Image 01 Image 02 Image 03

The Single-payer Party? Decimated Democratic Party Searches for a Winning Platform

The Single-payer Party? Decimated Democratic Party Searches for a Winning Platform

Single-payer, they think, might be just the ticket

Having sustained truly historic losses over the course of Obama’s presidency and into President Trump’s first term, the Democrats need a winning platform plank, and they think they’ve found it in single-payer health care.

With surprising Democrat base support for socialist Senator Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) in the 2016 Democrat primaries and with California taking the lead with its ludicrously expensive single-payer health care scheme, Democrats are lunging left on health care.  So much so, that they may be on their way to rebranding as “the single-payer party.”

The New York Times reports:

For years, Republicans savaged Democrats for supporting the Affordable Care Act, branding the law — with some rhetorical license — as a government takeover of health care.

Now, cast out of power in Washington and most state capitals, Democrats and activist leaders seeking political redemption have embraced an unlikely-seeming cause: an actual government takeover of health care.

At rallies and in town hall meetings, and in a collection of blue-state legislatures, liberal Democrats have pressed lawmakers, with growing impatience, to support the creation of a single-payer system, in which the state or federal government would supplant private health insurance with a program of public coverage. And in California on Thursday, the Democrat-controlled State Senate approved a preliminary plan for enacting single-payer system, the first serious attempt to do so there since then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, vetoed legislation in 2006 and 2008.

. . . . In a sign of shifting sympathies, most House Democrats have now endorsed a single-payer proposal. Party strategists say they expect that the 2020 presidential nominee will embrace a broader version of public health coverage than any Democratic standard-bearer has in decades.

A prominent labor union leader and Bernie supporter notes that there has been a “cultural shift” on health care since ObamaCare was passed.

The NYT continues:

RoseAnn DeMoro, the executive director of National Nurses United and the California Nurses Association, powerful labor groups that back single-payer care, said the issue had reached a “boiling point” on the left.

“There is a cultural shift,” said Ms. DeMoro, who was a prominent backer of Mr. Sanders. “Health care is now seen as something everyone deserves. It’s like a national light went off.”

Single-payer was voted down in the 2016 Democratic Platform.

But that was when they were all-but-certain that Hillary would win the White House.

While Democrats are embracing single-payer on the state level, it’s not clear that it will come to pass in any of the states that have proposed it.

At this point, state and federal single-payer proposals appear mainly to embody the sweeping ambitions of a frustrated party, rather than to map a clear way forward on policy. A handful of legislators in Democratic states — some positioning themselves to run for higher office — have proposed single-payer bills, including in New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Only in California does the legislation appear to have at least a modest chance of being approved this year.

Even there, State Senator Ricardo Lara, an author of the bill, said his legislation would not clear the State Assembly without detailing how expanded coverage would be financed. The proposal currently lacks a complete funding plan.

If the answer to their funding problem is the typical leftist go-to of higher taxes, they may be in for a surprise.  Voters may support single-payer health care in theory, but when they find out how much it costs, their support dwindles.

Reason reports:

There’s one other thing that’s fairly consistent among the states that have proposed single-payer systems in recent years: When voters find out how much a single-payer system will cost, they are much less likely to support one.

Single-payer advocates learned that lesson last year in Colorado at the ballot box, as the state turned blue for Hillary Clinton even as 79 percent of voters said “no” to single-payer health care.

Other polling bears out that relationship. A recent poll commissioned by the California Association of Health Underwriters, found that 66 percent of California residents are opposed to single-payer health care. Opposition increased to 75 percent when those polled were told the price tag for the system is $179 billion annually—which is actually lower than what the legislative analysis suggests.

Democrats are aware of this, of course, and as Reason notes, their idea for bypassing these pesky fiscal and public support issues is to regain control of Congress and the White House.

A single-payer system at the federal level would have the same fiscal problems, of course, but unlike state governments that are required to balance their budgets annually, a nationally single-payer system would just be added to the federal government’s ever-growing tab.

That’s not necessarily better, but it would offer something of a solution to the problem of how to pay for a hugely expensive new entitlement. Until Democrats control the federal government, though, state-level efforts like the ones in New York and California are likely to continue percolating.

This may be their goal, but it does not play well with voters who don’t like the idea of crushing new taxes and/or of adding trillions to our national debt.  Who can forget Bernie squirming unhappily when pressed on how he’d pay for his “Medicare for All” boondoggle?


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


That’s it! Government knows best, does it best and will tell you any lie necessary to convince you! Vote for Central Planning! It works in Venezuela if you can get past the street protests, food shortages, surly unemployed who want to be paid and so forth.

give away phones… oh, wait…
develop a website… oh, wait…

A monopoly, and a wholly nationalized (in the state) industry to boot. I’m sure that leads to efficient, innovative, less-expensive customer service.


This is why I am 100% for California going single payer. Because: 1) it will be an experiment to show how successful or not single payer would be and 2) I don’t live in California.

As PJ O’Rourke said: If you think health care is expensive now, wait till it’s free.

    rdmdawg in reply to EBL. | June 4, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    Vermont was an experiment to see if Single Payer would work, and it showed everyone who was interested in seeing that it fails miserably. Democrats do not learn economic lessons, they never will.

      True, but I have to admit I also enjoy seeing Californians suffer for their own hubris. The Schadenfreude is delicious. When state taxes double there, it will be a joy to watch.

      Plus Vermont is so tiny, no one pays attention to it. California cannot be missed.

        SoCA Conservative Mom in reply to EBL. | June 4, 2017 at 7:13 pm

        Please no. Not everyone in California is a leftist.

        I keep asking people who are for single-payer how it will be paid for and how they know, because they are so certain it will be less expensive, it will cost less. Taxes and reasons!

        When asked how California can limit access by residents only, they trot out, “well you have to be a resident to get a drivers’ license.” Well no, California changed that and issues licenses to anyone who asked.

        Then they go with, “well, we can charge out of state tuition and foreign students more.” Hmm… court decision already held can’t deny welfare or other necessities of life. The conversation pretty much ends there.

        They want it so badly that they don’t even realize they will harming themselves, their friends, family, and generations to come.

          Moonbeam already said single payer will be open to illegals.

          Although I feel pity for those conservatives left in socal, you remind me of the perennial horror movie victim whose holding the phone while someone who knows is saying “GET OUT NOW! YOU’RE GOING TO DIE! GET OUT NOW!!!”

          And then the perennial victim just hangs up the phone and says “huh, must have been a wrong number.”


          And the rest of us are going to have to say “too bad, so sad”, and roast marsh-mellows over the ashes of California’s funeral pyre. It’s coming, for you and your children, unless you leave now. We all know its hard to lose most of your material goods – but they are already lost.

          Get Out Now.

      It isn’t about whether it ‘works’ – it’s about control and power, period.

      Of course it doesn’t work. Either does fascism. But the left/democrats want it.

      Just like there will always be criminals, there will always be angry neurotics and lunatics will always want power over the rest of us – either by shooting, bombing, fake news or running for high office on the back of big lies.

      The bullet we dodged in dumping clinton as president is so awful to contemplate: but as an example, take your relief of obama being booted out of high office and multiply that backwards by a factor of 100.

      ‘President hillary clinton.’ Wow…

    The major downside is that the people who voted for this who can escape, will simply go to other states and push for the same idiocy.

    They are like a swarm of locusts.

    Another concern is that the Left will prop it up just long enough to trick enough people in just one election to cement it into perpetual existence.

    On the flip side, conservatives should offer to pay bus fair to California for anyone who thinks that this is super-spiffy idea.

    casualobserver in reply to EBL. | June 4, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    The two states are very different concerning single payer. VT has a lower ratio of non-citizens than CA so theoretically the North State would be better suited. But CA has a higher ratio of top earners. Which is why this test could be even more entertaining. CA must take more from that wealthier upper crust to make it work. Stock up on popcorn.

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to EBL. | June 7, 2017 at 10:18 am

    You may not live there, but you will likely end up paying to pick up the pieces. They will squeal for a federal bailout, and the GOP “representatives” will be too spineless to say “no”.

So wow… They’re actually doubling-down on this. Good luck guys.

buckeyeminuteman | June 4, 2017 at 2:29 pm

They have no problem giving tens of trillions in debt to their grandchildren. But to let the Earth’s temperature rise 0.02 degrees for their grandchildren….oh the humanity!!!

Typical Dem idea. We can’t pay for it in a balanced budget. The federal budget has no cap and we can overspend with zero consequences. Let’s just push our idea to the national level, the issue of a lack of funding is solved.

At every opportunity, anyone speaking about the “Democrat” party should refer to them as the “Communist” party.

“the Minority leader, Nancy Pelosi of the Communist party…. I’m sorry, of the Democrat party. With such a focus on Single Payor, It’s so hard to tell the Communists apart from the Democrats these days.”

casualobserver | June 4, 2017 at 4:22 pm

Sadly, it could be a reliable vote winning strategy, especially if the fractured GOP continues to fail at either objective, weather repeal or replace.

So many people have been given a honeypot up front, taking it away will be difficult.

Single-payer is some kind of solution. Democrats have other “solutions”.

Now, the Republicans, if they hope to remain viable, need to focus on revitalization, rehabilitation, and reconciliation; and restore capitalism to manage progressive costs.

Reagan said this would happen in his famous speech on Health-care and Socialism.

Here is the link to that speech,10 minutes and absolutely excellent.

California single payer will cost $400 billion as reported even in the most lefty of print and broadcast media. The CA general budget is currently only $124 billion. Moonbeam believes it can be paid through increased payroll tax, increased income tax, increased sales tax and just about every other tax known. I think he has been taking his cues from the Beatles’ song “Taxman.”

The most ridiculous assertion on why single payer will save people money and not really cost $400 billion is that people will no longer need to buy an individual policy or one through their employer group plan.

In other words, the amount no longer spent on premiums, which currently pays for healthcare, reduces the $400 billion price tag by the same amount. Want to see a democrat faces turn beet red and blow steam out their ears? Tell them that is voodoo economics.

Wouldn’t Single Payer Health Insurance violate ObamaCare?