Obama Lies About Supporting Single Payer at NH Town Hall

In response to an ill-framed question - one of only two that were not from Obama supporters - asked of him at the Potemkin Village-style health care "town hall" in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on August 11, President Obama said this:

"I have not said that I was a single-payer supporter, because, frankly, we historically have had a employer-based system in this country, with private insurers, and for us to transition to a system like that, I believe would be too disruptive."

Tracking the misrepresentations and lies that are told when Obama speaks can keep one busy for hours, but the one about not supporting single payer really stood out.

On June 30, 2003, speaking to an AFL-CIO Civil, Women's, and Human Rights Conference, Obama said:

"I happen to be a proponent of single payer universal health care plans. . . A single payer health care plan, a universal health care plan. And that's what I'd like to see. But as all of you know, we may not get there immediately. Because first we have to take back the White House, we have to take back the Senate, and we have to take back the House."

As recently as August 18, 2008, according to the Wall Street Journal article titled "Obama Touts Single-Payer System for Health Care," published on August 19, 2008, "Barack Obama said he would consider embracing a single-payer health-care system, beloved by liberals, as his plan for broader coverage evolves over time."

The WSJ article quotes Obama speaking at "a town-hall style meeting on the economy" the day before:

"If I were designing a system from scratch, I would probably go ahead with a single-payer system."

The WSJ quoted Obama as saying further that, although he didn't think a single payer system was feasible initially:

"They [Americans] need relief now. So my attitude is let's build up the system we got, let's make it more efficient, we may be over time-as we make the system more efficient and everybody's covered-decide that there are other ways [single payer?] for us to provide care more effectively."