It may be one of the very few things that Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives, Left and Right can agree on: ObamaCare has been an embarrassing series of rolling disasters since it stumbled out of the starting gate on October 1. From the non-functional Healthcare.gov website fiasco to the cancellation of millions (soon to be tens of millions) of existing health insurance policies to the heart-stopping sticker shock on replacement policies, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) has drawn brickbats from critics all across the political spectrum.
However, while disapproval of ObamaCare is very widespread, the critic camps are poles apart concerning what should be done. According to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the Democratic Socialists of America, the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and other leading lights of the far Left, the real problem with ObamaCare is that it does not go far enough; the “solution,” they say, is to go all the way to socialized medicine. But they don’t have the conviction and courage to be that honest, so they say we must resurrect the “single payer/public option” alternative that was defeated during the 2009-2010 battle over ObamaCare in Congress. For millions of Americans, the terms “single payer” and “public option” do not carry the same negative connotations as “socialized medicine,” which, of course, is why they were adopted as code words.
This past August, Sen. Harry Reid told the Las Vegas PBS program, Nevada Week in Review, that ObamaCare is merely “a step” toward nationalized, government-run healthcare. The Las Vegas Sun report on the program carried this headline: “Reid says Obamacare just a step toward eventual single-payer system.”
“Reid said he thinks the country has to ‘work our way past’ insurance-based health care,” the Sun reported. “What we’ve done with Obamacare,” Reid said, “is have a step in the right direction, but we’re far from having something that’s going to work forever.”
When then asked by the PBS interviewer whether he meant ultimately the country would have to have a healthcare system that abandoned insurance as the means of accessing it, Reid replied: “Yes, yes. Absolutely, yes.”
“We had a real good run at the public option — don’t think we didn’t have a tremendous number of people who wanted a single-payer system,” Reid said, referring to the contentious battles over ObamaCare.
But political realities forced Reid to compromise; he had to settle for something less than fully socialized medicine. “We had to get a majority of votes,” Reid told the PBS progam. “In fact, we had to get a little extra in the Senate, we have to get 60.”
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