Image 01 Image 03

Democrats Coalescing Behind Single-payer

Democrats Coalescing Behind Single-payer

“Soon no Democratic leader will be able to oppose single-payer”

Democrats are still reeling from their historic electoral losses during the Obama era, particularly the loss of the White House in 2016.  They now appear to be increasingly coalescing behind single-payer as part of their “get back in power” strategy.

Socialist senator and failed Democrat presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) peddled his inconceivably expensive “Medicare for all” throughout the 2016 presidential primaries.  Sanders himself refuses to address pesky questions about the cost or real-world viability of his socialist pipe-dream, but that hasn’t stopped Democrats from seizing on the idea.

Back in June, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) stated that single-payer was the way to go, that “the progressive agenda is America’s agenda.”  More recently, Senators Max Baucus (D-MT), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Warren have announced that they either support or are co-sponsoring Sanders’ latest single-payer bill.  The bill is set to be released on September 13th.

Sanders has been introducing single-payer bills since he won his first Congressional seat as the at-large House representative for Vermont in 1990.  His first single-payer bill was introduced in the House in 1991:  National Health Care and Cost Containment Act.

With Congress and the White House currently in GOP hands, his latest bill is almost certainly dead-in-the-water, but Democrats are eager to signal their intentions ahead of 2020 and with the hope of winning back Congressional seats in 2018.

Baucus, who was instrumental in the passage of ObamaCare and supported the public option, now states that “we should be looking at single-payer.”

The Chicago Tribune reports:

Eight years ago, as a once-in-a-generation Democratic Senate supermajority debated health care reform, Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., kept their focus narrow. As the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Baucus was focused on passing a reform bill that moderate Republicans could support. At one point, he had single-payer health care supporters removed from a hearing; Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., an advocate for Canada-style universal coverage, set up a meeting to tide them over. But he did not expect much from Baucus.

“[Is he open] to single-payer?” Sanders asked rhetorically. “Not in a million years.”

His estimate was just 999,999,993 years off. At a Thursday night forum in his home state, a now-retired Baucus suggested that single-payer health care could pass, and not too long from now.

“My personal view is we’ve got to start looking at single-payer,” Baucus said, according to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. “I think we should have hearings. . . we’re getting there. It’s going to happen.”

Harris, seen as a potential 2020 Democrat presidential candidate, announced that she will co-sponsor Bernie’s latest single-payer effort.

The Washington Post reports:

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), a star of the Democrats’ 2016 class who’s seen as a potential presidential candidate in 2020, told an audience in Oakland Wednesday that she would co-sponsor the “Medicare for All” bill that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is introducing in September.

“It’s just the right thing to do,” Harris said at the end of a town hall meeting, after a standing ovation. “It is so much better that people have meaningful access to health care, from birth through the rest of their lives. The alternative is that we, as taxpayers, are spending huge amounts of money to send them to emergency rooms.”

Murphy is being somewhat more circumspect in his support for single-payer, signalling that he wants single-payer but thinks it best to move in that direction more slowly.

Politico reports:

While Bernie Sanders readies a single-payer health care bill that the GOP is itching to attack, one of his Democratic colleagues is proposing a step toward that goal that could give cover to the party’s vulnerable incumbents.

Sen. Chris Murphy, a potential presidential contender, is working on legislation expected this fall that would let every individual and business buy into Medicare as part of Obamacare’s exchanges. As Sanders and other potential challengers to President Donald Trump flock to “Medicare for all,” embracing a top liberal priority before 2020, Murphy is taking a conspicuously more pragmatic approach designed to get Democrats closer to that lofty but potentially unobtainable goal.

Warren, like Harris, is co-sponsoring Bernie’s bill.

CNN reports:

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren announced Thursday that she will co-sponsor Sen. Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for All” bill, becoming the latest potential 2020 hopeful to sign onto the policy, a favorite of progressives.

“I believe it’s time to take a step back and ask: what is the best way to deliver high quality, low cost health care to all Americans? Everything should be on the table — and that’s why I’m co-sponsoring Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All bill that will be introduced later this month,” she wrote in a post on her website.

In the lengthy entry, Warren detailed her decision for her supporters, drawing on her own experiences as part of her reason for co-sponsoring the legislation.

“My own family plunged deep into debt when my daddy had a heart attack. My parents paid on those bills for years,” she wrote. “Years later, as a bankruptcy law professor, I studied why working families were going broke. Through interviews and court documents, my research partners and I showed that most people who file for bankruptcy looked a lot like my family.”

“Medicare for All is one way that we can give every single person in the country access to high quality health care. Everyone is covered. Nobody goes broke paying a medical bill. Families don’t have to bear the costs of heartbreaking medical disasters on their own,” she concluded.

These are not the only prominent Democrats interested in single-payer; others include Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).  This shift in the Democrats’ agenda is noted as “stunning” by progressive outlet Vox.

In their article, “The stunning Democratic shift on single-payer,” Vox writes:

For a bill that does not exist yet and whose details are not public, Bernie Sanders’s new single-payer health care bill sure is popular. First, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) announced her plans to co-sponsor it; then Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) joined in. According to reporting by my Vox colleague Jeff Stein, Cory Booker (D-NJ) has staff working with Sanders and others on formulating the bill.

Warren, Sanders, Harris, and Booker are arguably the most famous and most-admired Democratic senators in the country among the party’s base; the betting markets give a 55 percent chance that one of them will be the 2020 nominee for president.

Other contenders are getting on board with single-payer — or “Medicare for all,” where the federal government would provide health insurance for every American financed through taxes — as well. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) declared, “We should have Medicare for all,” at a rally against Republican attempts to roll back Obamacare. Meanwhile 117 House Democrats (over 60 percent of the caucus) have co-sponsored HR 676, the Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act offered every Congress by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI).

. . . . And the way things are going, soon no Democratic leader will be able to oppose single-payer.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


Please, please, pretty please…

Bring this insanity ON, Deemocrats.

Make this and the death-cult of abortion without stint your identity, and your litmus tests for candidates.

    PrincetonAl in reply to Ragspierre. | September 10, 2017 at 10:08 am

    They all believe it and are pushing for it. Its just a question of being public about it, that’s all.

    All the prior failures, CA and VT, won’t matter.

    “This time we will get it right!”

    So they can go all in, it won’t hurt them with their base, whether it hurts them with independents really only comes down to how effectively they stage a crisis that forces action.

    And Obamacare is headed for a crisis. When it fails, government intervention will be necessary … its just a question of who gets elected to intervene on what platform.

      DaveGinOly in reply to PrincetonAl. | September 10, 2017 at 10:50 am

      The “failure” of Obamacare isn’t a bug, it’s a feature. It’s the Hegelian dialectic in operation – thesis, antithesis, synthesis. Obamacare was designed to fail, bringing about a demand for a replacement – single-payer, a scheme the Dems knew they couldn’t reach in a single bound.

        I’m unimpressed with leftist theories. Cloward-Piven is a leftist theory, and a moment’s reflection tells you that it’s insane and couldn’t work.
        These are the same people who though Communism would bring paradise instead of gulags and famines.

The question is, if the dems all get on board with single payer, will the republicans oppose it? Personally, I don’t think they have the philosophical grounding to do so. Ask them why socialism is bad and 90% of them won’t have a clue.

    Tom Servo in reply to snopercod. | September 10, 2017 at 10:18 am

    None of them want to face up to Canada and Great Britain’s lesson – the only way to pay for this is to disband 95% of a countries military resources, and put all of that funding into health care. That’s the way those countries have done it, that’s the only way we could do it.

      And the way they’ve been able to afford that is to have “Big Uncle Sam” behind them. They’ve enjoyed the benefit of our umbrella of military protection for virtually nothing.

      Gee, I wonder what will happen to the world if the US unilaterally disarms in order to spend more on welfare.

      But hey, FORWARD!, amirite?

    Matt_SE in reply to snopercod. | September 10, 2017 at 11:59 am

    That’s why we’re going to replace as many GOPe squishes as we can in 2018.

Still, you have to admire the Deocrats’ generosity even if it is with other people’s money.

For Dems, “single payer” is the Holy Grail. Within a decade it will be the law of the land because its promises are too sweet for the average easily bought American to pass up. We have seen that Dem congressmen year after year will take political casualties just to keep the ACA intro to “single payer”. Their persistence will never be matched by Republicans who will take no casualties to fight against a known wrong to stand for a known right.

Don’t be surprised to see prominent DC Republicans not only compromise their way to supporting “single payer” but openly help sponsor some type bill that triggers “single payer”…just using a different name for cover.

Flaming idiots… the democratic party continues down the road of ruin, worthlessness, pettiness, insignificance and irrelevant.

Destruction before our eyes!

This should be easy. Let’s talk about “VA Care for All” and the corruption and criminality that is rampant in that system and waiting for all of us if these Socialist fools have their way.

“It is so much better that people have meaningful access to health care, from birth through the rest of their lives.”

Right, Kammy, because that has worked out so great for our military veterans. Why not give government-funded “health care” to all Americans, hell everybody on the planet (since we’re going to have open borders too)? Then we can put everybody on a wait list until they’re dead.

Well, everybody except Kammy and her buddies, of course.

Single payer…

…because waiting months for basic services is “fair.”

…because the government telling you and your doctor which treatments are necessary and which aren’t is “fair.”

…because you’re old enough, and it’s time for a young person to have a chance at life now instead of you is “fair,” so take this pill.

…because it doesn’t matter to the elites anyhow, since they are under a different set of rules and will have the finest medical care available while we peons can just eat the $#!+ cake they’ve made for us. That’s “fair.”

Paul then you can use Cal as an example as they have refused to take up single payer … Hmmmm …. How about TV spots like …. SINGLE PAYER IS EVEN TO CRAZY FOR CAPITAL OF CRAZY LAND

    amwick in reply to Aggie95. | September 10, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    Pretty sure I read the CA single payer system was twice their entire state’s budget. Sounds like a plan. What could go wrong?

The problem is not only are Dems onboard with single payer, so is half of the GOPe at least.

Kasich is fine with Medicaid for everyone, buy some supplemental if you don’t like the wait. Wait for the rest of the ones afraid of the toothless media to follow …

VA for everyone soon enough … of course, our version of single payer doesn’t involve enough fraud waste and corruption. So we will have 10 flavors of government healthcare.

Remember “health insurance is not the same as health care … health care is the not the same as good health”. Many people’s health outcomes, e.g. actual health, doesn’t improve materially under Medicaid.

    “Many people’s health outcomes, e.g. actual health, doesn’t improve materially under Medicaid.?

    Truth. “The Oregon Study”, the only rigorous, double-blind study of significant scale shows that under Medicaid health outcomes don’t improve compared to no health insurance coverage.

As usual, they’re getting excited selling an idea that is so simple even a voter can understand. You’ll get ‘all you can eat’ at the healthcare buffet, and someone else will pay for it.

Even the simplest one of them should realize that offering ‘Medicaid or VA care to all’ will also kill off the innovation and research that lets Americans live longer with serious diseases that are illegal to treat in England.

But congress will keep their own system so they think it’ll be OK. The weaklings on the ‘R’ side never read the old bill so they surely won’t read the new one, they’ll be secretly happy they will have a golden plan for life. Do they really think scientists, researchers and investors will still be hard at work to bring a drug to market that can only be purchased by a congressman? Ugh.

The only way “Single Payer” will work is if the rich and famous have to get in line like everyone else. When Clooney walks into a public hospital and is given a number 0f 190, and sits next to twenty junkies who are strung out and revolting in their bodily emissions, then he will decide that he needs to take his millions and go to a private doctor. That has to be illegal or it is all a sham. England now has a thriving private practice for the rich and famous. Also, Congress and the president must use it too. If the Dems promote this, even though it will still never work, they will have a chance to get some traction. But they will have to make the penalty for leaving the “Public” system draconian. I’m on MediCare and it has its flaws. But I also paid into it for 48 years BEFORE I used a penny of it. To start everyone out on it means that it will be immediately underfunded and never catch up.

    A public health insurance system WOULD require that everyone be a member. But, this does not mean that people will have to pay high premiums. Costs will be controlled in three ways. The first is through price controls. The second is through limiting services. And, the second is through using tax revenue, directly, to keep the program solvent. And, there is nothing that says the rich can not supplement their public insurance with private insurance.

    As to starting off with a shortfall, this would be true. But, as Medicare and Medicaid would be replaced with the new Universal Healthcare, all of the money for those programs would go to the new program. So, the shortfall would not be a as great as expected.

““[Is he open] to single-payer?” Sanders asked rhetorically. “Not in a million years.”

His estimate was just 999,999,993 years off.”

Uhhh… Somebody needs a class in remedial math. A few too many 9’s in that number.

I’m confused. How can they “coalesce” behind what they wanted and have worked for all along?

I don’t mind Democrats bringing this to a head. If the country is stupid enough to give Dems more power after what they did with Obamacare, then the voters deserve what they’re about to get.

I’m betting that instead this will be another major blow to their party, as voters recoil from it.

The Democrats have been “coalesced” behind single-payer healthcare insurance 40 years ago. This is no surprise.

Obamacare was never supposed to “work”, as advertised. It is doing exactly what it was designed to do; collapse the private healthcare insurance system. Once the healthcare insurance premiums became to expensive for the majority of middle class families to afford, the Congress would step in and save “healthcare insurance” by instituting, or radically expanding, a single-payer, government funded health insurance system. We have now reached the tipping point that was built into the system. According to plan, HRC, or an Establishment Republican, would now be President and, after much hemming, hawing and hand-wringing, the Republican Congress would pass initial legislation to begin implementation of such a single-payer, government funded insurance system. The only part of the plan that has changed is Trump’s election to the Presidency.

Humphrey's Executor | September 10, 2017 at 1:21 pm

No system of “free” healthcare will satisfy the insatiable demand for healthcare services in this country.

Coalesce? I’m thinking these germs more readily clot, cling, clabber, glop, curdle, thicken…

regulus arcturus | September 10, 2017 at 3:14 pm

This was their plan all along. Nothing new here. They will likely get it too.

The neo-National Socialists form monopolies, advocate for color diversity, operate abortion chambers, carry out social justice adventures, and engage in redistributive change because the “Jews” have too much.

Santa Claus usually wins most elections.

““It is so much better that people have meaningful access to health care, from birth through the rest of their lives. The alternative is that we, as taxpayers, are spending huge amounts of money to send them to emergency rooms.”

I live in Ontario Canada and this reminded me of the last time I was in an emergency room, about 10 years ago. While waiting to get a broken hand fixed, I heard a physician arguing with the man sitting next me who was making his third visit in as many days. He had a cold, they couldn’t do anything and he’d be better in a couple of days.

Fifteen years earlier, in an attempt to save money, our provincial government decided we had too many doctors and cut funding to medical schools. To everyone’s great surprise, that led to a doctor shortage. Imagine that! Now we ended up “as taxpayers, spending huge amounts of money to send them to emergency rooms”.

BTW, one thing I’ve never seen mentioned in your healthcare debate is the fact that when government pays for your healthcare, they have a financial interest in your lifestyle. Over time, that will start affecting policies. I’m pretty sure you don’t want that 🙂

    regulus arcturus in reply to mrzee. | September 11, 2017 at 11:36 am

    Exactly right – government healthcare is a Trojan horse for government lifestyle intrusion.

    As observed above, Santa Clause doling out gifts is nearly always an election winner, but rarely does the unsuspecting “Gimme gimme gimme” public consider the downside of “free” things like government healthcare…