Sen. Chris Murphy has a 'stealthy' plan to get to single-payer

As Bernie Sanders gets ready to introduce his Medicare-for-All plan next week, Sen. Chris Murphy has an alternative plan that he believes would gradually win support for the program. Politico reports:

Sen. Chris Murphy, a potential presidential contender, is working on legislation expected this fall that would let every individual and business buy into Medicare as part of Obamacare’s exchanges…

“Bernie is setting a really important marker for where he and many people in our party think the health care system needs to be,” Murphy — one of the Affordable Care Act’s staunchest defenders since its earliest days — told POLITICO.

But, Murphy added, “We’re not going to pass a single-payer health care bill any time in the next few years. And so we need to have a conversation about how we get there.”…

Making Medicare more widely available, as he sees it, would pave the way for an effective “redesign” that prepares it to cover younger beneficiaries as part of a Sanders-style approach.

Back in 2009/2010, Democrats were pushing for a “public option,” a plan to compete with private health plans but one run by the government. As in Murphy’s plan, people would buy it on the Obamacare exchanges. Granted, Murphy’s new plan isn’t identical to the public option but it is similar. And as he admits, the goal is to move the country toward single-payer.

Granted, Murphy’s new plan isn’t identical to the public option but it is similar and has the same goal. The creator of the public option admitted it was designed to move people toward single payer.

What’s striking is that back when the public option was actually under consideration, Democrats from President Obama on down claimed it was all about “choice and competition.” There was no government takeover planned. Obamacare was not a trojan horse for single-payer. Where did anyone get this crazy idea? But a few years later this similar proposal is now being framed as a stepping stone to the ultimate goal: single payer.

And yet, to this day, it’s difficult to find many mainstream news outlets that count this as one of the ways Democrats lied to the American people during the Obamacare debate. They’ve all belatedly acknowledged that “If you like your plan you can keep it” was a fiction, but the fact that leading Democrats also tried to sneak a stepping stone toward single-payer into Obamacare without admitting it is something they don’t talk about, even now when it is undeniable.

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David Strom 1:31 PM on October 04, 2022