September 9, 2017

Big Obamacare backer now likes single payer

NBC - In the summer of 2009, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. was asked if Max Baucus, the Democratic chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee who was taking the lead on health care reform at the time, was open to his ideas.

"To a single-payer idea? No. Not in a million years," Sanders replied to a C-SPAN interviewer.

It turns out the wait was much shorter.

"I just think the time has come," Baucus told NBC News, after stunning healthcare observers earlier in the day by seemingly coming around on single-payer at a public forum. "Back in '09, we were not ready to address it. It would never have passed. Here we are nine years later, I think it's time to hopefully have a very serious good faith look at it."

Baucus' evolution reflects how quickly the once-fringe idea of government-funded health care is gaining traction inside the Democratic party.

Baucus, who left the Senate in 2014 to become ambassador to China, was instrumental in the passage of the Affordable Care Act.

But in the process, Baucus became a chief target of the left's ire when he refused to consider single-payer plans and oversaw the demise of the public option, which would have provided a government-run alternative to private health insurance.

"I started out by saying everything is on the table," Baucus recalled. "But I did make an exception and that was single-payer. I said, nope, we're not going to put single-payer on the table. Why? In my judgement, America was just not there ... It's branded as socialistic by too many people." advertisement

Attitudes have shifted since then.

A majority of House Democrats have, for the first time, signed on to support Medicare for All. And in the past two weeks, Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. and Kamala Harris, D-Calif. — two potential 2020 presidential candidates — announced they would support Sanders' forthcoming bill.

On Wednesday, Baucus' fellow Montanan, moderate Democratic Sen. Jon Tester, who is facing a tough reelection bid next year, said it might be time to "take a solid look at" single-payer.

Baucus compared the issue’s evolution to that of gay rights. "It’s anathema for a long time, and then suddenly — acceptance," he said.


Anonymous said...

The Dems are always ready to back it --when they don't have the votes.

Anonymous said...

Move the health insurance income tax deduction o everyone's IRS tax return and single payer will follow quickly as employers migrate everyone to the exchanges and employer purchased (with it's cherry-picked health risk pools) health insurance collapses.

Bill Hicks said...

How many people have died in the past 7 years who wouldn't have if the Obamacare fraud had never happened and the Dems would have pushed through Medicare for all when they had the votes? That's 100% on Obama and every feckless member of his party.

Anonymous said...

Before I jump on any bandwagon, for anything, I need details. The devil is in the details.

When I observe all of the bureaurcuratic red tape, the errors, and the fraud coming from our bureaucracy, I shudder at the thought of a national Medicare plan.

Medicare, as it is today, is not all that wonderful. I was forced into it, by age. Thank goodness that I still have my HMO!