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.

Health insurance is a right? Nice try.

In President Obama’s weekly address delivered on Saturday, he regurgitated the many tired talking points about how smoothly the implementation of Obamacare is going, despite all evidence to the contrary. But the kicker came at the end when he made the claim, free of any previous argument or support, that “health insurance isn’t a privilege – it is your right.”


Liberals have long argued that health care is a right, but as they continue to nudge language and policy in the progressive long war, this may be the first time they’ve claimed that health insurance itself as a right. But how can it be? Health insurance is a commercial product.

In a free market we certainly have the right to acquire commercial products, but do we have a right to them on a fundamental level? Did we have the right to health insurance before it was created in the mid-20th Century? What if once we eventually are subject to a single-payer universal healthcare program, health insurance no longer exists? Will we still have the right to it?

Harry Reid: ObamaCare a step toward single-payer [UPDATED with video]

During a recent appearance on a Nevada-based public television program, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said that ObamaCare is a step down the path to a single-payer healthcare system for the United States:

Reid said he thinks the country has to “work our way past” insurance-based health care during a Friday night appearance on Vegas PBS’ program “Nevada Week in Review.”

“What we’ve done with Obamacare is have a step in the right direction, but we’re far from having something that’s going to work forever,” Reid said.

When then asked by panelist Steve Sebelius whether he meant ultimately the country would have to have a health care system that abandoned insurance as the means of accessing it, Reid said: “Yes, yes. Absolutely, yes.”
“We had a real good run at the public option … don’t think we didn’t have a tremendous number of people who wanted a single-payer system,” Reid said on the PBS program, recalling how then-Sen. Joe Lieberman’s opposition to the idea of a public option made them abandon the notion and start from scratch.

Eventually, Reid decided the public option was unworkable.

This isn’t really surprising. The idea that ObamaCare is a step down the path to a single-payer system is one that has been promulgated by both Democrats and Republicans alike.

Flatline ObamaCare

Interestingly, government intervention in the 1960s introduced a third party (insurance co/HMO/PPO, etc) into the one-on-one relationship between doctor and patient. Prior to that, people paid premiums for medical insurance policies designed to cover catastrophic medical events like cancer, serious accidents and the like, NOT for physicals, check ups or routine visits. Instead, the DOCTOR and the PATIENT negotiated a rate for services based on the patient’s ability to pay on an individual case by case basis. The introduction of a third party shorts the doctor AND raises the costs for the the patient, as the third party must also be paid. Yes, health costs have soared, but further government intervention - especially a government takeover of a free market healthcare system - is NOT the answer.

You Want to Control Health Care? Prove You Can Handle the Responsibility

Would you hand over your car keys to a stranger with a drinking problem who had a history of smashing his own cars into telephone poles?

Neither would I. Which is why I am puzzled as to why there is so much excitement over handing health care over to the federal government, thereby giving them responsibility over roughly 1/6th of the nation’s economy.

Before we hand over the keys, let’s go back to the scene of the accident. That accident, of course, is Medicare, a monopoly program that drove private insurers out of the market for the elderly population and is facing huge deficits. If a government takeover of the entire health care system would be so successful, why is Medicare so bent out of shape? Looks a lot like a broken telephone pole with red white and blue paint scraped all over it to me.

The editors of the Washington Examiner ask the same question:

Today in Liberty: Chinese economy to pass United States, conservative Millennials more likely to vote this fall

Today in Liberty is a daily roundup of recent political news and other interesting stories presented with liberty-minded commentary. We frequently keep tabs on liberty-minded politicians and candidates in these updates. Click here to receive Today in Liberty every weekday morning via email.

— First quarter GDP figure disappoints: Though the stock market finished strong yesterday, the first quarter GDP figure was nothing to be happy about. The economy is still sputtering along, folks. “The Bureau of Economic Analysis released its first report for GDP growth in the first quarter of 2014 today,” the Heritage Foundation notes. “It showed the economy grew at an anemic 0.1 percent from January to March. The more meaningful measure of growth, private-sector GDP, rose by a still meager 0.2 percent.” If healthcare spending hadn’t skyrocketed by almost 10 percent in the first three months of the year, first quarter GDP would have been in the negative. Rick Santelli’s reaction? “Holy cow.”

Vermont struggling to finance single-payer healthcare system

Nearly four years after passage, Vermont lawmakers are trying to figure out how to cover the hefty price tag for the state’s single-payer healthcare system — known as Green Mountain Care — before its planned rollout in 2017, and there is pressure mounting on Gov. Peter Shumlin (D-VT) to scrap the plan after missed deadlines:

[E]ven Democrats say that plan, called Green Mountain Care, isn’t ready for its proposed 2017 rollout, and Rep. Jim Condon told Vermont Watchdog it’s time for Gov. Peter Shumlin to shelve the ambitious plan immediately.

“The deadlines for proposing financing have been missed two years in a row now, so to me that’s very disappointing. It’s becoming clearer and clearer that there is no financing plan,” Condon told Vermont Watchdog.
Sen. Bobby Starr, another Democrat who voted against Act 48, told Vermont Watchdog in January there’s “no way” single-payer can work without new taxes. Indeed, no lawmaker has introduced any bill that would finance single-payer health care without also raising taxes.

Here we go again: Donald Trump may consider 2016 presidential bid

Donald Trump

Donald Trump — the billionaire real estate mogul, reality TV show host and media whore — hinted in an interview with Reuters on Tuesday that he is considering a bid for the Republican nomination in 2016:

Outspoken real estate billionaire Donald Trump said on Tuesday he may seek the Republican presidential nomination for 2016, claiming he wants to undo President Barack Obama’s legacy.
“It is something I would certainly look at. You know why? I’m unhappy with the way things are going in America,” he said in a telephone interview ahead of a speech at the “Eggs & Politics” forum at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire - an event that tends to feature presidential hopefuls.

Trump toyed with the running for the Republican nomination in 2012, though it was more of a promotional affair for his TV show. He was able to harness a lot of media attention as he went on a one man crusade for President Barack Obama’s birth certificate, later becoming the butt of jokes after the White House put a copy of Barack Obama’s birth certificate on display.

He was hit hard by fiscal conservatives for his abuse of private property rights, support for socialized healthcare and higher taxes. The reality TV star also wanted to start a trade war with China, despite the fact that the his clothing line is made there.

Michael Moore: “Obamacare is awful”

Michael Moore, the far-leftist “documentarian,” penned an editorial at The New York Times on New Year’s Eve in which he marked the first day of insurance coverage for those who purchased plans on the exchanges by declaring that “Obamacare is awful.”

“For many people, the ‘affordable’ part of the Affordable Care Act risks being a cruel joke. The cheapest plan available to a 60-year-old couple making $65,000 a year in Hartford, Conn., will cost $11,800 in annual premiums,” wrote Moore. “And their deductible will be $12,600. If both become seriously ill, they might have to pay almost $25,000 in a single year.”

Those comments echo conservative critiques of Obamacare, which generally revolve around the mandates and other requirements of the law that are responsible for raising the cost of health insurance coverage. Insurers have tried to hide the cost of these government-approved health plans by raising deductibles.

Moore also noted that Obamacare is a “pro-insurance-industry plan,” which, again, is a criticism of the law from many conservatives. Andrew Stiles of the National Review, a conservative magazine, explained how insurers collaborated with the Obama Administration to push the law on Americans.

Moore isn’t exactly praising Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare. He wants to scrap Obamacare and implement single-payer system, though he refers to it as “universal quality health care.” But that’s a distinction without a difference.

Heritage Foundation debunks myths about defunding ObamaCare

Heritage Foundation -- Defund ObamaCare

Next month could bring a fight in Congress as some Republicans in both chambers and conservative organizations mount a push to defund ObamaCare. Talking heads and pundits are pushing back against the idea, listing off a number of various reasons why they believe the push is a bad idea.

But the Heritage Foundation contests some of these reasons. They conservative think tank released a new video that seeks to debunk what they call “myths” about defunding ObamaCare.

Some, including Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), have insisted that Congress can’t defund ObamaCare because most of the spending is mandatory — or “baked in the budgetary cake,” if you will.

“That’s just not true,” asserts Chris Jacobs, a senior policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation. “Congress defunds mandatory spending on appropriations bills every year. In fact, in 2011, Congress defunded [$2.2 billion] in mandatory spending from the ObamaCare co-op program.”

“That’s a good start. We just think Congress needs to finish the job,” he added.

Jacobs also disputes the notion that Republicans and conservative critics of ObamaCare want to shutdown the government. “The only person threatening to shutdown the federal government is President Obama,” he noted.

“President Obama has threatened to shutdown the government because he wants to replace the sequester spending cuts with more tax increases,” said Jacobs. “Conservatives want to keep the federal government open. We just want to shutdown ObamaCare.”

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