Rubio concerns about a single-payer healthcare system seem farfetched

Posted by Mitch Perry on Wed, Mar 12, 2014 at 1:01 PM

While the results in Tuesday's CD13 election in Pinellas County are used as evidence  that the Affordable Care Act is a burden that will bring down vulnerable Democrats in November, Florida Senator Marco Rubio is playing up the fear that Democrats are actually 
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getting closer to what for many has been the ultimate goal — a single-payer healthcare system.

In an interview with Brietbart.com, the Florida Republican expresses a sentiment previously expressed by Karl Rove and some other conservatives since the botched rollout of healthcare.gov — that the failures from the ACA will become such a problem that the only way they can be remedied is for the government to take over the entire healthcare system.

"I believe single-payer is always the goal that they wanted. In fact, I think Obamacare was designed to eventually lead us to that point. What I think you’re going to see now is as Obamacare begins to fail, instead of recognizing it as a failure, we need to back and embrace free-market principles. I think you’re going to find the left increasingly saying that Obamacare’s failure proves we need a single-payer system, so I’m not surprised by it at all,” he added.
It's no secret that lots of liberals (including Barack Obama) have said in the past that they wanted a single-payer healthcare system. If you don't think that's the case, perhaps you didn't see Michael Moore's op-ed in the New York Times on New Year's Eve, which simultaneously called Obamacare "awful" and surmised that it's a "godsend" before concluding that "All eyes are on Vermont’s plan for a single-payer system, starting in 2017. If it flies, it will change everything, with many states sure to follow suit by setting up their own versions."

There's always been a conspiratorial mindset about this, as epitomized in the conservative blogosphere by the blogger on the PJ Media site who wrote back in December that "those in charge of implementing Obamacare cannot possibly be as stupid or incompetent as they are allowing themselves to appear."

Rubio tells Breitbart that “Single-payer basically is the government takes over healthcare, becomes the only insurance company in America and as a result it controls everything from who gets care to what kind of care you get,” adding, ““it would completely eviscerate the quality of our healthcare.”

But the drive from Obamacare to single-payer has hit a serious ditch in the road — which is that most Americans want to refine (or repeal) the ACA, and don't want more of it.

A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll published Wednesday indicates that the Affordable Care Act is still unpopular with the masses, though whether or not it would be the determining factor in choosing one's representative in Congress is not apparent.

While 35 percent say Obamacare is a good idea, 49 percent think it’s a bad one. However, 48 percent would support a Democrat who wants to fix the law, compared to 47 percent who would vote for a Republican who favors repeal.

The conventional wisdom is that David Jolly's victory over Alex Sink last night was a repudiation of Obamacare, and that vulnerable Democrats are going to have to be more critical of it if they want to win election or re-election this November. That is not going to the magic formula to get us to single-payer. Not in 2014, anyhow.


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