Harry Reid Says Obamacare Puts U.S. On Path To Single-Payer Health Care System

On a local PBS program “Nevada Week in Review,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, “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 ultimately they had to drop the idea of a public option during health care legislative negotiations in 2009. “We had a real good run at the public option,” said Reid. He said Senator Joe Lieberman was the main opposition to a public option, at least among those who would otherwise support health care legislation. Because of course no Republicans supported health care reform. But Reid also acknowledged their was support for a true single-payer system saying, “Don’t think we didn’t have a tremendous number of people who wanted a single-payer system.”

I was let down and I remain disappointed Democrats didn’t push harder for a public option. And I was also disheartened they didn’t at least start the conversation with single-payer. Yes, I realize the idea of a single-payer system was politically untenable, but then again, it’s up to Democrats, and more specifically liberals, to make a strong case for single-payer. It won’t become politically viable until people who know what they are talking about are able to communicate the benefits to Americans. That doesn’t happen when you kowtow to prevailing political wisdom.

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself…and…for-profit insurance company lobbyists.


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