Very Serious Question

Wouldn't now be a good time for the single-payer people to activate in support of a law that would amend the ACA to provide, say, a Medicare For All provision? Or how about a public option amendment?

Instead of continuously riding the Obama-Abandoned-the-Public-Option hobby horse, how about a new effort to get it passed?

  • Shygetz

    Wooo! We won the House AND got 60+ real progressive Dems in the Senate!!!

    Oh, wait…

    • ranger11

      I hope this is sarcasm ’cause Nelson and Lieberman were not progressive Dems….

      • villemar

        Yeah pretty much sarcasm, the “Oh wait…” gave it away :-)

        “Why didn’t magic negro + magic wand = magic sparkleponies for everybody???!??!?!??” has been the standard firebagger reasoning for the endless Rainmanning about The Public Option.

      • bphoon

        Besides, we never had 60+ real progressive Dems in the Senate. Norm Coleman and the GOP dragged out the Franken-Coleman recount long enough for Ted Kennedy to die and Scott Brown to be elected. The most we had was 59.

  • intoxination

    Here’s the excuses dems will (and have) user:

    – We don’t control the House anymore
    (Good rebuttal: Push for the public option and energize the base to get out and vote in November to help the dems retake the House)

    – This is a 3rd rail in an election year that we dems don’t dare touch.
    (Good rebuttal: see above rebuttal)

    • villemar

      I just think that those people who decide elections, the 1/3rd in the middle that tune out of politics mostly until 6 weeks before every Presidential Election every four years, will vote downticket and that really will be the deciding factor in what Congress looks like in 2013. It’s a shame, because we know that midterms are only decided by partisan R’s and D’s and who are not only political but more angry and motivated (see: teabaggers); that generally apolitical third just aren’t there on those off years. We need to get more people to vote in nonprez elections. A federal holiday say every 1st Tuesday of every November every would be ideal; maybe even some type of positve reinforcement in the form of a voucher or national lotttery or something.

      Because really, the apolitical third is the one that could truly shape Congress in a more coherent way…and I do not believe that there are really any significant true 1/2 R 1/2 D Perfect Independent voters that could go either way on Romney or Obama. The country has split too far for that group to have any weight (not to mention many who claim they are “Independents” are just embarressed Republicans).

  • KQµårk™

    Bob it’s Congress stupid. How the hell do you get any form of single payer or a PO through these right wingers in Congress?

    When the Dems fail every iteration of HCR gets more conservative.

    Congress will only pass some kind of voucher or tax credit system without putting any price controls in future legislation because the GOP loves business raping voters.

  • Robert

    Could someone please explain to me how we transition away from the current system to single payer and not send the U.S. into a really bad recession?

    I would love if we had single payer, but I just cannot figure out how the government replaces 17% ish of the economy with a government program without impacting the employment rate and other economic factors. GM and Chrysler were to big to fail. The health insurance industry is even bigger.

    Here is the problem faced when designing ACA.

    • gescove

      There will be temporary economic dislocations to be sure. But single payer will spend more on delivering, you know, actual health care to more people, rather that spending $0.30 of every dollar on marketing, CEO salaries, and other “overhead”. It will result in a healthier workforce to drive up productivity. It will make businesses more competitive globally which drives up exports. It will de-link access to health care from your day job which enables innovators and entrepreneurs to more readily launch new enterprises. We spend twice as much as any other industrialized nation to deliver worse health care outcomes. So take even half of that “17%-ish” that single payer potentially frees up to invest in education, basic research, access to high-bandwith Internet, and improved transportation. These are all building blocks to a more robust economy. When that happens, the days of insurance companies skimming 30 cents off every dollar for the task of paper-shuffling and denying benefits will be a distant nightmare.

      • bphoon

        When that happens, the days of insurance companies skimming 30 cents off every dollar for the task of paper-shuffling and denying benefits will be a distant nightmare.

        Not likely. Please understand, I’m in full support of single payer and agree with every one of your points. While on active duty in the military, my family and I were under a single payer system and it worked excellently for us. Even now, as a military retiree, I’m under what amounts to a public option. Again, it works great.

        However, the health insurance industry is simply too big and has far too much lobbying money to throw around to simply quietly go out of existence without a historic fight. They’re not going away any time soon, unfortunately, so I fear we’ll have to continue dealing with insurance bureaucrats rationing health care at least for the foreseeable future.

        • gescove

          I wasn’t addressing the politics or likelihood of enacting single payer, just responding to @robert’s notion that the disruption would be too much for the economy to absorb.

  • mnpollio

    They are probably waiting to see how this all pans out with the Supreme Court. Remember the majority of them were against the inclusion of the individual mandate in any of these health bills, but the Obama Administration knew best by throwing this bone to the conservatives and the insurance companies. If memory serves, I believe many of them described the individual mandate as a “poison pill” and an “Achilles Heel” that would allow conservatives to run riot at a later date. Apparently, they were correct. If this survives the Supreme Court, it will only be because insurance lobbies see something coming to them in it and convince to Fabulous Five to keep it. Otherwise, consider the usual 5-4 vote and a regalvanized Repugnican Party to start running rampant.

    • IrishGrrrl

      But this COULD BE an opportunity for Dems to push for the Public Option instead. The system won’t work to reduce costs without the individual mandate. And today looks like a more balanced approach is being taken, which should be heartening to Dems. It the mandate is struck down and the rest of it kept, that’s a great vehicle to take it back to Congress for amending it in our favor, Especially since millions of people are already experiencing it’s benefits.

  • villemar