The Las Vegas Sun reports:
In just about seven weeks, people will be able to start buying Obamacare-approved insurance plans through the new health care exchanges.
But already, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is predicting those plans, and the whole system of distributing them, will eventually be moot.
Reid said he thinks the country has to “work our way past” insurance-based health care during a Friday night appearance on Vegas PBS’ program “Nevada Week in Review.”
“What we’ve done with Obamacare is have a step in the right direction, but we’re far from having something that’s going to work forever,” Reid said.
When then asked by panelist Steve Sebelius whether he meant ultimately the country would have to have a health care system that abandoned insurance as the means of accessing it, Reid said: “Yes, yes. Absolutely, yes.”
The idea of introducing a single-payer national health care system to the United States, or even just a public option, sent lawmakers into a tizzy back in 2009, when Reid was negotiating the health care bill.
And so we have a rare moment of bipartisan agreement in the United States Senate. Reid now appears to concur with Republican senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, who has has been warning for quite some time that Obamacare was "rigged to fail" in order to pave the way for a total government takeover of the health insurance industry.
"More than two years after the passage of Obamacare, the data overwhelming show the law will fail to achieve its core objectives of lowering costs and improving access," Coburn wrote in 2012. "That, ironically, may have been the design. By making private insurance unaffordable for everyone, it will become available to no one. All that will be left is government-centered, government-run, single-payer health care."
As liberal Washington Post blogger Ezra Klein said in 2008, organizations on the left pushing for health care reform were pursuing a "sneaky strategy" to "put in place something that over time the natural incentives ... move it to single payer."
So the big question on the left and right isn't really whether or not Obamacare will eventually fail, but what comes after it fails.
When Obamacare starts to unravel, will the American people really trust the Democrats who designed it to fix it by giving the government more power and more control? Or will Obamacare's failure provide an opportunity to repeal it and replace it with a more conservative, free-market reform?