Prominent progressives have undercut a cherished policy goal of the left. They’re wrong on both the politics and the economics.
New Republic, March 8. 2016
by Adam Gaffney
Around the time that the insurgent campaign of Bernie Sanders hit its stride, a chorus of liberal pundits and economists began to coalesce around a decidedly grim message for the 60 million people in America who remain either uninsured or underinsured: Give up on your pipe dream.
Single-payer, Paul Krugman wrote in one of a series of posts in January, “isn’t a political possibility,” and is in fact “just a distraction from the real issues.” Last week in the American Prospect, sociologist Paul Starr went further in describing single-payer as a “hopeless crusade for a proposal that will go down to defeat again, as it has every time it has come up before.” And in an earlier article, he argued that even if single-payer was possible, other priorities should take precedence. Hillary Clinton is on the record agreeing with such sentiments: As she put it, single-payer “will never, ever come to pass.”
Single-payer universal health care, in other words, is dead on arrival. Time to move on.