Obamacare’s supporters have always said a single payer (SPS) was the ideal system, but since the program went into effect in October, they have been advocating more and more strongly for a shift to such a system. At a recent anti-Obamacare rally in South Carolina, counter-protesters pointed to a SPS as the ideal, and even said that Obamacare was enacted because of Republicans.
Colorado Rep. Jared Polis and Senator Harry Reid both said even before Obamacare was implemented that they hoped that the program would lead to a single payer system. In August 2013, Harry Reid bluntly and enthusiastically told PBS’ Nevada Week in Review that his goal was to move Obamacare to a SPS. This shocked many and went viral, but even before that, Jared Polis – who helped write the ACA – had presented the same hope years before in speeches, interviews and editorials.
In an article entitled “The Democrats’ version of health insurance would have been cheaper, simpler, and more popular (so why did we enact the Republican version and why are they so upset?), Robert Reich explained that Obamacare’s key provisions were actually Republican ideas. Because Republicans had opposed the ACA from day one, it was easy to forget that the public option was the Conservative counter to the idea of a single payer system. Now it is simply time to replace the faulty Republican Obamacare with the true goal, a single-payer system.
In Joshua Cook’s rally interviews this week, Obamacare advocates gave the same talking points. They pretty much universally said they’d have preferred a single-payer system. “[Obamacare] has its flaws, but it’s the best we can do given the political realities of our time right now.” Said one. When asked about Obamacare having been supported by the very insurance companies they vilify, multiple interviewees simply reiterated that this was a “Republican plan,” first proposed by the Heritage Foundation, and that that was yet another reason to support a SPS.
While Republican establishment types want to “fix” Obamacare in Washington, libertarian leaning state Republicans are trying to pass legislation to eliminate Obamacare, and find free-market solutions for healthcare. One thing is clear, though. Neither Democrats, nor Republicans are happy with the current form of Obamacare.