A Daily news digest by Jasper van Santen

If the Mandate Fails, Single Payer Awaits – The Nation

In News, Politics on March 27, 2012 at 17:46

If the Mandate Fails, Single Payer Awaits 

If health care reform goes down, the next logical step may well be just extending Medicare to everyone. This was not politically possible in 2009, but perhaps the demise of “Obamacare” would make it moreso as legislators looked for other solutions. This is exactly what former Labor Secretary Robert Reich argued in the Huffington Post today:

With a bit of political jujitsu, the president could turn any such defeat into a victory for a single-payer healthcare system — Medicare for all.

If the Supreme Court strikes down the individual mandate in the new health law, private insurers will swarm Capitol Hill demanding that the law be amended to remove the requirement that they cover people with pre-existing conditions.

When this happens, Obama and the Democrats should say they’re willing to remove that requirement – but only if Medicare is available to all, financed by payroll taxes.

If they did this the public will be behind them — as will the Supreme Court.

Representative Dennis Kucinich sounded similar notes yesterday, saying that single-payer is on the way regardless:

The cost of health care continues to grow because the costs cannot be constrained within the context of that for-profit system. Whether the Supreme Court upholds the law or strikes it down, single-payer is the only alternative that can meet our nation’s needs.

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