House Democrat: Senate public option “compromise” is a total victory for fans of … single-payer

posted at 9:43 pm on December 9, 2009 by Allahpundit

No wonder The One digs it.

Obama hailed “a creative new framework that I believe will help pave the way for final passage of legislation and a historic achievement for the American people.” He said, “I support this effort, especially since it’s aimed at increasing choice and competition and lowering cost.”

A provision opening Medicare to uninsured Americans between the ages of 55 and 64 drew praise from some liberals.

Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., called it “an unvarnished, complete victory for people like me who have been arguing for a single-payer system.”

He told another newspaper that it might “get us on the path to a single payer model.” And guess what? He’s right. Philip Klein:

[E]xpanding Medicare would go further to advance the original aims of liberals than the watered down version of the public option. By definition, the Medicare option (which would eventually be offered on the exchange to those over 55) would set reimbursement rates at Medicare levels, thus putting the squeeze on doctors and offering lower premiums that would make it more difficult for private insurers to compete. As with the public option, liberals will try to argue that the Medicare expansion will be funded by the premiums it collects, but it will benefit from the taxpayer-funded infastructure that is already in place to support Medicare — not to mention potential subsidies down the road…

For liberals who view a single-payer, or government-run, health care system as ideal (and that list begins with President Obama), the goal of health care legislation was to move the nation as far as they could in that direction, knowing that the best way to achieve their goal over time was by building on the current system with which people are familiar.

If Democrats unite behind this “compromise” and the broader legislation becomes law, liberals will have largely succeeded. The legislation already expands Medicaid and S-CHIP by 15 million people and coupled with the Medicare expansion, most newly covered Americans would simply be added to the rolls of existing government-run programs. Millions more would be using government subsidies to purchase government-designed insurance policies on a government-run exchange. And the rest of the system would be subject to so many taxes, penalties, and mandates that it wouldn’t resemble a private market in any meaningful sense of the word.

The Mayo Clinic, which Obama once touted as a model for delivering excellent health care at lower costs, hates the Senate compromise because even they can’t make costs low enough to make Medicare viable. They lost $840 million last year on the program; expanding it, they note, would be “unsustainable” and “disastrous.” Which we already knew given the projections about the program’s inevitable bankruptcy, but it can’t hurt having experts remind the Senate of it. The question now: Does Reid have the votes? Thune and Bob Bennett both predict that Snowe won’t go for it and that Reid will have to face a united GOP caucus. That leaves him needing 60 from his own side, but Landrieu and Lincoln are already insisting that no deal’s been struck and Lieberman’s been adamant in opposing any system that could lead to single-payer. Between Nelson, Lincoln, Lieberman, Bayh, and Pryor, figure right now the Dems are probably still two votes short.

Exit question: If the compromise is a relatively sweet deal for the left, why are nutroots activists opposing it? Would they really rather have an age-unlimited public option that a Medicare expansion that might lead to the progressive dream of single-payer?

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Sadly, his claim is fast becoming true. But can we prove it? Experientially, we can determine that certain patterns of evidence support the claim. There are some schools of scientific thought that contend one can never prove anything, but only support a claim or disprove it.

anXdem on December 10, 2009 at 3:02 AM

I’d imagine they only thought it would last about this long. You generally hear that the average life span of a republic is around 200 years. Whether this is true or not, here we are at the endgame.

alliebobbitt on December 10, 2009 at 9:37 AM

Would someone in the GOP pleeeeease make the Constitutional argument against this monstrosity? Congress cannot simply do whatever they can muster a majority to support.

Der Krieger, the GOP leadership (in the Senate at least) has basically rolled over. They want this to succeed because it will win them seats next year and, at the same time, ensure they still get the invites to all the great White House parties. For McConnell et al, it’s all about the perks.

WarEagle01 on December 10, 2009 at 9:59 AM

It’s funny, because this was the easy solution that was always out there for the taking. I think the only reason nobody tried it early on was that Medicare runs huge deficits, and more and more doctors are abandoning it.

Come to think of it, arent’ the problems with Medicare the reason we were given for needing health reform?

hawksruleva on December 10, 2009 at 10:05 AM

If one looks at the group making up the 55 to 64 age group one will quickly notice the high proportion of pre-existing condition people. Then you take this high maintenance group and throw them into a failing Medicare system and you have a short road to a steep cliff. Isn’t there anyone in Congress with half a brain? This is becoming nothing but a scheme to pass something that Obama can sign to claim credit for saving the nation’s health system. I disagree with your analysis that the Dems are one or two votes short. As Churchill said once to a bitchy Lady, “We know what you are, we just need to know your price”.

inspectorudy on December 10, 2009 at 10:29 AM

This explains much about your hatred for real Americans.
voxpopuli on December 10, 2009 at 1:58 AM

That would leave you out.

Chris_Balsz on December 10, 2009 at 10:53 AM

Go ahead and pass Obowmao care. I DARE YOU.

Blacksmith8 on December 10, 2009 at 11:21 AM

hubby is in healthcare. They aren’t getting paid for medicare now. Going to stop procedures – they have to – unsustainable. And, the liberals want to expand it. Disaster. You are going to die people – doctors are going to quit. They don’t make that much money to begin with and there will be NO specialists. You best get involved and get on the phones and go to D.C. on the 15th at 1:00. Swift kick in the you know what for these idiots in D.C.

suzyk on December 10, 2009 at 5:43 PM

Weiner was roommates with the Comedy Central program The Daily Show host Jon Stewart after college, and the sole documented recipient of political campaign contributions from the comedian.[3

I just love this tidbit about Weiner. I knew the first time I heard him speak something was amiss. The guy is total BS.

squidly on December 10, 2009 at 5:47 PM

At this point the only good thing I can get out of this is wondering how long BOR will be in denial.

Dr. ZhivBlago on December 10, 2009 at 6:01 PM

Look, I just want to get a job again. Could these people please stop doing things that make it impossible for those of us who are unemployed to get a job?
Kensington on December 9, 2009 at 9:55 PM

They don’t want, nor care if you or anyone else gets a job. It’s an ideology that keeps the masses controlled by a small elite group of social engineers. They love control, keeping people victims, and lowered standards of goods and services no matter how it reduces your former life. Equal mediocrity for all…of course except for them.

Nalea on December 10, 2009 at 7:42 PM

I guess all you dead on arrival people feel real stupid. Calling you congressmen and all that other crap doesn’t mean anything if you dont’ have control. You selfish bastards who stayed at home are to blame.

tomas on December 11, 2009 at 7:53 AM

How is the alarmingly vulpine Mr. Weiner’s last name pronounced? Serious question.

Mason on December 11, 2009 at 5:19 PM

Can anyone cite an undisputed reference that Mr. Weiner actually was a post college room mate of the Daily Show’s John Leibowitz?

Mason on December 11, 2009 at 5:24 PM

Those who can still get health insurance through private providers will only see their premiums go up, since we all know that the private sector is used to offset the miserably low reimbursement rates of Medicare. Another death knell to private insurance.

I hate this administration. They should do the honorable thing and resign.

redfoxbluestate on December 11, 2009 at 5:43 PM


tatersalad on December 11, 2009 at 7:19 PM