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Home Columns Liberal Lens Single-payer signal in the Obamacare noise

Single-payer signal in the Obamacare noise

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Whenever scandal arises in Washington, DC, the fight between the two parties typically ends up being a competition to identify a concise message in the chaos — or, as scientists might say, a signal in all the noise.

These past two weeks have confirmed that truism, as glitches plagued the new Obamacare website and as insurance companies cancelled policies for many customers on the individual market.

Amid the subsequent noise of congressional debate and cable TV outrage, Republicans argued that the signal is about government — more specifically, they claim the controversies validate their age-old assertions that government can’t do anything right.

Democrats countered that the signal in the noise is about universal health care — Obamacare is a big undertaking, they argue, and so there will be bumps in the road as the program works to provide better health services to all Americans.

This back and forth is creating an even more confusing cacophony — and further obscuring the signal that neither the two parties nor their health industry financiers want to discuss.

That signal is about the need for single-payer health care — otherwise known as Medicare for all.?One way to detect this signal is to consider the White House guest list. ?In trying to show that he was successfully managing the Obamacare roll out, the president last week staged a high-profile White House meeting with private health insurance executives — aka Obamacare’s middlemen.

The spectacle of a president begging these middlemen for help was a reminder that Obamacare did not limit the power of the insurance companies as a single-payer system would.

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