So watching Republicans destroy the Republican alternative to a single-payer/Medicare-for-all health care system—because the black guy did it—is prompting some Democrats to embrace single-payer/Medicare-for-all, aka the kind of health care systems they have Israel, Vatican City, and other socialist hellholes. Ezra Klein at Vox:
The details of the Senate GOP’s Obamacare replacement plan remain a mystery. But the argument Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is using to push the final product over the finish line isn’t. On Friday, McConnell reportedly “delivered a private warning to his Senate Republicans: If they failed to pass legislation unwinding the Affordable Care Act, Democrats could regain power and establish a single-payer health-care system.” History may record a certain irony if this is the argument McConnell uses to successfully destroy Obamacare. In recent conversations with Democrats and industry observers, I’ve become convinced that just the opposite is true: If Republicans unwind Obamacare and pass their bill, then Democrats are much likelier to establish a single-payer health care system—or at least the beginnings of one—when they regain power.
Remember, kids: Obamacare—mandates, exchanges, fines, public subsidies, private profits—was originally the Republican alternative to a single-payer system. It was crafted by the hard-right Heritage Foundation and beta-tested by Mitt Romney when he was the governor of Massachusetts. And the idea was to preserve and expand our expensive, inefficient and inhuman for-profit health care system—without making it simpler, and without covering everyone. One of the chief ironies of the last nine years? Conservatives demanding that liberals defend what was—and still is—a conservative proposal.
Back to Ezra:
Democrats have long been divided between two camps on health reform. There are the incrementalists who think, for reasons of both policy and politics, that Democrats need to build on the existing health care system and work with private insurers. And then there are the transformationalists, who think Democrats need to push the United States toward something approximating a single-payer system as closely as possible.... Obamacare was the test of the incrementalist theory, and, politically, at least, it’s failed. Democrats built a law to appeal to moderate Republicans that incorporated key ideas from Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts reforms, and it nevertheless became the single most polarizing initiative of Obama’s presidency. All the work Democrats did to build support from the health care industry has proven to be worth precious little as Republicans push their repeal plan forward. And the complex public-private design of the Affordable Care Act left the system dependent on the business decisions of private insurers and left Democrats trying to explain away premium increases they don’t control. The result is a Democratic Party moving left, and fast, on health care.
If the GOP repeals Obamacare... millions of people will lose their health insurance and tens of thousands of people will die—annually—as a result. Right now people are dying for lack of access under Obamacare; it cut the uninsured rate in half, but it didn't cover everyone. Americans are used to watching people die or go broke (or go beg) because they're uninsured and can't afford medical care—or can't afford medical care despite being insured.
We're about to find out what happens when people who thought they had coverage—or only recently gained coverage—have it taken away from them. It may get us a Democratic House, Senate, and President and a single-payer/Medicare-for-all health care system that will save lives in the long run. But lots of people will die in the short run.