the nation.” After all, if the government controls your health care, the government controls you.
Mission (soon to be) accomplished. Monica Crowley is online opinion editor at The Washington Times.