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

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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John Sexton 10:00 PM on June 02, 2023