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Medicaid Saved Obamacare, and Single-Payer Universal Health Insurance May Be Back on the Agenda Sooner Than You Think


Medicaid Saved Obamacare, and Single-Payer Universal Health Insurance May Be Back on the Agenda Sooner Than You Think

Mark Weisbrot

A lot of the reporting on the GOP's attempted repeal of ObamaCare has focused on the Freedom Caucus, a group of libertarian-minded representatives for whom the administration's bill did not go far enough in obliterating the gains from Obama administration's expansion of healthcare coverage.


Since the Republican effort to repeal and replace is over for now, this is an excellent time to begin the likely long-term effort to get Medicare for All. It seems to me that we should always refer to this as Medicare for All instead of some other name since so many understand how wonderful Medicare is.


Hillary Clinton: Single-payer health care will "never, ever" happen


I'm not going to badmouth the expansion of Medicaid, but let's not forget that Obamacare made it possible for individual states to opt out of the generous Medicaid expansion--I believe 19 states have opted out, claiming they couldn't afford it, or that they oppose it on ideological grounds. That option gave red-state governors an opportunity to shut millions out of expanded Medicaid eligibility.

Furthermore, Medicaid is still associated with poor people and welfare, and thus, you don't hear Democrats crowing about it because they're worried about being called tax-and-spend coddlers of the lazy (and minorities).

Lastly, 28 states outsource the administration of their Medicaid programs to for-profit insurers who take advantage of Obamacare's 'medical loss ratio' to skim 15% off the top in administrative costs and profits.

If the large numbers of people on Medicaid serve as a springboard to Single-Payer/Medicare-for-All, I'll be the first to jump for joy. In the meantime, there's a big mountain to climb and grassroots activism is going to have to do the heavy lifting.


Good article, except for this: "President Obama could not get universal, single-payer healthcare, ..."

It should read, "President Obama took universal, single-payer healthcare off the table the minute he was sworn into office."


Improved Medicare For All to make clear that it is better than Medicare as it stands: No co-pays, no deductibles.


"Improved Medicare For All" must also allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices like the US Veterans Administration (VA) is allowed to. other nations and private insurance companies have always done.

It would also be good if Medicare would cover acupuncture and naturopathic doctors, although its hard to imagine the drug lobby ever allowing that to happen since it would reduce drug sales.


Just remember: Trumple-thin-skin has it covered:


I know it's fun to pretend, but keeping things real is more important.


"Obama to Single Payer Advocates: Drop Dead," http://www.pnhp.org/news/2009/march/obama_to_single_paye.php

from the article:

Corporate Crime Reporter
March 3, 2009

President Obama’s White House made crystal clear this week: a Canadian-style, Medicare-for-all, single payer health insurance system is off the table.

Obama doesn’t even want to discuss it.

Take the case of Congressman John Conyers (D-Michigan).

Conyers is the leading advocate for single payer health insurance in Congress.

Last week, Conyers attended a Congressional Black Caucus meeting with President Obama at the White House.

During the meeting, Congressman Conyers, sponsor of the single payer bill in the House (HR 676), asked President Obama for an invite to the President’s Marchy 5 health care summit at the White House.

Conyers said he would bring along with him two doctors — Dr. Marcia Angell and Dr. Quentin Young — to represent the majority of physicians in the United States who favor single payer.

Obama would have none of it.

This week, by e-mail, Conyers heard back from the White House — no invite.

Why not?

Well, believe it or not, the Obama White House is under the thumb of the health insurance industry.

Obama has become the industry’s chief enforcer of its key demand: single payer health insurance is off the table....


Obama was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2009.

Obama had taken single payer off the table by March 3, 2009, when he refused to let Rep. John Conyers (single payer advocate and sponsor of the single payer bill in the House) and two physicians attend Obama's March 5 health care summit at the White House. http://www.pnhp.org/news/2009/march/obama_to_single_paye.php

Keeping it real.


None so blind as those who will not see.


Look, you must understand that Obama barely managed to get the mish-mash healthcare plan passed as it was. Pretending he could have gotten single payer is just silly.


My niece lived in Barcelona where she had universal coverage. She paid $40/yr extra for speedier care. Not a bad deal.

Direct Online Democracy


The point is that Obama did not even TRY to get single payer. Obama took office on Jan. 20, 2009. By March 3, Obama had decided not to allow physicians to talk about singlepayer at the White House Health Care Summit that was held on March 5.

Obama took single payer OFF THE TABLE BEFORE HE EVEN BEGAN working on a healthcare plan.


the Single Payer system threatens the powers that be, thus we now see the resurgence of Trump, Pence and Ryan circling back to focus on " healthcare" once again... Their system is not of health care but health insurance JUst like Obamacare or Insurance-care. Because the ones in power have their own health care system, they feel no need to create a healthcare system for the people over which they rule.

Health Insurance vs. Healthcare: Insurance companies are in business to make money and profits. As long as their goal is to create profits, to make money, we will continue to see loss of services, high drug, medication costs, etc. Think profit margin...


NO, the point IS that wasting time, energy, political capital (or whatever you want to call it) on something that has NO chance is a bad move politically. Now that more people have had health insurance than ever before, people do not like to lose that coverage. Now is an excellent time to begin the likely long push to someday get Medicare for All.


No, the point is that he had more political capital to spend than any newly sworn-in President in living memory and he squandered it by:

Breaking campaign promises early on
Convincing himself that he could work with Republicans
Pre-compromising instead of rallying voters with fiery oration and calls to optimism
Allowing the Tea Party to steal the limelight
Stating the process would be transparent and then cutting backroom deals
Handing off the process to corporate shills like Baucus
Getting steamrolled on pretty much everything like a hapless neophyte
And confirming the mindset of those like you who think that aiming higher is 'just silly.'

Any of that jog your memory?


Obama's thinking that "he could work with Republicans" was a stupidly futile endeavor.


The point that I'm making (and possibly Townsend12, as well?) is mostly this:

When you take the highest aims off the table right from the get-go because there's no chance you'll get them, you reveal that you're a weak negotiator.

When you take the highest aims off the table right from the get-go because you never really intended to enact them in the first place, you reveal that you're a liar.

Lo and behold, Obama managed to reveal both.