Obama Obamacare and Single Payer

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In his farewell address, President Obama bluntly laid down a challenge – “If anyone can put together a plan that is demonstrably better than the improvements we’ve made to our health care system – that covers as many people at less cost – I will publicly support it.”

There is such a plan. Not only does it cover as many people as Obamacare, it covers everyone. And at less cost than Obamacare.

Everybody in. Nobody out.

And Obama did publicly support it. Before he turned against it.

That plan was put together more than fifty years ago – it’s called single payer.

And we as a country implemented it for people of a certain age – it’s called Medicare.

The single payer Medicare for All bill has been languishing in Congress for decades – it’s called HR 676.

It will again be introduced into the new Congress sometime over the next couple of weeks.

And before Obama was against single payer, Obama was for it.

In 2003, as a state Senator in Illinois, Obama publicly supported single payer.

“I happen to be a proponent of a single payer universal health care program,” Obama said at the time. “I see no reason why the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14 percent of its Gross National Product on health care cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody. And that’s what Jim is talking about when he says everybody in, nobody out. A single payer health care plan, a universal health care plan. And that’s what I’d like to see. But as all of you know, we may not get there immediately. Because first we have to take back the White House, we have to take back the Senate, and we have to take back the House.”

Which of course the Democrats did.

And then Obama let the insurance industry write Obamacare and push single payer off the table.

zen economics

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From http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/01/12/obama-obamacare-and-single-payer/

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