“Now it’s time for the next step,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren told The Wall Street Journal. “And the next step is single-payer.” Warren, who has remained cautious about her support for single-payer in the past, is the latest Democratic lawmaker to urge party members to run on a platform which promotes a health care system fully subsidized by the government.
Echoing fellow Sen. Bernie Sanders’s criticism of the Affordable Care Act, Warren suggested that President Obama’s landmark bill did not go far enough to provide health care for all Americans. She added in the interview:
“President Obama tried to move us forward with health care coverage by using a conservative model that came from one of the conservative think tanks that had been advanced by a Republican governor in Massachusetts.”
Despite the Affordable Health Care Act’s successes, nearly 29 million Americans do not have health insurance; Obamacare reduced the number of uninsured Americans from 16% of the population to 9%. But since 2015 the number of uninsured Americans has remained stagnant. Premiums have skyrocketed in more than one state since the ACA’s implementation. Bloomberg reports that premiums in Maryland, Virginia, and South Carolina “will rise more than 20 percent on average” in the next year. Suffice it to say, Obamacare is flawed—and perhaps fatally.
Sensing the proverbial writing on the wall, Warren’s shifted position reflects an understanding of what her constituents (and a third of Americans) want. And she admitted as such to the WSJ:
The progressive agenda is America’s agenda. It’s not like we’re trying to sell stuff that people don’t want...It’s not that at all. It’s that we haven’t gotten up there and been as clear about our values as we should be, or as clear and concrete about how we’re going to get there.
If California is the indicator of progressive politics in the U.S., single-payer still has a long way to go. California Democrats shelved a bill which would have provided Medicare for all last Friday.