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.