Home > Health Care, Massachusetts, Tim Cahill > If reconciliation works, reconcile yourselves to the idea of single-payer

If reconciliation works, reconcile yourselves to the idea of single-payer

I’ve said it at least several dozen times a month since last spring or so, when the Senate began considering the Kennedy bill in that body’s health committee: I get it. We all get it. The health-care system needs to be fixed. On that much we agree. But Democrats are either lying to themselves or to us if they think the system they are hell-bent on establishing in its place won’t completely bankrupt our system, just as a similar system is doing in Massachusetts.

But of course, that’s not the point and never has been. Lowering costs and strengthening the health-care system’s viability not only aren’t the goal; they’re precisely what Democrats are doing their damndest to avoid. They’ve set this steam-engine-of-a-health-care system up on a track that leads straight off a cliff so they can replace it with an entirely new train in another decade or so. Once the current system is dead — and it surely will die soon, if their plan passes — there’ll be another health-care crisis within the decade that demands even more government intervention. And they know this perfectly well.

I’m not saying anything that hasn’t been said before. It bears repeating, though, because there are still millions of Americans for whom it hasn’t quite sunk in that this is where Democrats are taking us with laser-like focus. It’s no accident. It’s not because they don’t understand what they’re doing. They know exactly what they’re doing.

Others still mistakenly think that this plan represents an improvement of the current system, rather than an exacerbation of its weaknesses — brought about with a much grander scheme in mind. Still others might think Democrats don’t understand how Massachusetts serves as a model. Perhaps they’re interpreting the numbers differently. Or maybe Republicans are wrong — Massachusetts is not coming to Washington.

But Democrats understand. They know what the numbers mean, and they’re loving it. Oh, boy, are they ever.

It’s not that Democrats refuse to see the lesson in Massachusetts. To the contrary, they’re salivating over it. Republicans may have got their 41st senator from Massachusetts, but Democrats will get the state’s health care system. And that’s a great trade for them, because the next stop is single-payer. We simply have to reconcile ourselves to that.

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