by David Sirota, International Business Times
01 February 16
Closing out her Iowa campaign, Hillary Clinton on Friday declared that the Medicare-for-all proposal pushed by her Democratic primary opponent and many liberal groups will “never, ever come to pass.” The statement came weeks after a new poll showed most Americans support the idea. Her declaration was a reversal of her position two decades ago — which came before she received millions of dollars of campaign cash from the health industry.
Clinton’s comments, which were made during an appearance at Grand View University in Iowa, were aimed at Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who has long championed the kind of government administered health care system used by many major industrialized nations. Of Sanders’ proposal, Clinton said on Friday: "People who have health emergencies can't wait for us to have a theoretical debate about some better idea that will never, ever come to pass." The Kaiser Family Foundation’s December 2015 tracking poll found that 58 percent of Americans support expanding Medicare to cover everyone.
Clinton slammed the push for single-payer even though some of the major labor unions supporting her campaign have long cited that goal as a top legislative priority. Her comments also contrast with what she herself said in 1994 during remarks to the Lehman Brothers Health Corporation. As CBS News notes, back then she declared that a single-payer system was all but inevitable, saying: “I believe that by the year 2000 we will have a single payer system. I don’t think it’s — I don’t even think it’s a close call politically ... it will be such a huge popular issue in the sense of populist issue that even if it’s not successful the first time, it will eventually be.”