The Politics of Single-Payer Health Care
All I could say when I read Kevin Drum today on single-payer health care was “YES”:
[F]or tactical political reasons, [prominent Democratic politicians] think it’s more effective to talk about incremental solutions.
…The alternative, I think, is to continue supporting improvements to the current system but to make it absolutely clear that our goal is single-payer national healthcare.
…[Nothing] will happen if Democratic politicians are afraid to fight for it. We don’t have to give up incrementalism in the meantime, but we do need to make it absolutely clear what goal we’re working toward. It’s good politics, good policy, and good branding. But it’s a long fight, and the sooner we get back in the saddle and start fighting it, the better.
Kevin gives some excellent arguments in favor of making single-payer health care a consistent goal (and campaign theme) of the Democratic party. And he’s right.
Let me take this chance to put up links to some of the various posts that I’ve written on this issue:
- A single-payer system would yield enormous savings in administrative costs.
- Moving to a single-payer system would probably reduce overall healthcare costs in the US.
- Single-payer systems do not necessarily result in longer waiting times.
- Health outcomes under a single-payer system would probably be at least as good as they currently are in the US.
But most importantly, single-payer health care is the right thing to do from a moral standpoint. And how often are political tactics and moral obligations aligned?