Leftist magazine: Obamacare a step toward single-payer

nationalized healthcare

The New Republic is only repeating what several Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), have said: Obamacare is a step in the direction of a single-payer healthcare system.

The lede in the piece is that Michael Moore got it right when he describe Obamacare as “awful” because it “preserved the health insurance industry preserved the health insurance industry rather than replacing it with a Medicare-for-all style single-payer system.” Like Moore, The New Republic, a far-leftist publication, posits that Medicaid expansion through Obamacare is the key to luring Americans into socialized medicine.

“[O]ne day soon, especially if Medicaid becomes more generous, the working-class person who makes 175% of the poverty level will look at his working-class neighbor making 130% of the poverty level and think, wow, his health insurance seems a lot better than my private Obamacare plan,” wrote Noam Scheiber recently at The New Republic. “How long can it be before most people earning 175% or 200% of the poverty level are allowed to buy in, too?”

Scheiber believes that the same thing could happen with Medicare, the government-run health insurance program for the elderly, surmising that “progressives are likely to get their beloved public option one way or another” in the near future.

“The basic point is that, by pooling millions of people together in one institutional home—the exchanges where customers buy insurance under Obamacare—the Affordable Care Act is creating an organized constituency for additional reform. And since threadbare coverage is the only affordable option under Obamacare for many of these people, the law is giving them a whole set of grievances to get exercised about,” he added.

Mmkay. Well, first, Medicaid is generally terrible. In fact, we can draw the conclusion that remaining uninsured is no different in terms of health outcome than being on the state-based, government-run insurance program. Now, Obamacare provider networks do resemble Medicaid, which is truly a problem, but to say that this is going prompt a desire for single-payer seems like quite a stretch.

Oh, and by the way, Medicare is broke and in dire need of reform. It’s current trajectory is unsustainable. Adding tens of millions more to the program would only exacerbate the problem.

What’s more, the disastrous rollout of Obamacare hasn’t exactly helped the arguments for a government-run, single-payer healthcare system. For example, a recent Gallup poll found that 56% of Americans say that healthcare isn’t a government responsibility. That, by the way, is a record-high number.

Nevertheless, it’s incredibly likely that Democrats are going to bring the healthcare topic back up in the national debate — presumably with a push for single-payer — at some point within in the next few years when Obamacare fails to meet its goals.


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