ObamaCare Clusterfuck: Did Harry Reid just throw ObamaCare, and Obama, under the bus in favor of single payer?
From Health Care Now, quoting Avik Roy:
Sen. Reid: Obamacare ‘Absolutely’ A Step Toward A Single-Payer System*
Reid and many other Democrats, including President Obama, have often stated that their ideal health-care system is one in which the government abolishes the private insurance market. Video of the PBS discussion isn’t yet online, but here’s how Karoun Demirjian of the Las Vegas Sun described it:
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.
What does not "forever" mean? Another two decades pissing away $600 billion a year on wholly parasitic rentier insurance companies that add no value to any transaction and shouldn't even exist? Reid's pinning my Bogometer. Putting the health insurance companies at the heart of the system and forcing people to purchase their product ... How does that work, exactly, to move people to single payer? Except in a collapse scenario?
When then asked by panelist Steve Sebelius [no relation to HHS secretary Kathleen 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.”
Reid noted that he and other [That's rich] progressives fought hard for a “public option” in the exchanges as a Trojan horse for single-payer, ...
Come on. Nancy DiParle's White House office censored a single payer question at one of Obama's kayfabe Town Halls, Obama himself dissed "little single payer advocates," and Max Baucus wouldn't even give single payer experts a place at the table in hearings, so Margaret Flowers has to commit civil disobedience and get herself arrested to get some coverage (not that the progressive blogophere gave her any; they were too busy censoring and banning single payer advocates themselves.
So Harry Reid's revisionist history won't wash. Obama sold out the so-called "public option" to Big Pharma in (IIRC) in January 2009, even as the career "progressives" ran their bait and switch operation for it months afterward. Are we really to take seriously the idea that the core Democratic leadership -- presumably including Reid -- didn't know about this?
....but Democrats didn’t have 60 votes in the Senate to achieve it:
“We had to get a majority of votes,” Reid said. “In fact, we had to get a little extra in the Senate, we have to get 60.”
That's a Big Lie. First, Reid -- as all of official Washington very well knows -- could have abolished the filibuster in 2009, by majority vote, at the start of the session. He didn't. Second, Reid could also have used the reconciliation process to pass single payer by majority vote, which was, in fact, how ObamaCare was passed. He could have done that in 2013, too. So whatever Reid's priorities were, passing progressive legislation isn't one of them.
The idea of introducing a single-payer national health care system to the United States, or even just a public option, sent lawmakers into a tizzy back in 2009, when Reid was negotiating the health care bill.
“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....
Reid sees the tax exclusion for employer-sponsored health insurance as the primary obstacle to single-payer health care:
Reid cited the post-WWII auto industry labor negotiations that made employer-backed health insurance the norm, remarking that “we’ve never been able to work our way out of that” before predicting that Congress would someday end the insurance-based health care system.
It’s one of the key things to remember when you look at polls saying that Obamacare is unpopular. A small percentage of the people who oppose Obamacare—around 7-10 percent—oppose it because it doesn’t go far enough.
On the polling, Roy's partisanship shows on "small number." First, polling, as any child of six knows, depends heavily not only on the question asked, but the context; Kip Sullivan demonstrates this clearly in his series "Two-third support Medicare for All". Sullivan shows how to move the needle on these issues using "citizen juries." (Sullivan also has a great takedown of the vile and corrupt Celinda Lake and the Herndon Alliance.) If even a small faction of the political class were holding citizen juries where single payer advocates had a voice -- Reid, if he wished to demonstrate good faith, could do this very easily back in the district -- Roy's numbers would change. Second, what Roy doesn't mention is that the 7-10% figure is about the same as support for the Tea Party. But the Tea Party got and gets massive coverage, and the left, and single payer, gets no coverage at all. But the polling outcomes are equivalent.So what does that tell you?
I don't know why Harry Reid thinks he needs to feint to single payer. Could be ObamaCare is going to be an even worse train wreck than Baucus thinks, so he's moving to higher ground. Could be kayfabe, where Reid throws a bone to the left. (But since when did Democrats even do anything to the left except kick it?) Thing is, there's no news hook to be driving this, so Reid isn't seizing some sort of media opportunity to score a few points.
I can only conclude there's pressure in Reid's district that we don't know about. And that's very good news.