Obama during Primaries: 'Transitioning to Single-Payer'

Andrew Walden
At a staged New Hampshire townhall meeting August 11, President Obama tried to respond to what he called a "myth" -- that the public option in HR3200 would put private insurers out of business leading to an eventual single-payer government monopoly system.  Obama famously said: "If you think about it, UPS and FedEx are doing just fine. It's the Post Office that's always having problems."

But Obama and his supporters are having trouble keeping their "myths"--and their so-called "myth-busting"--straight.

Early in the Democratic primary campaign, Obama did some "myth-busting" after Hillary Clinton attacked him for opposing Single-Payer universal government health care.  Obama denied Clinton's accusation and provided plenty of evidence which is neatly preserved on the website of Obama's "Organizing for America" --the very group which is today "organizing" pro-Obamacare demonstrators.

Especially noteworthy: Obama explains to Iowa and New Hampshire Democrat voters how his plan is designed to deceive the rest of the public.  In this Obama is completely consistent:

  • "...we may need a system that's not so disruptive that people feel like suddenly what they've known for most of their lives is thrown by the wayside."
  • "And when we had a healthcare forum before I set up my healthcare plan here in Iowa there was a lot of resistance to a single-payer system. So what I believe is we should set up a series of choices....Over time it may be that we end up transitioning to such a system...."
Here is the entire Obama campaign "myth busting" statement:


January 21, 2008

Rhetoric: "Today, he opposes single payer health care, and attacks Sen. Clinton for proposing a plan that covers everyone"

Reality: Obama Has Consistently Said That If We Were Starting From Scratch, He Would Support A Single Payer System, But Now We Need To Build On The System We Have If Obama Were Starting From Scratch, He Would Support A Single Payer System. The New Yorker wrote, "'If you're starting from scratch,' he [Obama] says, 'then a single-payer system'-a government-managed system like Canada's, which disconnects health insurance from employment-'would probably make sense. But we've got all these legacy systems in place, and managing the transition, as well as adjusting the culture to a different system, would be difficult to pull off. So we may need a system that's not so disruptive that people feel like suddenly what they've known for most of their lives is thrown by the wayside.'" [New Yorker, 5/7/07]

If Obama Were Starting From Scratch, He Would Support A Single Payer System. "At a roundtable with a handful of invited guests at Lindy's Diner in Keene, Obama said if he were starting from scratch, he would probably propose a single payer health care system, but because of existing infrastructure, he created a proposal to improve the current system." [Concord Monitor, 8/14/07]

If Obama Were Starting From Scratch, He Would Support A Single Payer System. Obama said, "Here's the bottom line. If I were designing a system from scratch I would probably set up a single-payer system...But we're not designing a system from scratch...And when we had a healthcare forum before I set up my healthcare plan here in Iowa there was a lot of resistance to a single-payer system. So what I believe is we should set up a series of choices....Over time it may be that we end up transitioning to such a system. For now, I just want to make sure every American is covered...I don't want to wait for that perfect system...The one thing you should ask about the candidates though is who's gonna have the capacity to actually deliver on the change?...I believe I've got a better capacity to break t he gridlock and attract both Independents and Republicans to work together." [http://iowa.barackobama.com/page/community/tag/Ames]

The Obama campaign is giving a very accurate description of a gradualist approach to slip socialized medicine past the "ignorant" American people.  But no matter how Obama spins it, the American people are far too intelligent to fall for a system which has failed everywhere it has been tried.  Obama's gradualist approach isn't working, leaving socialists stuck with the same conundrum they have been wrangling with ever since Norman Thomas argued:

"The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of 'liberalism' they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened."

Norman Thomas was wrong.  Arrogance continues to be the downfall of the self-appointed "intellectual" elites.  

Obama's failure to peddle this plan without being noticed is the latest proof that he was wrong to claim: "I've got a better capacity to break the gridlock and attract both Independents and Republicans to work together." 

The socialists are still going to have to wait for "the ones (they've) been waiting for."
At a staged New Hampshire townhall meeting August 11, President Obama tried to respond to what he called a "myth" -- that the public option in HR3200 would put private insurers out of business leading to an eventual single-payer government monopoly system.  Obama famously said: "If you think about it, UPS and FedEx are doing just fine. It's the Post Office that's always having problems."

But Obama and his supporters are having trouble keeping their "myths"--and their so-called "myth-busting"--straight.

Early in the Democratic primary campaign, Obama did some "myth-busting" after Hillary Clinton attacked him for opposing Single-Payer universal government health care.  Obama denied Clinton's accusation and provided plenty of evidence which is neatly preserved on the website of Obama's "Organizing for America" --the very group which is today "organizing" pro-Obamacare demonstrators.

Especially noteworthy: Obama explains to Iowa and New Hampshire Democrat voters how his plan is designed to deceive the rest of the public.  In this Obama is completely consistent:

  • "...we may need a system that's not so disruptive that people feel like suddenly what they've known for most of their lives is thrown by the wayside."
  • "And when we had a healthcare forum before I set up my healthcare plan here in Iowa there was a lot of resistance to a single-payer system. So what I believe is we should set up a series of choices....Over time it may be that we end up transitioning to such a system...."
Here is the entire Obama campaign "myth busting" statement:


January 21, 2008

Rhetoric: "Today, he opposes single payer health care, and attacks Sen. Clinton for proposing a plan that covers everyone"

Reality: Obama Has Consistently Said That If We Were Starting From Scratch, He Would Support A Single Payer System, But Now We Need To Build On The System We Have If Obama Were Starting From Scratch, He Would Support A Single Payer System. The New Yorker wrote, "'If you're starting from scratch,' he [Obama] says, 'then a single-payer system'-a government-managed system like Canada's, which disconnects health insurance from employment-'would probably make sense. But we've got all these legacy systems in place, and managing the transition, as well as adjusting the culture to a different system, would be difficult to pull off. So we may need a system that's not so disruptive that people feel like suddenly what they've known for most of their lives is thrown by the wayside.'" [New Yorker, 5/7/07]

If Obama Were Starting From Scratch, He Would Support A Single Payer System. "At a roundtable with a handful of invited guests at Lindy's Diner in Keene, Obama said if he were starting from scratch, he would probably propose a single payer health care system, but because of existing infrastructure, he created a proposal to improve the current system." [Concord Monitor, 8/14/07]

If Obama Were Starting From Scratch, He Would Support A Single Payer System. Obama said, "Here's the bottom line. If I were designing a system from scratch I would probably set up a single-payer system...But we're not designing a system from scratch...And when we had a healthcare forum before I set up my healthcare plan here in Iowa there was a lot of resistance to a single-payer system. So what I believe is we should set up a series of choices....Over time it may be that we end up transitioning to such a system. For now, I just want to make sure every American is covered...I don't want to wait for that perfect system...The one thing you should ask about the candidates though is who's gonna have the capacity to actually deliver on the change?...I believe I've got a better capacity to break t he gridlock and attract both Independents and Republicans to work together." [http://iowa.barackobama.com/page/community/tag/Ames]

The Obama campaign is giving a very accurate description of a gradualist approach to slip socialized medicine past the "ignorant" American people.  But no matter how Obama spins it, the American people are far too intelligent to fall for a system which has failed everywhere it has been tried.  Obama's gradualist approach isn't working, leaving socialists stuck with the same conundrum they have been wrangling with ever since Norman Thomas argued:

"The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of 'liberalism' they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened."

Norman Thomas was wrong.  Arrogance continues to be the downfall of the self-appointed "intellectual" elites.  

Obama's failure to peddle this plan without being noticed is the latest proof that he was wrong to claim: "I've got a better capacity to break the gridlock and attract both Independents and Republicans to work together." 

The socialists are still going to have to wait for "the ones (they've) been waiting for."