Skip to comments.TNR: Why, yes, ObamaCare is a trojan horse for single-payer
Posted on 01/06/2014 5:11:58 PM PST by markomalley
Now it can be told. Emphasis on now:
Precisely. ObamaCare will stumble along for the rest of the year, with a new wave of public irritation to come once small businesses start dumping employees onto the exchanges en masse, but the prospects for repeal will remain dim even if the GOP takes back the Senate. The numbers in Congress just arent there to beat an Obama veto, and by 2017 so many millions will have been assimilated into the program that some critical mass of GOP centrists will end up taking a mend it, dont end it approach. Only an adverse-selection catastrophe on the exchanges will raise premiums enough (or require a hefty enough federal bailout) to endanger the program. And lefties like Michael Moore and Noam Scheiber, who wrote the TNR piece, know it. Thats why youre starting to hear them talk more openly about single-payer: Partly its because they want to get a jump on nudging the Democratic agenda to the left for 2016, partly its because they want repeal-minded Republicans to be happy with the status quo, but partly too its a simple product of safety. They can talk about this now because, unlike early 2010, theres no political risk in doing so.
[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. How long can it be before most people earning 175% or 200% of the poverty level are allowed to buy in, too?
The same goes for Medicare. Many health-care reformers believe some version of Obamacaregovernment-subsidized private insurancewill eventually replace Medicare, something that will surely become more likely if voters feel warmly toward Obamacare and demand to keep it when they turn 65. But if private Obamacare plans stay stingy, the opposite may happen: As people age out of Obamacare and into that single-payer program we all love and support, their fondness for Medicare will only increase. Before long, their slightly younger friends and family members will be clamoring to join Medicare, too. How long before some opportunistic pol proposes that everyone on Obamacare whos 55-and-up can enroll in Medicare? Not very long, Id guess. In wonk terms, progressives are likely to get their beloved public option one way or another, and probably not too far in the future.
The basic point is that, by pooling millions of people together in one institutional homethe exchanges where customers buy insurance under Obamacarethe Affordable Care Act is creating an organized constituency for additional reform. And since threadbare coverage is the only affordable option under Obamacare for many of these people, the law is giving them a whole set of grievances to get exercised about.
As Jim Geraghty says, its a strange defense of ObamaCare to say that its just threadbare and crappy enough to build a consensus for throwing the whole thing out, but its perfectly in keeping with the trojan-horse approach. They want the law to fail not so suddenly and horribly that the industry melts down and frightens the public away from ambitious new federal fixes but slowly and incrementally so that people dont lose all faith in federal management of this sector. Im old enough to remember when it was a sign of utmost wingnuttery to suggest that ObamaCare was but phase one in a government takeover of health care, but three years later, now that the laws momentarily out of political danger, weve got HHS ordering insurance companies every other week to change their business practices willy nilly and lefty pundits babbling excitedly about how this is all really just a stepping stone to bigger and better statist interventions. (Some liberals will object that the wingnuttery lies in believing that liberals designed the law to fail. Fair enough although Scheibers own language is revealing, describing O-Care at one point as a deceptively sneaky way to get single-payer and saying of GOP efforts to play up the laws problems that Republicans are in some sense playing into the trap Obamacare laid for them.) This, not if you like your plan, is the real Big Lie of O-Care. This is where were at were six days into full implementation.
Heres vid from John Sextons old blog, Verum Serum, from 2009 sampling a few lefty luminaries in unguarded moments discussing the type of health-care system they want. Why anyone thought theyd be content with a public/private hybrid like O-Care, I have no idea. Two thoughts in closing. One: Lots of ink was spilled over the past two weeks about Americas drift towards libertarianism on pot, civil liberties, gay rights, etc. True enough, but given what it means for Americas fiscal stability, the acid test is on health care and entitlements. Will Americans alleged libertarianism lead them to reject single-payer as a fix for O-Care or is Scheibers prediction right? If the latter, then were not drifting libertarian, were drifting left. (Peter Suderman of Reason is naturally optimistic.) Two: What does Scheibers point about O-Care portend for, oh, say, immigration reform? Democrats were willing to take half a loaf on health-care reform because they hoped/expected that political pressure would get them the other half over time. Meanwhile, congressional Democrats are murmuring lately that maybe they dont need a path to citizenship included in the next amnesty push after all. You trust that they wont immediately turn around and begin agitating for that once their half-a-loaf compromise bill passes, dont you?
This is the key then, isn't it?
WE must defeat the "moderate GOP centrists".
What’s another lie to Obama and the Left?
this was the whole point all along and many FReepers saw it from the beginning
i partly agree and yet disagree.
“Only an adverse-selection catastrophe on the exchanges will raise premiums enough...” that whole paragraph describes part of the problem. But in the end, CMS will not reimburse the insurance companies, who are now writing the unsound insurance policies, enough to stay in business. This will happen very quickly. and now that it is federal, the state regulators are just bystanders.
Michael Moore likes to claim the Cuban health care system is better than ours. Anyone who associates himself with Michael Moore’s arguments in the coming health care environment, which will be seeing a catastrophic supply deterioration, is going to run the risk of being dismembered.
Yes, and those of us who predicted were derided as "right-wing whacko-birds" and "conspiracy theorists."
“this was the whole point all along and many FReepers saw it from the beginning”
Saw it back in the spring of 2009 and almost got the boot here from freerepublic for trying to incite a Guillotine party.
Excuse me, US Government?? Can we get back to that old piece of sheepskin called the Constitution??
We need to make every coming election about the Constitution. Otherwise it’s just a quaint old scribble on parchment, meant for a museum and no more.
do you really think “public irritation” describes the sentiment that will allow this whale to keep thrashing around in the shallows of our economy? Or that people will really really believe in “single payer” - relying on the lying out of control elitist govt to decide,schedule and pay for their medical services? How many doctors are going to sign up to work for Mr “Single Payer” and become government employees or contractors?
If single payor is the plan, then economic collapse and martial law is the final solution.
There’s no way Ameica can survive 0-care/single payor w/o devolving into a third world country with periodic rebellions and coups.
i’d rather not be vindicated but rather just not have obamacare.
course boehner wants to live with it. whole bunch more repubtards do too.
Instead of calling it “single-payer”, we should call it what it is....Government Controlled Health Care. A lot of people don’t understand what “single-payer” really means.
They (the sheeple) are so stupid that someone needs to tell them that the “single payer” is the gummit.
In the libtard mindset, if this was a trojan horse all along, then that means it was well PLANNED. It gives them something to hold onto, rather than outright admitting that Obamacare is a total, unmitigated failure.
Romney was on FOX this weekend saying exactly that.