Reid: Obamacare a stepping stone to single payer health insurance
Of course we knew this. We've known it for three years because most of the non-political architects of Obamacare said at the time of the debate that the system was set up so that it would be easy one day to substitute a single payer system.
But to hear the Majority Leader of the US Senate confirm that is chilling.
Reid said he thinks the country has to "work our way past" insurance-based health care during a Friday night appearance on Vegas PBS' program "Nevada Week in Review."
"What we've done with Obamacare is have a step in the right direction, but we're far from having something that's going to work forever," Reid said.
When then asked by panelist Steve Sebelius whether he meant ultimately the country would have to have a health care system that abandoned insurance as the means of accessing it, Reid said: "Yes, yes. Absolutely, yes."
The idea of introducing a single-payer national health care system to the United States, or even just a public option, sent lawmakers into a tizzy back in 2009, when Reid was negotiating the health care bill.
"We had a real good run at the public option ... don't think we didn't have a tremendous number of people who wanted a single-payer system," Reid said on the PBS program, recalling how then-Sen. Joe Lieberman's opposition to the idea of a public option made them abandon the notion and start from scratch.
Eventually, Reid decided the public option was unworkable.
"We had to get a majority of votes," Reid said. "In fact, we had to get a little extra in the Senate, we have to get 60."
Reid cited the post-WWII auto industry labor negotiations that made employer-backed health insurance the norm, remarking that "we've never been able to work our way out of that" before predicting that Congress would someday end the insurance-based health care system.
The way the state insurance exchanges are set up, private insurance companies are going to self-select to withdraw from the health insurance business almost entirely. The government will make sure that it will be next to impossible to make any money selling health insurance in the private market. The quick fix for that will be the national government stepping in to pay for health care services.
Reid and other Democrats denied that, of course. The same way they denied that any other untoward consequence of Obamacare was Republican "fear mongering."
Well, now it's all coming home to bite us - just as many Obamacare opponents predicted. It's the destruction of an entire industry to service the ideological pique of progressive statists.
And a single payer system won't work any better than the one they designed to make way for it.