Harry Reid: ObamaCare a step toward single-payer [UPDATED with video]

During a recent appearance on a Nevada-based public television program, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said that ObamaCare is a step down the path to a single-payer healthcare system for the United States:

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.”
“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.

This isn’t really surprising. The idea that ObamaCare is a step down the path to a single-payer system is one that has been promulgated by both Democrats and Republicans alike.

Back in 2011, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), who has introduced legislation to expand Medicare to all Americans, called ObamaCare a “platform” for bringing a single-payer system to the United States. Just last month, former Sen. Evan Byah (D-IN) surmised that the Left wants ObamaCare to fail because they want to replace with a “more expansive, government-centered program.”

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), an obstetrician, explained last September that ObamaCare was failling to live up to its promises, noting that it wasn’t bringing down healthcare costs and would increase the deficit. Coburn believes that ObamaCare was “rigged to fail” from the start.

In a conversation last month with United Liberty, Stephen Moore, senior economics writer at the Wall Street Journal, said that it’s clear that ObamaCare will collapse, adding that the next major healthcare debate is up to five years away.

“I don’t know when exactly [ObamaCare is] going to collapse. I don’t know if it’s going to be in 6 months, 18 months, or five years, but it will collapse.” he said. “Even liberals acknowledge that, that this is just a placeholder [for single-payer].”

President Barack Obama has expressed support of a single-payer system in the past. During a townhall meeting in 2008, then a candidate for the presidency, he acknowledged the political obstacles to single-payer, but indicated that such a system would be something to come over time.

[UPDATE] Here’s video of Reid’s remarks.

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