Colin Powell: Second look at single-payer health care?

posted at 8:31 pm on December 9, 2013 by Allahpundit

Via the Right Scoop. I was trying to decide whether to blog this as my last post of the day or the story about social conservatives wanting to draft Mike Huckabee to run for president in 2016. But then I realized, I’ve already written the Huckabee post a good dozen times before. Whereas I can’t have written stories about Powell’s drift from conservatism more than ten times.

To think, some of you guys say he’s in the tank for Obama. Not so. He’s evidently a true believer in socialized medicine.

“I am not an expert in health care, or Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act, or however you choose to describe it, but I do know this: I have benefited from that kind of universal health care in my 55 years of public life,” Powell said, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal, last week at an annual “survivors celebration breakfast” in Seattle for those who, like Powell, have battled prostate cancer. “And I don’t see why we can’t do what Europe is doing, what Canada is doing, what Korea is doing, what all these other places are doing.”…

A retired four-star general and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Powell told the audience about a woman named Anne, who as his firewood supplier, faced a healthcare scare of her own. Anne asked Powell to help pay for her healthcare bills, as her insurance didn’t cover an MRI she needed as a prerequisite to being treated for a growth in her brain. In addition, Powell’s wife Alma recently suffered from three aneurysms and an artery blockage. ”After these two events, of Alma and Anne, I’ve been thinking, why is it like this?” said Powell.

“We are a wealthy enough country with the capacity to make sure that every one of our fellow citizens has access to quality health care,” Powell. “(Let’s show) the rest of the world what our democratic system is all about and how we take care of all of our citizens.”

In most contexts I can grudgingly tolerate the idea of a country that’s $17 trillion in debt, with tens of trillions in unfunded liabilities on top of that, being described as “wealthy,” but in the context of a plea for “Medicare for all”? When it’s Medicare, more than anything else, that’ll be eating through the federal budget in the next few decades? Four years ago, Powell told CNN that he was a “little concerned” about spending. Define “little,” please.

Too bad for this guy, though, that he’s already well into 70s. Given his name recognition, his favorable rating among the public, and the fact that he’s tilted reliably liberal in his public pronouncements in the age of Obama, he might have been in line for some sort of appointment either by O or the next Democratic president if he was younger. Imagine the PR value in naming Dubya’s former secretary of state to some ambassadorship or even a cabinet position now that he’s “seen the light.” It’d be like Zell Miller speaking at the 2004 GOP convention times a thousand. Alas, by the time John Kerry narrowly defeats Huckabee for the presidency in a tight race in 2016, Powell will be pushing 80. We’ll have to look elsewhere for our next secretary of Health and Human Services.


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And I don’t see why we can’t do what Europe is doing, what Canada is doing, what Korea is doing, what all these other places are doing.”…

Going Bankrupt? We are. Thanks for the help

WryTrvllr on December 10, 2013 at 12:49 AM

On that scale it’s easy. You hang drippy Colon from the beam and we flog his worthless, unprincipled, socialist nitwit hide for a little while. That he refers to himself as a Republican is odd; that he even knows how to pronounce the word conservative is bizarre.

He’s a garden-variety liberal Democrat. Always was.

Jaibones on December 10, 2013 at 12:02 AM

Odd that he pronounces himself a Republican? Given the number of progressives in the Republican Party extant, I don’t find that to be a cause of much concern to me, let alone shocking. That’s why I’ve never really liked the epithet “RINO.” It conflates “Reputlican” with “conservative,” and the two have not been equivalent in most of my lifetime.

gryphon202 on December 10, 2013 at 2:22 AM

“I am not an expert in health care, or Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act, or however you choose to describe it, but I do know this: I have benefited from that kind of universal health care in my 55 years of public life,” Powell said

Powell does not understand the difference between a job benefit and government theft of private property.

I wonder WHY Powell was in the military fighting against the socialist ideals he now supports?

Freddy on December 10, 2013 at 4:20 AM

I suggest that before Mr. Powell advocates such a thing, he should perhaps check out his local, neighborhood VA hospital to see how government healthcare works for the typical wounded soldier. My understanding, it is not too well.

kurtzz3 on December 9, 2013 at 8:39 PM

And those are our veterans — people who have given something to this country and SHOULD get something back above and beyond. Anyone think the government is going to treat the average Joe better???

For a look at what government “health care” would look like for the rest of us, check out a reservation.

CJ on December 10, 2013 at 6:03 AM

Okay veterans, clear something up for me. Do you get lifetime healthcare for your service of some minimum period of service?

Dusty on December 9, 2013 at 9:09 PM

Less than 20 years is determined by whether you’re injured or not. Over 20 year retirees have the option to go with VA or Tricare when they retire. There is also the option to file for any service connected disabilities. For instance, I have back problems and tinnitus after working on jets for my career. I could have probably gotten a 10% rating but I never filed for it. Tricare is either Tricare Prime or Standard. With Prime there are yearly “enrollment” fees but the out of pocket expenses are less. Standard is free but more like a typical insurance plan with higher out of pocket expenses. At 65 you must enroll in Medicare Part B and then Tricare becomes second payer. Colin Powell seems to forget that our medical care while in the military was a benefit that we paid for with less pay. As an officer, he probably only felt that lower pay as a lieutenant or junior captain. As a retired general officer, he most likely gets his medical care at the very best facilities the military has to offer.

Bill R. on December 10, 2013 at 6:37 AM

Go to hell Powell.

Your not AUTHORIZED to speak about things you know nothing about.

TX-96 on December 10, 2013 at 7:18 AM

Go to hell Powell.

Your not AUTHORIZED to speak about things you know nothing about.

TX-96 on December 10, 2013 at 7:18 AM

Authorized? What is “authorized?” It didn’t stop Pat Leahy, did it?

gryphon202 on December 10, 2013 at 7:41 AM

This guy’s not a Republican and certainly not a conservative. Why doesn’t he muster up the character to change his moniker to Democrat and stop deceiving the country.

rplat on December 10, 2013 at 8:24 AM

“I am not an expert in health care, or Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act, or however you choose to describe it

Yet, I am still going to tell you how I personally believe socialized medicine is the way to go for everyone. Because my experience is a paradigm for the entire country.

Despite the fact that the people have lost their choices, had their policies cancelled by the government, had their costs increased, had their services limited, lost their choice of doctors/hospitals, not subscribed in any meaningful numbers, the entire system created by the PPACA is fiscally unsound, etc., fact, etc.- I am still going to push my personal view as a fit for everyone. After all, that’s what democracy is all about- right?

“We are a wealthy enough country with the capacity to make sure that every one of our fellow citizens has access to quality health care,”

Notwithstanding taking over the entire health care system is not a job for government. Let’s destroy the entire system to help the very few that don’t have (most of them by choice, we actually call that “freedom of choice, Colin). Do we have “enough” money to actually pay for the small number who are destitute and truly need our help? Sure. But that doesn’t require a government takeover of the entire system.

Marcus Traianus on December 10, 2013 at 8:32 AM

Why can’t the “richest country in the world” pay for Annes MRI? Because public hospitals that should specialize in providing care to people like Anne are too busy spending money to make their hospitals look like architectural marvels. 2 examples: The University of Chicago surgery waiting room has floor-to-ceiling etched glass walls imported from China. The new, nearly billion dollar Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis, with its colored glass exterior and original artwork covered walls. I asked why they would spend a billion on a fancy building designed to impress the poor people it was meant to serve, rather than spending half as much on a plain building and putting the rest into actual patient care. The answer boiled down to “It was a different pot of money. We were budgeted a billion for construction, so that is what we spent.” That is why single payer will never work. Nobody is responsible for tax dollars. We will have billion dollar hospitals with marble floors and fountains, all while doctor’s salaries are being cut because “we can’t justify high salaries when the system is wildly over budget.”

tdarrington on December 10, 2013 at 8:53 AM

“I am not an expert in health care, or Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act, or however you choose to describe it, but I do know this:

I love Obama and if he wants Universal Health Care then that’s what I want. Besides look how great Obamcare is. /sarc.

Herb on December 10, 2013 at 9:18 AM

Does this tired, old backstabbing DB still call himself a Republican? Please just come out of the closet Mr. Powell and own the fact that you are a freedom hating leftist democrat scumbag.

Doomsday on December 10, 2013 at 9:48 AM

How can anyone be surprised, when he endorsed Obama, knowing what Obama stands for.
Nothing to see here, folks… he’s a full fledged liberal.

ChristianRock on December 10, 2013 at 9:48 AM

‘Obamacare’ has nothing to do with Single Payer.’
– Obama said in 2007 he preferred ‘Single Payer’.

“bamacare is about providing health care to those who do not have it.”
– Obama knew before the law passed that it would destroy the US health care system, that millions of Americans would lose jobs and / or their health care. Several months ago Harry Reid declared Obamacare was NEVER about helping or improving anything but instead was designed to destroy the US health care system in order to usher in the socialist single payer system.

Now we have Colin Powell pushing Obama’s agenda by trying to sell the victims of Obamacare on the beneifts of single payer, a wonderful government created/run program that will fix the devastating problem they created that destroyed the US health care system in the 1st place!

easyt65 on December 10, 2013 at 9:50 AM

As an officer, he probably only felt that lower pay as a lieutenant or junior captain. As a retired general officer, he most likely gets his medical care at the very best facilities the military has to offer. – Bill R. on December 10, 2013 at 6:37 AM

i am sure he is wealthy enough to be self-insured and receive the best health care anyone receive. I will disclose that I pay for my own insurance and will be able to keep what I have. However, the Mayo Clinic will not accept my insurance. And, the Mayo Clinic promoted Obamacare.

SC.Charlie on December 10, 2013 at 11:59 AM

Powell said the same thing about Obamacare, and now he’s switching to single payer. The woman whose story he tells would never get the treatment, drugs, doctors or financial help she needs under Obamacare or single payer. This was a waste of space, however, if it was about Huckabee, I probably wouldn’t have clicked on it. Articles on Colin Powell’s hypocrisy are always interesting.

lea on December 10, 2013 at 12:31 PM

I can’t remember which article it was but I recently read that extreme Tea Party Republicans ran moderate Republicans like Powell out of the GOP. I wonder why?

magicbeans on December 10, 2013 at 1:16 PM

And while we are at it, let’s give everyone a house, car, bank account etc.

rjoco1 on December 10, 2013 at 1:26 PM

Colin, No one disagrees that the best health care possible should be a societal goal. You were in the government. What on earth makes you believe that government can provide it? Government takes, produces nothing save national security. Free enterprise has always been and always will be the answer.

StevC on December 10, 2013 at 1:41 PM

The Democrats are masters of incrementalism. They want single payer period. Nancy and Harry know this; they just needed to ram the first stage through the door.

Menawhile, the Justice Department is suing the Jewish bankers and redistributing the spoils to the victimized minority Soros drones on the ground,further solidifying the progressive choke hold.

The Right is done. Dying the deserved death reserved only for losers.

Obama aint no dummy.

rickyricardo on December 10, 2013 at 2:51 PM

Single payer will happen in the US. It’s just a matter of time. Health care costs in the US render many of our businesses uncompetitive with other developed nations with single payer systems. You can still have a competitive and profitable private health care sector alongside basic single payer services. We can learn from the experience of other developed economies and avoid some of the common mistakes.

US health care is an expensive joke. Nobody in Europe or developed Asian economies wants anything remotely like the US system.

lexhamfox on December 10, 2013 at 3:23 PM

So, Powell’s calling himself a Republican has been a decades-long joke, right? Like an Andy Kaufman prank?

Colony14 on December 10, 2013 at 6:05 PM

Single payer will happen in the US. It’s just a matter of time. Health care costs in the US render many of our businesses uncompetitive with other developed nations with single payer systems. You can still have a competitive and profitable private health care sector alongside basic single payer services. We can learn from the experience of other developed economies and avoid some of the common mistakes.

US health care is an expensive joke. Nobody in Europe or developed Asian economies wants anything remotely like the US system.

lexhamfox on December 10, 2013 at 3:23 PM

So have things gotten better or worse since Medicare?

gryphon202 on December 10, 2013 at 10:56 PM

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