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Michael Steele Hearts Single-Payer Health Care

There's no real secret behind Michael Steele's sudden adoration of Medicare: Seniors are the age group most solidly opposed to health-care reform, they vote in particularly large numbers in midterm elections, and they are uniquely active on the local level.

Still, what we're seeing here is the GOP swearing that they will protect, defend and preserve a single-payer health-care system. And this comes after months spent fighting a "government takeover" of health care. If you could hook that kind of cognitive dissonance up to a turbine, we wouldn't need cap-and-trade. But there's nothing exceptional about this move: Britain's conservative party supports the socialized National Health Service. Canada's conservative party supports the country's single-payer system. And America's conservative party supports Medicare. The thing about government-run health care is that it's really, really popular, and it's really, really popular because people like it.

By Ezra Klein  |  August 24, 2009; 4:38 PM ET
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Next: Where Are Reform's Beneficiaries?

Comments

Medicare-for-all may actually have been easier to pass, since it would force them to attack Medicare.

Posted by: adamiani | August 24, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

actually Ezra Medicare is not a single payer system. its a captive market, hence no marketing costs and that fraudulent 3-4% admin number.

Posted by: visionbrkr | August 24, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

LOL! Libs have to balance the plan they offer with the plans everyone currently has.

As a result of the mess Medicare has created in the private sector, it turns out that seniors are getting a pretty darned good deal.

You want to "overhaul" 85% of the public's excellent care in exchange for merely good care for everyone. But you never considered that 100% of seniors are already getting excellent care -- for free -- care they figure they earned. Why the hell would they want to take a cut in quality just so you can give free care to others who didn't earn it???

You guys did not figure seniors would turn out to oppose this. But, best I can tell, they're the single most vocal bloc in their outrage at this proposal. And rightly so.

You did Medicare too good -- it's costing you victims. Try not to fix anything else, or you'll end up with no supporters at all next time around.

Posted by: whoisjohngaltcom | August 24, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

In regards to Medicare, many people seem to be confusing "quality care" with "getting whatever you want when you want it". Medicare is going to have to deal with that situation with or without healthcare reform, because the escalating costs of it are not sustainable. And there is decent evidence that many seniors are getting lots of what they don't need, just because of the way the incentives in Medicare are structured. It's not right to give seniors the impression that by rising up against healthcare reform for everybody else they will guarantee Medicare as they currently know it forever.

Posted by: CarlaKakutaniMD | August 24, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

And again, this shows one of the strongest arguments why the filibuster would do far more good than bad, and why 51 Democratic senators (that's all that's needed, plus the V.P.) should eliminate the filibuster through rulings from the chair, and then strike down all Republican tactics to shut down the senate (all do-able, see: http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2009/08/filibuster-wanking ):

The good the Democrats would do with the filibuster – like Medicare, like Medicare for all, and much more – once enacted, and people saw the truth of how good they were, as opposed to the Republican lies, would be permanent. The Republicans would never dare get rid of them, for example Medicare, and if they did, it would be very temporary. Next election, the Republicans would be decimated, and the program would be easily restored.

By contrast, the things the Republicans would push through with 51 votes would be horrible to the public, by and large, and so once people experienced it, and saw how the lies about it were really false, how it only helped the rich, it would not last. The public would vote for change. It would be repealed. AND the Republicans would be revealed. People would see firsthand that the trickle down lies were false, a devastating fairy tale, eventually – for some things very quickly, for others over more time.

So, this is an extremely strong reason why Democrats should support repeal of the filibuster. What they would do would be permanent, like Medicare, unemployment insurance, free public schooling. But what the Republicans would do would be temporary.

People would relatively quickly see the great harm to everyone except perhaps the rich (and even for them, the extra few thousand square feet on the mansion helps them and their families less than they are hurt by the decreased public health, safety, medical and scientific advancement, having to walk over homeless people, or live behind walls, etc., etc.)

Posted by: RichardHSerlin | August 24, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Please insert "eliminating" before "the filibuster" in my first sentence above.

Boy, I wish we could edit comments!

Posted by: RichardHSerlin | August 24, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Shorter Galtard: drown your grandma.

Posted by: pseudonymousinnc | August 24, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

If you would like to help pressure your Congressman to pass medicare for all please join our voting bloc at:
http://www.votingbloc.org/Health_Bloc.php

Posted by: letsgobuffalo | August 25, 2009 7:01 AM | Report abuse

pseudonymousinnc,

You're a liberal -- you don't get to call it drowning. The politically correct term is "send her for a ride with Ted Kennedy."

Posted by: whoisjohngaltcom | August 25, 2009 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Ok, sorry about the earlier rushed versions. This one is much debugged, polished, and improved:

And again, this shows one of the strongest arguments why eliminating the filibuster would do far more good than bad, and why 51 Democratic senators (that's all that's needed, plus the V.P.) should eliminate the filibuster through rulings from the chair, and then strike down all Republican tactics to shut down the senate (all do-able, see: http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2009/08/filibuster-wanking ):

The good the Democrats would do with the filibuster eliminated – things like perhaps Medicare for all, free four years of college (we've been stuck at free education only up to high school for over 100 years, while the amount of education necessary to be a highly productive nation has skyrocketed in that time), and much more – once enacted, and people saw the truth of how good they were, as opposed to the Republican lies, would be permanent. The Republicans would never dare get rid of them, (Medicare, passed in 1965 is a great example), and if they did, it would be very temporary. Next election, the Republicans would be decimated, and the programs would be easily restored.

By contrast, the things the Republicans would push through with 51 votes would usually be bad, or horrible, to the vast majority, and so once people actually experienced them, and saw firsthand how the lies about them were really false, how they only helped the rich, they would not last. The public would vote for change, and they would be repealed. AND the Republicans would be revealed. People would see firsthand that the trickle down lies were false, a devastating fairy tale, eventually – for some things they would see very quickly, for others over more time.

So, this is an extremely strong reason why Democrats should support repeal of the filibuster. What they would do would be permanent, like Medicare, unemployment insurance, free public schooling. But what the Republicans would do would be temporary.

People would relatively quickly see the great harm to everyone except perhaps the rich (and even for them, the extra few thousand square feet of mansion would help them and their families far less than they would be hurt by the decreased public health, safety, medical and scientific investment and thus advancement, having to walk over homeless people, or live behind walls, etc., etc.)

Posted by: RichardHSerlin | August 25, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

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