Tuesday, March 23, 2010

3-step process to single-payer health care

Last year, I argued that the health care reform bill being peddled by the U.S. House of Representatives, which incorporated a “public option,” was the first step to implementing a single-payer health care system. I wasn’t alone. Here’s Barney Frank saying just that:

When the public option disappeared from the proposed bills, President Obama declared it a nonissue. A nonissue, I thought? How could that be?

I had reasoned that a public option, subsidized by the U.S. Treasury, could offer health insurance at below market rates with no need to produce a profit and no danger of going under. That would eventually result in the demise of health insurance companies and thereby convert the nation to a de facto single-payer health care system.

I now see where I went wrong. There’s no need for a public option to transition to government-managed health care. All we need to do is to subject the nation to the failing Massachusetts experiment.

What started out to be a workable solution to Beacon Hill’s desire for universal health insurance got passed in 2006 sans cost containment measures and plan choices. That guaranteed budget busting premiums for individuals and employers and out-of-control costs for the commonwealth.

For the facts and figures regarding the Health Connector’s budget woes, see America's Consolidation of Healthcare by Outlawing Options (ACHOO).

Step 1 – Pass a national version of Massachusetts’ health insurance mandate; just make sure that it, like our law, includes no cost control measures. Spiraling upward costs are a key component on the path to a single-payer system.

The next problem is to clear the way for this bill—passed by the House on Sunday—to become law and withstand the certain challenges to its constitutionality by several states’ attorneys general and other Constitution-loving organizations.

I’m starting to believe that the delayed timing of implementing this bill is less tied to building the necessary bureaucratic infrastructure than it is to allowing adequate time for Obama to appoint a Supreme Court justice or two.

I know this is a bit of a stretch, given that three of the four liberal judges are all up there in years—Stevens will be 90 next month—but Scalia and Kennedy are both in their mid-70s. However, to seal the deal on “Change You Can Believe In” (I’ve always enjoyed the bad grammar of this slogan), you need to move the High Court to a majority of justices willing to interpret the Constitution to suit the White House’s wishes.

Step 2 – Shift the right leaning Supreme Court to a left leaning body by adding one more liberal justice.

With the first two steps accomplished, the rest is easy.

Step 3 – Watch this grand experiment blow a hole right through everyone’s wallet and bring hundreds of companies and scores of states to the brink of bankruptcy.

The only option that will then be available would be to go to a single-payer system. After all, who in their right mind would want to go back to the evil free market system after this colossal failure showed that the “new and improved” system didn’t work either?

If we don’t put the brakes on this 1-2-3 process, we’ll suffer with this unworkable bill for about a half dozen years, starting in 2014, and be crying “uncle.” By then, all of this will be 2020’s hindsight.

Copyright 2010 Randy Hunt


  1. Right on all points, Randy. The only way to prevent steps 1-4 is to de-elect dozens of Obamists this fall.

  2. Randy, I hadn't thought about Step 2, but it does make perfect sense to be sure that the Supreme court couldn't overturn, or just rule more liberally. Frank

  3. Danielle, your cousinMarch 23, 2010 at 3:01 PM

    i have nothing intelligent to say, just blech.

  4. Step 2 has been on my mind for a while.


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