Single-Payer as an Ultimatum?

Benen spotted an interesting remark by the president yesterday:

"...I think most health care economists who have looked at this have acknowledged, is there are basically two ways to cover people with preexisting conditions or assure that people can always get coverage even when they had bad illnesses. One way is the single-payer plan -- everybody is under a single system, like Medicare.

"The other way is to set up a system in which you don't have people who are healthy but don't bother to get health insurance, and then we all have to pay for them in the emergency room. That doesn't work, and so, as a consequence, we've got to make sure that those folks are taking their responsibility seriously, which is what the individual mandate does."

Two alternatives. So perhaps the silver lining on the Supremes overturning the ACA is a single-payer plan from the president. But don't get too excited. I don't know if this president will begin his second term with a healthcare battle resembling his first term -- and a million times more contentious, if that's possible. Furthermore, if the ACA is overturned, it will screw millions of Americans, so we shouldn't be wishing for that outcome from the Supremes. The best way to pass single-payer is to slowly expand Medicare eligibility.

  • There is no other realistic solution over what the Civilized World except the USA have chosen. That is why they have chosen it! Only our leadership complex prevents us from doing the same.

  • i_a_c

    If The Five overturn the ACA, you can forget about health care reform for decades. It’s too much of a poison pill for Congresspersons to go down a road that a bunch of unaccountable rightwing Republicans on the Court are going to overturn anyhow.

  • The only way America will ever have a single-payer healthcare system is if there are 75+ Democrats in the Senate and 400+ in the House… and even then I’m not so sure.

  • JMAshby

    He can make the threat, but let’s be real. Unless we retake the House, single-payer is at least another 6 years from passing at the earliest. If ever.

  • Dennis Pool

    Count me among those who will be screwed if the ACA gets overturned. With a fairly serious pre-existing condition, I’d be lucky to ever get health insurance again. Not to mention that my condition has a tendency to return and be deadly if untreated. So, yeah, not really gonna see any silver lining if the Court shoots this down.

    Also, it seems as unrealistic as hell that any president would attempt to touch health care reform again any time soon if this fails. It only took 18 years for Obama to try again after Clinton’s plan went down in flames. Not so sure how anyone thinks Democrats in Congress would be brave enough to stick their necks out again for massive health care reform, let alone single-payer. It just doesn’t seem likely. . .