Thursday, June 15, 2017

Republicans will give us single payer (but only after making people suffer first)

I completely agree. Back in 2009 and 2010, my favorite conservative commentator on this site (does anyone remember Golden Boy?) was convinced that ObamaCare would inevitably lead to single payer. But the ACA always seemed to me to be a way to diffuse pressure for health care reform while preserving our existing private health insurance system. So in that sense, it would make single payer less likely. I could see how some proposals floated during the 2009-2010 health care debate (e.g. the public option and the Medicare buy-in) could have led to a single-payer system. But none of those proposals made it into the final bill.

If ObamaCare is either repealed or destroyed through the Trump administration's administrative neglect, that model for health care reform will be discredited as a failure. Any proposal for enduring health care reform in the post-TrumpCare world (and believe me, given what the House version of TrumpCare looked like, you can bet it will get people clamoring for reform as soon as the legislation goes into effect) would almost certainly be a single payer system.