I Have No Frame Of Reference Left For Healthcare Politics

Former Democratic Senator Max Baucus, who played a large role in watering down the ACA and preventing a public option (never mind single payer), is now single-payer healthcare curious (boldface mine):

It’s time for America to consider seriously a single-payer, government-run health system, says Max Baucus, Montana’s longest serving U.S. senator, former ambassador to China and one of the chief architects of Obamacare.

“My personal view is we’ve got to start looking at single-payer,” Baucus said Thursday night at Montana State University. “I think we should have hearings…. We’re getting there. It’s going to happen.”

…Back then, Baucus said, he felt adamantly that Congress wouldn’t pass a government-run system like Canada’s. So it was the one alternative he refused to put “on the table” for consideration.

But you can see the difference, Baucus said, when you visit hospitals on either side of the border. In Montana, half a rural hospital will be dedicated to processing medical insurance claims. In Canada, he said, just one small room is needed to verify that patients are residents.

And Americans pay much higher drug prices, he said, because the government can’t negotiate better prices with the drug industry, so U.S. patients end up subsidizing drug prices for the rest of the world.

Of course, the U.S.-Canada contrast was true eight years ago (not to mention twenty), but better late than never.

Regardless of the actual contours of the policy, we will be moving in the right direction, in no small part due to Senator Sanders and a bunch of Dirty Fucking Hippies.

It’s also worth noting Baucus was a conservative Democrat, so this is essentially the rightward position of the Democratic establishment. Get to work establishment wonks, and figure this out.

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