As I said, the economic argument has not been effectively communicated to the general public. In his six part series examining public attitudes toward Single Payer, Kip Sullivan discovered, among other things, that when pollsters did not clearly explain the economic benefits of Single Payer proposals, support among respondents faltered.
When was the last time, in your experience as a Single Payer advocate, do you remember a CBO/JCT score on Single Payer proposals before Congress? There’s been none since the Clinton Era. Since Gerald Friedman’s funding proposals were published? None. Congressional leadership has consistently avoided the economic argument for decades. Why? Because they know if voters were adequately informed on the cost/benefit analyses…something a little more detailed than “Single Payer saves money…look at Canada!”…they wouldn’t tolerate the ongoing neoliberal privatization of our healthcare system.
Where in the media…even in Finamore’s article…is there any explanation of Single Payer financing? Finamore cites Single Payer advocates, but not one sentence on how Single Payer financing would work, what makes it different from ObamaCare®. Why? Where, in the national media, is there any reporting of the ongoing support for Single Payer in organized labor, (most recently in Tennessee)? It’s not the moral argument that appeals to the rank and file. It’s economics, plain and simple.
Nobody is “morally neutral” on universal healthcare. The American public has always supported it on moral grounds. In fact, if you look at Healthcare Tracking Polls from Kaiser, people appear to be getting tired of hearing about it. Raising the “Human Rights” banner politicalizes the moral argument, resulting in a counterproductive “Us vs. Them” attitude that produces nothing but stagnation.
I live in a Red State…a notoriously Red State. Politicians opposed to healthcare reform here consistently resort to the moral argument to defeat efforts to expand access to healthcare. (Except when it’s their healthcare, which is administered through a system that more closely resembles nationalized healthcare, like that in the UK, than Single Payer.) This forces response from healthcare reform advocates that marginalizes any debate on cost/benefit analyses.
The moral argument has dominated the debate on our healthcare system for decades. That’s exactly what opponents to Single Payer want.