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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.

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katiebird's picture
Submitted by katiebird on

Not enough to form a powerful 3rd party, but more than enough to throw the bastards out in a close election. All it takes is the members of that group being committed enough to vote against the Dem and for a Republican if necessary.

And then throw the Republican out in 2 years.

Repeat until they start listening to the 10%.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

Let's not forget how he was "all over the place" during the so-called health care debate.

Look, when we know that the CPC says (in regards to the public option)--"it's over"--do any of us really think that ANY Dem politician is "serious" when they "suggest" that they favor MFA (or anything near it).

Frankly, I don't.

That's why I'm not at all "bowled over" when I heard of a couple of Dem pols in desperately tight races (or in some instances, they are conservadems, simply hoping to get some left activists on their side) NOW touting their support for MFA or for "some type of" public option (love that "weasel term").

Sort of easy and convenient, eh? When we all know that the largest, and supposedly MOST LEFT caucus, the CPC, has already publicly stated that they won't touch this issue again.

Hate to be the Skunk at the Garden Party, but honestly, I'd totally disregard such talk.

The only chance for MFA, is a Third Party, IMHO. And while that may seem daunting, I believe that it's worth a try.

Because going the route of the Dem Party appears to be a "pipe dream."

[Sorry if my tone is super skeptical, but Reid is the epitome of the "conservadem," and IMO, what's wrong with the Dem Party.]

Just heard last night (on XM) that the Massuchusetts "special election" to elect Markey broke records for "almost no turnout."

Same in New Jersey--where the primaries are "closed," and 47% of registered voters there are "unaffiliated." Clearly, this factor may have contributed to the pathetic turnout.

I think we all know that the ACA will be a unmitigated disaster. I can't imagine that the Dem Leadership isn't terrified of a blood bath in 2014.

And I think they should be.

jo6pac's picture
Submitted by jo6pac on

it's a record

Turnout statewide was approximately 27 percent,

Reid has thrown Main Street under the bus so many times I can't remember what color school bus are any more;)

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

Well, I sure don't "know" for sure, but with all the negative press that this Administration (and frankly, the Dem Party) has garnered this year--referring to the mini-scandals, NSA Spying, and the Snowden/Russia saga, etc., my "guess" would be that he is simply trying to change the narrative (and/or subject) a bit.

Reid's got to be aware that the roll out of the ACA may very well (if not likely) be a disaster, or at least a "near-disaster."

I've lost count of the numerous articles that I've read which quote even some of the most corporatist Dems, who pushed for this fiasco, as being anywhere from "extremely nervous to almost panicked" over the prospect of an ACA "blowup" before the midterm elections.

According to the POTUS (Politics Of The United States) Channel on XM/Sirius, there is definitely a chance that the Repubs (as unpopular as they are) may be able to capitalize on a failed Health Exchange, and take back the Senate (and of course, hold the House). Even Charlie Cook acknowledged several weeks ago, that if nothing changes appreciably, this remains a possibility.

Could it not be that (as usual) the Dems are looking for something--anything--to rally their demoralized base in 2014?

After all, since Reid is the Leader, regardless of where he conducts his interviews (Nevada or D.C.), what he says is likely to get some press.

And Dem Pols never seem to shy away from holding out the most ridiculous "promises" before elections. And to my recollection, they fairly consistently "throw the base a bone or two," usually on a couple of "wedge issues," when they're a about a year away from a major election.

But that's just my take.

And that's why I mentioned the extraordinarily "low turnout" in at least two of the recent elections, in which Dems were expected to win.

Of course, this is just a supposition on my part. ;-)

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

I often hear polls regarding the approval/disapproval of ObamaCare on "The Press Pool." Julie Mason quotes the MAJOR polls, and I've never heard one that even comes close to the "7-10%" figure, opposing ObamaCare.

The polls (unless Ms. Mason is fabricating them--and even though she is a corporatist shill, she does always quote her source--so I assume that she is reporting accurately) are usually relatively close in approval/disapproval--but most of them are slight higher in "disapproval" ratings).

Don't have time to search for any of them now. Will listen up the next time she quotes one, and post and document it.

But, if I recall correctly, they often show "approval" of low 40's, "disapproval" of mid-to-high 40's, and of course, the usual dumb *sses who don't have an opinion at all, LOL!

This 7-10% figure is beyond belief, unless all the major pollsters are wrong. (Maybe they "rigged" the question--dunno.)

Submitted by Hugh on

One should never believe anything any Democratic official says. The higher up the food chain that official is the more strongly you should disbelieve them. Harry Reid has never stood up for anything worth standing up for or fought for anything worth fighting for. It's how he achieved his high position in the Democratic party. So no, I don't think he gives a shit about single payer, and yes, I think this is just some pre-emptive positioning to avoid a public backlash against the unmitigated moral, intellectual, and bureaucratic disaster of Obamacare.