Sen. Barrasso: Single-Payer Health Care -- A Bad Idea Democrats Love

Top House Democrat distances himself from'single payer push
Win McNamee Getty Images

13 September, 2017

Gillibrand, D-N.Y., announced Tuesday that she will cosponsor U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders' Medicare for All bill, which is expected to be filed Wednesday. While some of us have been predicting for a few months that support for some version of single payer health care would gradually become the default position for those seeking the 2020 presidential nomination - and thus for the party as a whole - it's happening faster than one might have thought. Senators Kamala Harris, Sheldon Whitehouse, and Elizabeth Warren declared their support for the bill last week.

The junior Senator from NY is considered one among a number of possible contenders for the 2020 democratic nomination for president.

Like Sanders, Booker, Harris and Warren have all been floated as potential Trump challengers in the 2020 presidential race. The poll showed just 33 percent overall favored single-payer specifically - versus a "mix of government and private programs" - but among Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters, 52 percent wanted single-payer. In short, using Sanders' plan as a catalyst for a takeover by Democrats of the House and Senate would cost more votes than it attracts. Bernie Sanders that would guarantee everyone in the country is covered by health insurance.

"Health care should be a right for every single American, not a privilege reserved for the healthy and the wealthy", Merkley said in a statement explaining his support for the legislation.

"You should not be punished because you are working-class or poor and be denied health care".

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But if a Democrat wins the White House in 2020, it now seems very likely he or she will have promised to pursue single-payer as president. The Republicans' self-inflicted defeat and their unwillingness to keep their Obamacare repeal promises have opened the door for a push for single-payer health care.

"I'm signing onto Medicare-for-all, which I'm excited to do this week", Booker said in an interview with NJTV. Tester said "we are so far away" from that debate in both March and June.

The party's more progressive direction is also a result of the hard-fought 2016 primary campaign, which Clinton's book takes needless jabs at; after all, it produced the most progressive Democratic platform in history.

Politically, the "Medicare for All" legislation gives Democrats a chance to present a strong contrast to President Donald Trump and other Republicans who spent much of the year trying to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

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