Liberal website Firedoglake.com sent supporters an email hours after the Supreme Court decision on health reform telling their readers that the ruling sets the stage for a complete takeover of the medical system via single-payer health care. The letter from Brian Sonenstein, who is Firedoglake's Director of Online Activism, says (emphasis from the original letter, not added) :
Despite the dangers lurking in this bill, this decision has positive implications for progressives as it sets the stage for the next fight: achieving single-payer health care reform.Vermont is already heading down this path, and hopefully this affirmation of the health care law will embolden other states to follow their lead.
The legislation in Vermont is being seen by many on the left as the next step after Obamacare. According on a laudatory article last year in left-wing Mother Jones:
As Gov. Peter Shumlin took his spot on the granite steps of the Vermont State House, a row of people fanned out behind him wearing bright red t-shirts proclaiming, “Health care is a human right.” The slogan sounded noble, and wildly unrealistic. Until the governor spoke.
“We gather here today to launch the first single-payer health care system in America,” began Shumlin, a Democrat who has been governor barely four months. “To do in Vermont what has taken too long: have a health care system, the best in the world, that treats health care as a right, and not a privilege."
Moments later, the governor made history, signing a law that sets Vermont on a course to provide health care for all of its 620,000 citizens through a European-style single payer system called Green Mountain Care. Key components include containing costs by setting reimbursement rates for health care providers and streamlining administration into a single, state-managed system. The federal health care reform law would not allow Vermont to enact single payer until 2017; Vermont is asking the administration to grant it a waiver so that it can get there even faster, by 2014.
So the SCOTUS decision to uphold Obama is a victory for Single Payer. But what if the Supreme Court had NOT upheld Obamacare?
Don't worry, it still would have been a victory for Single Payer.
An article in Huffington Post yesterday called Single-Payer Health Care Favored By House Progressives If Court Strikes Down Obamacare spells it out:
Asked why progressives think a single-payer option could advance this time around, Ellison said if the Supreme Court strikes down some or all of the existing health care law, it shows that the individual mandate at the heart of the law -- a concept originally backed by conservatives -- was a failed approach.
"We've tried it the right-wing way. Let's try it the right way," he said.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said he led the charge for reviving the single-payer health plan during a recent Progressive Caucus meeting.
"We agreed we're going to come out in favor of Medicare for all, in both instances," he said, referring to the Supreme Court possibly striking either some or all of the health care law. "One disadvantage of saying, 'Let's go for single payer,' is that by and large the American people have no idea what that means. But the advantage of saying 'Medicare for all,' the American people do know what that means. And it's a very popular proposal."
The path from Obamacare leads to Single Payer either way. Head the progressives all win, Tails we all lose.