Monday, January 6, 2014

Update On the "Mother-of-All-Healthcare" Battles

A year ago, I urged liberty lovers to Get Ready for the Coming Post-ObamaCare Battle, referring to the Left's push to scrap ObamaCare and go for broke—full socialized medicine. I subsequently dubbed it the Mother-of-All Healthcare Battles:

[T]he Left is ready to respond to the inevitable failures and shortcomings of ObamaCare—which they never liked—with Medicare-for-All. The mother of all healthcare battles is brewing, as the end game draws ever closer.

The battle is no longer between some incremental increase in government control of healthcare, such as the State Children's Health Insurance Plan (SCHIP)—passed in the 1990s— and the status quo. The battle will be between full socialized medicine and a fully free healthcare market. 

In a sense, the battle began before Obama was elected, with the introduction of single-payer H.R. 676, or "Medicare-for-All". But the bill was overshadowed by the ObamaCare brouhaha. 

That overshadowing didn't last long, as evidenced by this 2012 article by Ray Stever. And as Paul Hsieh of FIRM points out, the "Single Payer Drumbeat" continues to heat up. Hsieh cites recent articles by the New Republic's Noam Scheiber and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman in over-viewing the political landscape:

    The "single payer" advocates correctly recognized that this was politically unrealistic in the initial debates of 2009-2010, but hope that the political climate is more favorable to them now.
    Likewise, free-market advocates correctly see immense dissatisfaction with ObamaCare and hope the time is right for their ideas to gain more traction.
    I don't know which way the balance will tip, but I do think this will be the next big battleground of ideas.

Indeed it will, as the American Left has been fully consistent in its dream of socialized medicine. Will the American Right finally counter with an equally consistent vision of its own—a fully free, laissez-faire healthcare market? That's what it will take to implement the incremental free market reforms that lead away from single-payer. 

After ObamaCare, the Left no longer needs its incremental strategy. It has won the battle of incrementalism, which has brought them to the doorstep of their vision. On the other hand, the Right will not achieve a free market in one step. But it must present that vision as it seeks to reverse the socialist tide.

Related Reading:

The Left's False Alternative on Health Care

Get Ready for the Coming Post-ObamaCare Battle

As ObamaCare Failures Pile Up, Get Ready for the Mother-of-All Healthcare Battles

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