Hillary Clinton: Single-payer health care will "never, ever" happen

Just a few days before the Iowa caucuses, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton stressed to voters in Des Moines just how unfeasible she considers her opponent Bernie Sanders’ plan to pursue a single-payer health care system.

“I want you to understand why I am fighting so hard for the Affordable Care Act,” she said at Grand View University after hearing from a woman who spoke about her daughter receiving cancer treatment thanks to the health care law. “I don’t want it repealed, I don’t want us to be thrown back into a terrible, terrible national debate. I don’t want us to end up in gridlock. People can’t wait!”

She added, “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.”


Perhaps it’s more a case that she doesn’t really care for the working poor or universal access to healthcare and simply wants to win an election on the backs of the “middle-class Americans” who can deliver her to the Oval Office and will have enough private medical insurance not to need single-payer.

I think this is a bad move by Clinton. She is surely aware that even right-wingers in Europe support universal healthcare, so how on earth can she claim to be “left-wing”? By drawing a red line under it, she is essentially saying that America will always be out of lockstep with the rest of the developed world on healthcare.

Laughable really. I see it as an own goal or an attempt to curry favour with moderate American opinion or those not decided between Republican or Democrat. This could make Sanders look like he has more conviction than she does.

She may be right in that the US- well some in the US will not abide a single payer system.

I find this sad.

I don’t know if Sanders could make it happen (probably not) but at least he still sees it as a goal.


If Clinton represents the Democrat establishment, then it’s pretty clear that both the right and the left among the U.S. elites don’t give a rat’s backside about the truly poor.

No wonder Trumpism and Sandersism, no matter how barmy both phenomenons might be in certain areas, are taking hold among the millennial generation.

I can’t abide populism but I do sympathise with the masses who are tired with establishment politics.

If ACA has not already addressed the issue of universal access, what was the point of fighting for the bill in the first place?

Could you please explain to this ignorant European, unlearned in the intricacies of North American politics, precisely what ACA is? :slight_smile:

Affordable Care Act.
It’s Obamacare. It is Obama’s signature piece of legislation that was designed to deal with the forty five or so uninsured Americans.

It doesn’t really have anything to do with North American politics. Canada has had socialized health care for generations now. but it is America’s answer to socialized medicine, and it was put through by the Democrats, over universal objection and disapproval of Republicans.

Duh, so it’s an acronym for the Affordable Care Act. Apologies for my ‘blond moment’ :stuck_out_tongue:

The Act has largely been a failure, so I have heard and read, in terms of reaching its ambitious goals.

Oh and I know Canada has universal health care, I just figured that Canadians would know more about US politics than we Europeans given your proximity and trade agreements et al.

Well, it is not as if any socialized medical scheme anywhere is without its problems. ACA may well be clunkier than most, but it is a bigger behemoth that Americans have to deal with when it comes to their own government.

Still, it is not as if the system to provide universal coverage does not now exist in America. I don’t think that American health care debate can skip the last eight years and enter into the same type of arguments that existed before Obamacare came into existence.

Yet Obamacare is not single payer. A New York Times survey recently found that 1 out of 5 working Americans with health insurance had trouble paying medical bills over the past year. And that’s not counting the 1 in 10 Americans still without medical insurance. If we factor in the States not implementing the law fully or adequately (or at all), I can’t see how anyone can consider ACA a success, like Britain in 1945.

Even though Obamacare broadens coverage, it still relies on Americans purchasing insurance to access care. That’s not universal. It’s still competitive, not comprehensive equal access.

I’m not certain that ACA is working or is sustainable in the long-run, like universal healthcare systems in other countries.

I don’t think that ACA is sustainable, but that is a criticism of single payer health care too.
The crush of the baby boomers entering into the health care system looms upon us all. When the mini-baby boomers of the 1920’s entered into their twilight years and burdened the health care with their age related health expenses, this shook the system severely in Canada. We aint seen nothing yet.

Is there any single payer country that has revoked the system? We’ve had nearly a hundred years of it in some countries now.

Entitlements tend to be one way streets for sure. They do not get revoked. Instead, people get put on waiting lists.

I can understand why someone might say that about a bloated benefits system but when applied to healthcare, I just don’t agree. I see it as a universal public right that should be ensured by the state, as do most Europeans.

The US system is still reliant on market provision and means-testing, whereas France, Germany, Poland, the UK, Italy and so on believe in the importance of social insurance and the state having some responsibility for welfare through social security, guaranteeing as a legal entitlement minimum social protection for all our citizens.

Interestingly, 58% of Americans apparently support “medicare for all” or single payer. The elites in both parties aren’t hearing them though.

I would tend to think that Secretary Clinton’s comments have more to do with being traumatized on the national health care debate when her husband was president. That isn’t an indictment on her compassion for the poor, but rather that she thinks she is being political expedient. I think she’s wrong. There will be a terrible national debate because the Republicans will fight any Democratic initiative. She will not rise above the politics because no Democrat can rise above the partisanship of the Republicans. To me, this is more an indictment on how she would govern.

As far as the comments goes, the ACA has been a net positive as many have been able to enroll for affordable insurance that were not able before. Many Americans look over the border into Canada and do ask why can’t we have that system. The fact is we overpay for our health care in the US because this is a profit center for the drug/medical research companies and that’s why the politicians are scared to take on the subject. The US basically funds the entire world’s medical research by being had because there is no negotiating with a single government on the cost of medicine (which is usually lower in countries with single-payer health care like Canada).

I think she is wrong, but she is right that Sanders can’t get it done. We are not ready for it in America, but will be in a decade or two, I think.

Didn’t Hillary Clinton fight for single-payer healthcare when she ran against Obama in the primaries of 2008? I wonder what changed her mind now. Perhaps she wants the support of those Democratic voters who like Obama and Obamacare.

Perhaps she is reading the political tea leaves, I mean Obamacare is rather unpopular politically, which would suggest that single payer is even less popular.

As another posted said, “political expediency”. And perhaps the fact that she now receives $13 million from the health industry.

I think that says everything we need too know regarding the answer to the question of whether Clinton’s career or flip-flopping convictions are more important to her.

You may be right, but a decade or two? Some of us can’t wait that long.

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