Throughout the debates over the Affordable Care Act, one of President Obama’s largest setbacks was the defeat of the public option. That is, people could effectively buy into Medicaid before the age of 65. Republicans opposed the public option, because they argued that the government could underprice all of the insurance companies, squeeze them out of the market, and put us on the road to singlepayer. Democrats, though they would never say it aloud, wanted the public option for that precise reason. The public option is merely a layover on the way to singlepayer.
Now, with the nomination in hand, Secretary Hillary Clinton has announced her support for the public option. The Times reports:
For months during the Democratic nominating contest, Hillary Clinton has resisted calls from Senator Bernie Sanders to back a single-payer health system, arguing that the fight for government-run health care was a wrenching legislative battle that has already been lost.
But as she tries to clinch the nomination, Mrs. Clinton is lurching to the left on health care and this week took a significant step in her opponent’s direction, suggesting that she would like to give people the option to buy into Medicare.
“I’m also in favor of what’s called the public option, so that people can buy into Medicare at a certain age,” Mrs. Clinton said at a campaign event in Virginia on Monday.
Mr. Sanders calls his single-payer health care plan “Medicare for all.” What Mrs. Clinton proposed was a sort of Medicare for more.
If elected, Clinton push for this in 2017. The presumptive Republican nominee used to support single payer, so who knows.