September 7, 2017

Single-Payer Debate Continues To Push Democratic Party Leftward

Single-Payer Debate Continues To Push Democratic Party Leftward

During her career, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has taken every possible position on single-payer. In 2008, Warren was a strong supporter of single-payer, saying it was the “most obvious” solution to health care reform. Yet, when running for the Senate in 2012, Warren flip-flopped and did not support it.

Even this year, Warren has tried to have it both ways on single-payer. Yet with the increasing prominence of Bernie’s single-payer litmus test, Warren has firmly committed to backing it. Today, Senator Warren went even farther, announcing that she was co-sponsoring Bernie’s single-payer bill:

“I believe it’s time to take a step back and ask: what is the best way to deliver high quality, low cost health care to all Americans? Everything should be on the table – and that’s why I’m co-sponsoring Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All bill that will be introduced later this month.”

Warren’s move to co-sponsor the single-payer bill is another strong sign that support for single-payer is becoming a non-negotiable issue for Democratic politicians. That’s especially true for Democrats thinking about running in 2020:

“Put it all together, and the best path to victory in the primary starts to look like mimicking Sanders on policy, and certainly on health care policy. What’s more, if Biden or Cuomo were to run and oppose single-payer, they’d be hit hard by all their opponents for being holdouts offering half measures rather than promising universal health care. By contrast, if they just got on board with single-payer, it would be more or less costless in the primary.”

The pressure to support single-payer is also being felt by Democratic Senators up in 2018. Yesterday afternoon, Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) stated single-payer deserved a “solid look” by the Senate:

“Sen Jon. Tester (D-Mont.) on Wednesday said Congress should perhaps take a ‘solid look’ at a single-payer health care system. Tester’s comments during a bipartisan hearing of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee come at a time when more Democrats are getting on board with the idea of government-funded health care.”

Senator Tester’s comments might appease extreme liberals on the coasts, but that position, and the trillions it would cost, will be politically devastating in Montana next year. The idea that Senator Tester would come out for single-payer shows how the far-left is completely imposing its will on the entire Democratic Party.