Bankrupt and bureaucratize — the stampede to single payer

Bankrupt and bureaucratize — the stampede to single payer
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"It's not just about what is morally and ethically right, it also makes sense just from a fiscal standpoint," said Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi Harris2020 Dems slam Trump over Putin presser McConnell: I won't be intimidated by protesters Booker seizes on Kavanaugh confirmation fight MORE (D-Calif.) in announcing her support for single payer health care. Is lacking basic math skills covered as a pre-existing condition?

In their rush to support single payer health care, the Democrats set to crowd the 2020 debate stage have found their answer to the Republican party’s empty rallying cry of “Repeal and Replace.”

“Bankrupt and Bureaucratize” does have a certain ring to it.


The Democrats still can’t seem to shake off their stunning defeat in the 2016 election, and in response, are veering so far left one might get the impression their playlist is stuck on theBeyoncé song featuring the lyrics “to the left, to the left.”

They are taking Queen B’s lyrics literally as marching orders.

Democrats would be wise to heed the insight offered by White House press secretary Sarah Sanders when she reminded the press corps, “America doesn't support [single payer], or Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersShowtime says Sacha Baron Cohen did not dress as 'disabled veteran' 2020 Dems slam Trump over Putin presser Ocasio-Cortez floating progressive sub-caucus MORE would be sitting in the Oval Office right now.” But ignorance is bliss, I guess.

And you’d have to be pretty ignorant to think that single payer is the way forward for health care in America. But nonetheless, they persist!

The coming stampede became clear as Senator after Senator came out as a co-sponsor to Senator Sanders’ “Medicare for all” bill. There was more jockeying for position than in the final turn at the Preakness. But to appease the activist left, all bets are off.

Single payer has been a Democratic pipe dream for generations. The question is now whether this represents more tiresome virtue signaling or an actual ideological shift for the party.

The first test is whether this is something Democratic voters can actually get behind. Diehard liberals, the ones who turn out in primaries, have no appetite for moderation in the era of Trump. So, we pretty much know that they’re on board.

Best of luck to “Chuck and Nancy” as they’ll get tagged as squishes for failing to bow to activists who would rather see partisan purity than Congressional majorities.

Voters outside the base, the ones that decide elections, “see these proposals as empty promises, at best” according to recent polling data.

By betting it all on single payer, Democrats are handing the president many more riders for the Trump train. This, shockingly, may even include the GOP Congress.

Right now, they’re picking up the pieces after yet another failure to advance healthcare legislation in the form of the Graham-Cassidy bill that would have allowed the laboratories of democracy, the states, to innovate our way out of the Obamacare mess.

Democrats, of course, balked at taking any power away from the federal government. More power for them, less power for the people they’re elected to serve.

Now that Congress has once again proven its ineptitude, it is believed that President Trump is preparing to sign an executive order that would allow people to purchase insurance across state lines. You’d have to give Trump credit for this, he’d be enacting his only policy idea from the GOP primary debates. Little Marco is still having nightmares!

The second test is how strongly Democrats want to attach single payer to their brand. Here, it’s worth remembering, Bernie Sanders isn’t even a Democrat.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calf.) says “[she doesn’t] think it’s a litmus test.” Meanwhile, Sen. Minority Leader Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerThis week: GOP mulls vote on ‘abolish ICE’ legislation Red-state Dem tells Schumer to 'kiss my you know what' on Supreme Court vote Dem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick MORE (D-N.Y.) is reminding reporters “there are many different bills out there.” It’s almost funny to remind yourself that their party’s last nominee for president called single payer something that would “never, ever come to pass.”

The final test is whether it’s a workable policy. In her new book, Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonShocking summit with Putin caps off Trump’s turbulent Europe trip GOP lambasts Trump over performance in Helsinki Trump stuns the world at Putin summit MORE regales us with the time she asked Sanders how he’d pay for “Medicare for All” in a debate and he couldn’t answer. He was recently asked again and responded, “the size of the tax increase would be determined in a separate bill.”

Even DNC Chair Tom PerezThomas Edward PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s 'wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE admitted, “[you] would have to raise taxes on everyone.” Just another math problem for the Democrats, but that’s never stopped them before!

In the end, every American wants a solution to the country’s health care mess. Graham-Cassidy may not have been ideal, but it’s much better than allowing the Democrats to make good on the policy advice they got from Beyoncé or Bernie Sanders.

Most voters are smart enough to know that single payer means higher taxes, less access to services, and a decreased quality of care.

Put simply, single payer screws taxpayers and patients.

So, I say, keep marching Democrats. The Republicans need all the help they can get in unifying their ranks and rallying against single payer just might do the trick.

Besides, the Democrats have a secret weapon for when it all goes up in flames: Hillary Clinton. She’s an expert in finding others to blame.

Patrick Griffin is the founding partner and CEO of Merrimack Potomac + Charles. He has served as a media consultant and Republican campaign strategist for four presidential campaigns including Presidents George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, former Secretary of Education and current U.S. Senator Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderSens introduce bipartisan bill matching Zinke proposed maintenance backlog fix Supreme Court vacancy throws Senate battle into chaos Overnight Health Care: Anti-abortion groups see chance to overturn Roe v. Wade with Kennedy retirement | HHS watchdog to probe detention center conditions | VA pick vows to oppose privatization MORE and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.