Single-payer in 2018? Not likely, Nancy.
Over the next week, the GOP will either agree on a proposal for Obamacare repeal or continue on its path to making supporters very angry. I am as disappointed as anyone that 52 GOP senators cannot agree to repeal and settle their differences later. It is not where I thought we'd be after so many years of hearing speeches about repealing Obamacare. I feel let down, to put it mildly.
Nevertheless, there is a popular theory floating around that goes sort of like this:
1) Speaker Pelosi is a sure thing after 2018.
2) A future Democrat House majority will pass a "single-payer" plan because the GOP failed to repeal Obamacare.
I am not a prophet, so let me leave #1 (a Speaker Pelosi) to the voters. It may happen, but remember that Hillary Clinton was also supposed to win the presidency in 2016. We know that history is on the side of the opposition in these midterm elections. So let's wait and see how it all looks a year from now. It is too early to tell.
On point #2, the inevitable single-payer if the Democrats win the House, I am not so sure.
Let's just look at California, the easiest place in the US to pass a single-payer plan. Let's review what happened in the one state where the left wing of the Democratic Party runs everything.
This is from The Los Angeles Times:
A high-profile effort to establish a single-payer healthcare system in California sputtered on Friday when Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) decided to shelve the proposal.
Rendon announced late Friday afternoon that the bill, SB 562 by state Sens. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) and Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), would not advance to a policy hearing in his house, dampening the measure's prospect for swift passage this year.
"SB 562 was sent to the Assembly woefully incomplete," Rendon said in a statement. "Even senators who voted for SB 562 noted there are potentially fatal flaws in the bill, including the fact it does not address many serious issues, such as financing, delivery of care, cost controls, or the realities of needed action by the Trump Administration and voters to make SB 562 a genuine piece of legislation."
Rendon took pains to note that his action does not kill the bill entirely — because it is the first year of a two-year session, it could be revived next year.
But the move is nonetheless a major setback for legislation that has electrified the Democratic party's progressive flank.
How did that happen? How did the most progressive state legislature in the U.S. fail to pass single-payer? The answer is that "the numbers" had everything to do with it. The numbers did not add up in California, and the Democrats pulled back the idea.
So what could happen to Speaker Pelosi and the left in 2019? The numbers won't add up there, either, and it won't pass.
In other words, we are not going to have a single-payer system in the U.S.
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