Sebelius: I'm all for single-payer system, eventually

Behold yet another political Rorschach test on video, from our friends at Verum Serum, who do a great job of finding them. When Kathleen Sebelius told an audience at the JFK Center at Harvard in 2007 that she was in favor of “a single-payer system, eventually,” does that negate the earlier statement that she finds dismantling the existing system to get there unproductive? You make the call:

What we need is a national agenda, and a kind of commitment to universal health care. I’m a believer that, although, if you could wipe the slate clean and start all over again, we’d never start with an employer-based insurance product. That’s really where we are — 75% of Americans who have health insurance have insurance coverage through their employers. The rest have it through government. And to dismantle something in order to get to a better cause, I think may be not as productive as closing the gap. So my sense is where we need to go in states and around the country is closing the gap, get coverage for the 47 million Americans who don’t have coverage.


I mean, I’m all for a single-payer system, uh … eventually. I think what we have to do, though, is work with what we’ve got in order to close the gap.

So are Sebelius, now HHS Secretary, the Democrats in Congress, and Obama working “with what we’ve got” to cover uninsured Americans, or are they being unproductive in dismantling the existing system? There are less costly ways to cover more Americans than to force everyone into government-run “exchanges” — really just a federal licensing system for health insurance — in order to cover the 15% of people uninsured in the US. (Sebelius seems unaware of either math or the total American population; 47 million is not 25% of all US residents, but closer to 15%.) Not all of the 15% want to buy insurance, at least not the expensive comprehensive insurance that will get mandated in the federal licensing scheme proposed by Congress.

Given that this system will drive costs upward and fix prices for insurers in a manner that will force them out of business “eventually,” I’d see this as evidence that the Obama administration has ulterior motives in mind for it — and that they’re all for single payer in that eventual certitude.

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Jazz Shaw 5:31 PM on February 04, 2023