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Clinton's ‘Public Option’ is a Diversion: We Need Single Payer, Medicare for All


Clinton's ‘Public Option’ is a Diversion: We Need Single Payer, Medicare for All

Don McCanne

You remember the public option. During the drafting of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), efforts were made to include a public option – a government-run plan that would compete with the private health plans in the insurance marketplace.

If the private plans proved that they could provide greater value, then they would prevail. If the government could do a better job, then the public option could expand by demand and eventually become the single payer for the nation, so supporters believed.


HRC continues to pander to the insurance-industrial complex. Bernie is the sunlight of disinfectant on her flaws.


Many of us fought for Single-Payer, then the "public option", after SP was betrayed by Obama & Co behind closed-doors in secret negotiations. He fought for neither, as usual, said nothing in support of either, only gifted and locked-in for-profit health-care as the model. The insurance industry parasites, big-pharma and their damn deadly obscenely overpriced junk were both winners along with other aspects of the medical rip-off of Americans by big-money touted as a remarkable achievement.

The TPP has been a similar betrayal by the "change we can believe-in" candidate that proved his falsity and complicity time and time again. Once again the "negotiations" were behind closed-doors, the players limited to lobbyists while advocates for the people and environment were denied admission. Once again big-money and global corporate domination rules the day. Once again big-pharma wins more billions. For-profit vulture capitalism is championed by Obama & Co via the ACA and TPP while the millions pay and pay and pay.

The new Obama, Hillary, the Red Queen, smarmy mouthpiece for big-money and usury, is in the wings waiting to accept/receive the mantle of leadership; another national-global betrayal based on lies and deceit with even more destructive "achievements" ahead - trillions in profits for the 1%.


The first step to single-payer is voting the Democrats into the majority in the House of Representatives. The second step is getting a filibuster proof Democratic majority in the Senate. The third step is putting pressure on the Democrats for a single-payer healthcare system. The Republicans have now moved so far to the right that none of them are likely to vote for a single-payer plan.


I agree that it is up to us, but not so much to try to "convince" recalcitrant politicians, but to vote them out and replace them with those who already "get it". If they truly need to be "convinced" that's a bad sign, although you can always try while agitating to replace them.

There is no "convincing" Hillary Clinton. If she gets the nomination, we are scr*w*d. Happily, Bernie Sanders doesn't need any convincing.


We would need a nationwide effort to bring clarity to the various options. What I do know is that Americans don't want equal access to comprehensive health care for all Americans. Indeed, it wouldn't even make sense to provide more than our current emergency room care to the very poor. We've known all along that lack of access to the most basic needs -- adequate food and shelter -- takes a very heavy toll on human health. Anything more than our current "patch 'em up and send 'em out" system for the poor wouldn't make sense.


Maybe. I would just urge people to take the time to actually check the records of each candidate. Keep in mind that much of the media marketed to liberals went into overdrive during 2015 to sell Clinton as a "bold progressive," even though her own record is one of long support for the right wing agenda.

From there, I would urge people to consider expanding their focus beyond merely maintaining a pep rally for middle class consumers and campaign donors.


Tell it! thanks.


Congress legislates, not the president. The ACA was produced by Congress. The president signed it into law.

The reason there is no public option is because 3 senators: Nelson, D (NE); Lieberman, I (CT); and Landrieu, D (LA), all announced they would not vote for cloture if the bill contained a public option. Without a vote for cloture, bills are filibustered to death, so Harry Reid had no choice but to bring a bill to the floor without a public option.

Nelson is my former senator and was an insurance executive before running for the Senate and is now back in the insurance industry after retiring. He sided with big insurance and against the people.

Obama is blameless.


I wouldn't be surprised if Obama reminded Clinton that the best way to defeat anything approaching single payer is to once again dangle the carrot called public option, and then simply make it disappear.

Once that happens, make another cool million making several speeches to those most enjoying the spectacle.


"The first step to single-payer is voting the Democrats into the majority in the House of Representatives." If they are all DLC Dems. that won't amount to much. As I recall Obama had a super majority in 2009 and we all see how that turned out. Without a true Progressive in the WH having Congress is a waste of time. The last time we had this situation was LBJ and the War finished off that opportunity. Still he managed to get Medicare through as flawed as it is. Until, the passing of the neo-liberals nothing meaningful is going to get done in this area.


Yes it is a diversion. We don’t need health insurance. It is healthcare we all need; health insurance is a complete waste of time and money and is the reason that America spends nearly three times as much on healthcare as a European country like the UK. In fact the federal government already spends 40% more per head than UK just on Medicaid and Medicare and still 15% of nation have no healthcare provision. Once fully implemented the Sanders plan would cost the nation less, save individuals and employers about a trillion dollars in total (which they could spend in the economy or indeed save). At the same time it would render the health insurance business unworkable and result in probably a million people needing to find new jobs over a period of eight years. Universal healthcare is human right as protected in Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.