September 13th, 2017

Some Democrats decide the time is ripe for single-payer

We’ve been predicting it for a long long time. Obamacare was the stalking horse, and when it failed (or failed to come close to fulfilling its promises) single-payer would be trotted out, polished up, and presented to the public as the solution.

So now we have… (drum roll, please):

On Wednesday, Senator Bernie Sanders will introduce a new version of his long-standing proposal to provide “Medicare for All,” creating single-payer health insurance system that ends the private insurance industry as we know it.

Unlike the last time Sanders introduced similar legislation, he will have a co-sponsor. And not just one. Several potential candidates for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination—and therefore, potential rivals to Sanders—have signed on, including Senators Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Jeff Merkley and Elizabeth Warren. (Senator Chris Murphy may as well, even though he’s shopping his own plan for letting people buy in to Medicare as a step toward Medicare for All.) Meanwhile, over in the House, single-payer legislation has, for the first time, a majority of the House Democratic Caucus on board.

The Democratic Party now is, for all intents and purposes, the party of single-payer health insurance.

It’s a sign of what we already know—how far to the left the Democratic Party has moved.

The author of the piece I linked to doesn’t think it’s a good idea for Democrats to push this right now, even though polls indicate that 57% of Americans respond favorably when asked if they’d support something called “Medicare for All.” Well, I’d like for that, too, if I could wave a magic wand and get it for free. But unfortunately, I can’t and we can’t and the Democratic Party certainly can’t:

Kaiser’s poll analysts concluded: “The public’s attitudes on single-payer are quite malleable, and some people could be convinced to change their position after hearing typical pro and con arguments.”

For example, upon hearing the startling news that single-payer might “give the government too much control over health care,” support plummets to 40 percent. The revelation that the plan would “require many Americans to pay more in taxes” did the same.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say this bill isn’t going anywhere—this time.

I’d also love to ask Bernie Sanders how well single-payer worked in Vermont.

25 Responses to “Some Democrats decide the time is ripe for single-payer”

  1. Mr. Frank Says:

    If you think health care is expensive now, wait until it’s free.

  2. Griffin Says:

    We all know this will happen eventually, right? What’s a good time frame? 5 years? 10? Maybe 20?

    And the GOP will support it when?

  3. Lizzy Says:

    “Medicare for all” … Good luck finding a doctor who is accepting new Medicare patients!

  4. Philu Says:

    Obama’s major accomplishment was getting government paid healthcare/health insurance established as an entitlement, even though the ACA is faulty. No one is promoting a truly free market solution and it’s not likely to happen. Anything short of single-payer only opens the door for more cronyism. Medicare, with insurance companies furnishing supplemental coverage will probably be what we’ll end up with. It galls me to agree with the Democrats, but in this case they’re correct IMO.

  5. Paul in Boston Says:

    I believe Tennessee tried a version of this they called TennCare (what an original name). They had to kill it off because the state was going bankrupt.

    Knowledge accumulates in the physical sciences, biology, and medicine. Why do we have to make the same errors over and over in how we govern ourselves?

  6. Sam L. Says:

    Charlie Gard could not be reached for comment. NHS killed him.

  7. steve walsh Says:

    If healthcare services are a right, who are you to say no?

  8. Griffin Says:

    ‘if healthcare services are a right, who are you to say no?’

    Yep, there will be some federal judge (probably a Bush appointee) that will rule health care is a right that government must protect and of course it will be appealed to SCOTUS where they will affirm this right. Roberts will write the decision. So we get medicare for all.

  9. blert Says:

    Cost Control is the issue.

    The reason that digital is exploding across the globe: it’s getting cheaper all the time.

    The Cartel makes sure that prices are headed to the Moon.

  10. parker Says:

    At my age I will be on the death list. Getting that knee surgery early 2018, otherwise denied. And it will not matter if I can pay cash when all my cash belong to the State. I would gladly be 40 and at my peak when TSHTF.

  11. Michael F Adams Says:

    I am told that there are numerous hospitals near the Canadian border to serve those Canadians who can afford something better than their “Free” health care.

    Will there then be hospitals in Northern Mexico, to serve wealthy American refugees from our socialist paradise? So much wish I could afford to be one of them.

  12. Surellin Says:

    Out of curiosity, doesn’t single payer totally ruin the insurance companies? Also, what about, ahem, non-citizen residents? My wife got an appendectomy in Scotland under NHS, even though she was not a citizen. Would we be facing a lot of medical tourism, or by this time would our medical care stink as much as that of the rest of the world? Questions to ponder.

  13. Pervy Grin Says:

    While providing health care to people that can’t afford it is laudable, can anyone explain why the rest of us who have health insurance have to be forced into the same government-run system? Is this all in the name of “fairness”? Then why shouldn’t the government force us into single-payer systems for other basic necessities like food, housing, and clothes? The whole thing makes no sense, but since it was designed by leftists that’s expected.

  14. miklos000rosza Says:

    A friend of mine had his life ruined by Canadian health care. His case was supervised by a group of residents who admitted they had given him too long a course of steroids, leaving him ultimately in a wheelchair. I met him in Morocco. He was a graduate of Princeton who was on the faculty of York University in Toronto. He seemed to have a naturally morose disposition, and what happened to him here seemed to plunge I’m into bottomless despair. His wife left him.

    I don’t know all of the medical details. It seemed clear malpractice, but he said that in Canada, when they screw up there is no one to sue.

    I don’t know his ultimate fate. Our mutual friend at ABC News tried to locate him and could not. I don’t know how hard he tried.

    Theodore Dalrymple, a British ER doctor, has written about some of the horrors of the UK’s NHS.

    My exwife was French, and she used to say that everything was wonderful in France. But then, she’d never been sick.

  15. neo-neocon Says:


    I wrote some posts about the Canadian system here, here, and here.

  16. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Vladimir Lenin: “Socialized Medicine is the Keystone to the Arch of the Socialist State.”

    Josef Stalin: “Socialized medicine is the cornerstone of communism.”

    Nikita Khrushchev: “We cannot expect the Americans to jump from capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving Americans small doses of socialism until they suddenly awake to find they have Communism.”

    Robert Reich, September 2007 speech to an audience at the UC Berkeley: “We’re going to have to, if you’re very old, we’re not going to give you all that technology and all those drugs for the last couple of years of your life to keep you maybe going for another couple of months. It’s too expensive…so we’re going to let you die.”

  17. Ray Says:

    The Lieutenant Governor here in Virginia, a democrat, is campaigning on providing affordable healthcare for all Virginians. I’m just wondering where the government is going to get all this affordable health care. Maybe they have a warehouse full of affordable healthcare somewhere they intend to use. Actually, I suspect it’s the old socialist fallacy that we can all live well at the expense of everybody else.
    “Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget that the state lives at the expense of everyone.” Frédéric Bastiat

  18. Geoffrey Britain Says:


    “Medicare for all” … Good luck finding a doctor who is accepting new Medicare patients!”

    You will be made to care. And doctors will be made to comply.

    Pervy Grin
    “Then why shouldn’t the government force us into single-payer systems for other basic necessities like food, housing, and clothes?”

    Of course they will. Socialized Medicine is their foot in the door. You don’t actually think it’ll stop with “Medicare for All” do you?

    “From each according to their means, to each according to their needs” Karl Marx

  19. Lizzy Says:

    Eh, I don’t see how doctors will be made to comply, especially when the current Medicare reimbursement system can often result in a net loss (which is why doctors cap the # of Medicare patients accepted, if any, right?).

    I would expect that the good doctors will flee, by setting up clinics where you can buy medical services directly from them for cash (if allowed), leave practice, or practice in another country. Then, as has apparently happened in the UK, you will get your ‘Medicare for all’ services provided by foreign born (and possibly foreign trained) doctors.

  20. BrianE Says:

    “Eh, I don’t see how doctors will be made to comply, especially when the current Medicare reimbursement system can often result in a net loss (which is why doctors cap the # of Medicare patients accepted, if any, right?).” – Lizzy

    I wonder if you’re thinking of Medicaid, not Medicare. Looking at a Kaiser table, Medicaid reimburses about 72% of what Medicare pays for all services. Primary care reimbursement is even less at 66%.,%22sort%22:%22asc%22%7D

    Here’s an interesting article about the efficencies of Medicare.

    Yet, rather than offering a solution to the inefficient and costly fragmentation of American health care, Medicare’s structure is responsible for much of the current situation. While it is known to voters as an entitlement for seniors and the disabled, the program’s purchasing power has been prized by policymakers as an instrument for controlling and shaping the delivery of American health care. But rather than promoting the coordination of care and efficient purchase of services, it is too easily forced by the most politically powerful providers into subsidizing their operations and protecting them from competition. The result has been the gradual consolidation of American health care, often creating local hospital monopolies — able to impose excessive fees and deferential contracting arrangements on insurers required to pay for their services.

    The article is very positive about Medicare Advantage plans, which I thought the ACA was attempting to eliminate.

  21. Lewin W. Wickes Says:

    Who says we may have only one system in this country? If, say, 40% of Americans want single payer, then let that 40% sign up for it, have government collect the payroll tax from them and deliver the care. All others may make their own arrangements in a truly free market. My Mennonite neighbors are already exempted from Medicare and ObamaCare. They pay nothing into those programs and they get no benefits from those programs. They pool their resources in various ways, pay cash, which greatly reduces costs, and they are faring better than the general population.

  22. Ferd Berfel Says:

    Here’s a bitter pill to swallow:
    Remember – “Single Payer” = “Single Denier”!

  23. Stephen Jones Says:

    The time is rapidly approaching when we must consider a single-payer system for food. Well over 300 million Americans (and undocumented immigrants) are not “covered”. They have no food insurance whatsoever! A crisis of this magnitude cannot persist without the federal government stepping in. To make this dream a reality, some of our wealthiest capitalists — Bill Gates Warren Buffett, and George Soros — will have to step up to the plate and finally start paying their fair share. From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!

  24. richard40 Says:

    “Remember – “Single Payer” = “Single Denier”!”
    Excellent comment. We saw the ultimate expression of that in Britain, where that family wanted to try an experimental procedure in the US at totally their own expense, not even asking the gov to pay anything. The UK nationalized health system would not even allow them to do that, and instead forced the family to watch their child die in the gov hospital, where the only “treatment” the gov proposed as their alternative was certain death..

  25. Ymar Sakar Says:

    The US is guilty of the same thing with Terry Schiavo case.

    Some people just love exercising dominion and Nicodemian powers over others.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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