News & Politics

GOP's Failure to Repeal Obamacare Emboldens Single-Payer Dems

(AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

When John McCain got off of his sick bed earlier this summer to betray both his Republican colleagues and constituents by voting against the repeal of Obamacare, he probably didn’t know that he was energizing the far-left Democrats who are fans of single-payer health care. Maverick is a bit short-sighted and just does what’s best for Maverick in the moment, after all.

Since that time, Democrats and Bernie Sanders have seized upon the failure of the Republican Congress to begin a full-on push for government-run healthcare that is even more invasive and expensive than Obamacare. At first it was just the progressives who were making noise. Today, the moderate Democrat who helped design Obamacare says he is now a fan of single-payer:

Bernie Sanders has been the one leading the charge and is co-sponsoring a bill with California’s Kamala Harris that he calls “Medicare for All.” This week, Elizabeth Warren announced her support for the bill as well.

Sanders recently told Chris Hayes on MSNBC that issues like single-payer health care are now mainstream.

Sanders has the unique ability to plow ahead with an ideological agenda without letting too much reality cloud his worldview. As NBC News reports, his own state had a rough go of it with single-payer:

The loudest advocate of Medicare for All, Sanders has the ability to shape the debate in a relatively unexplored policy space when he finally unveils the details of his plan Wednesday.

But the policy challenges are enormous, as Sanders’ own state of Vermont learned when it scrapped its single-payer plan after the finances collapsed.

With Republicans dominating the electoral landscape at both the federal and state levels, this is a conversation that shouldn’t even be getting started, let alone picking up steam.

The Democrats aren’t very good at winning elections lately, but they aren’t letting that slow them down when it comes to policy. Worse yet, they are using this time in the political wilderness to move the party’s center to its progressive fringe. With Republicans being unable to rein in John McCain to make good on the campaign promise central to his most recent re-election it’s now doubtful that they can craft an effective counter narrative to the Democrats’ leftward ravings.

They might want to start trying though, before they become the biggest loser winning team of all time.