Sen. Harry Reid: Obamacare ‘Absolutely’ A Step Toward A Single-Payer System
By Avik Roy
When I speak to conservatives about health care policy, I’m often asked the question: “Do you think that Obamacare is secretly a step toward single-payer health care?” I always explain that, while progressives may want single-payer, I don’t think that Obamacare is deliberately designed to bring about that outcome. Well, yesterday on PBS’ Nevada Week In Review, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) was asked whether his goal was to move Obamacare to a single-payer system. His answer? “Yes, yes. Absolutely, yes.”
In one sense, this isn’t shocking. Reid and many other Democrats, including President Obama, have often stated that their ideal health-care system is one in which the government abolishes the private insurance market. Video of the PBS discussion isn’t yet online, but here’s how Karoun Demirjian of the Las Vegas Sun described it:
“Reid said he thinks the country has to “work our way past” insurance-based health care during a Friday night appearance on Vegas PBS’ program “Nevada Week in Review.”
“What we’ve done with Obamacare is have a step in the right direction, but we’re far from having something that’s going to work forever,” Reid said.
When then asked by panelist Steve Sebelius whether he meant ultimately the country would have to have a health care system that abandoned insurance as the means of accessing it, Reid said: “Yes, yes. Absolutely, yes.”
Reid noted that he and other progressives fought hard for a “public option” in the exchanges as a Trojan horse for single-payer, but Democrats didn’t have 60 votes in the Senate to achieve it:
That’s right folks, the geniuses who are bankrupting our country, with our national debt at almost $17 trillion not including unfunded liabilities, want us to trust them with putting them in charge of running our health care system. Big Government is a synonym for “waste and inefficiency”.