Our economist friend Doug Henwood pointed this out earlier today:
Support for Obamacare has clustered in the low 40s, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation polls. According to a Wikipedia review, support for single-payer over the last 5 years has averaged 52% – or 58%, if you leave out the partisan outlier Rasmussen.
Henwood bases his analysis on data assembled at this Wikipedia review. Although he is one of the few voices pointing out today that single payer is actually more popular than the ACA, Henwood is not alone in his critical scrutiny of Obama’s health care reform. The Socialist Party USA sent us a press release earlier this week that included this analysis:
Socialist Party USA Presidential candidate Stewart Alexander condemned the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the provisions of the President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Calling it a “corporate restructuring of the healthcare system in America,” Alexander pointed to the many inequities that are built into to the new system. He highlighted the need for a fully socialized healthcare system that guarantees access to high quality healthcare as a human right.
“The private health insurance companies always had two ideas in mind when it came to healthcare reform – either to avoid all reforms or stick the American people with a bad reform,” Alexander stated, “Tonight, the Supreme Court upheld the bad healthcare reform that will insure the profits of private healthcare companies at the expense of American’s access to healthcare.”
“Obama’s policy was based on the original sin of allowing the pharmaceutical companies off the hook.
He then followed this up by pledging public funds to subsidize junk healthcare plans, coercing Americans into purchasing these plans and silencing the voices of single-payer healthcare advocates. This is no reform; it is just another corporate giveaway by the Obama administration.”
Alexander pointed to the fact that an estimated 26 million people will remain outside the healthcare system and that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act still leaves millions of Americans vulnerable to bankruptcy because of medical bills.
And the Green Party had this to say:
[GP Presidential candidate Dr. Jill] Stein is not only the presumptive Green Party presidential nominee, she is a Harvard-trained physician and a leading advocate for single-payer Medicare for All who twice ran against Romney in Massachusetts. “As a physician, I’ve seen Romneycare in action in my home state of Massachusetts. Forty percent of the people who need health coverage find that it’s still too expensive for them. And a quarter of the people who seek payments get denied by their private insurers. It has failed to control costs, and as a result they are raising co-pays and attacking public employee health plans. It’s a fiscal and administrative nightmare which has gutted public services in Massachusetts. Schemes developed by health industry lobbyists to enrich themselves will never take care of our real needs.”
Dr. Stein made her position crystal clear, saying that, “We must implement a publicly administered non-profit system with no premiums, no deductibles, no co-pays and no co-insurance. This kind of system is proven. It is providing affordable health care all across the developed world, and providing better health outcomes. It’s the only fiscally sound approach to health care costs because it eliminates the inefficiencies of private insurance corporations, and provides effective cost controls. And it can’t reasonably be challenged on constitutional grounds.”
But too much emphasis on third party criticism of the ACA might detract from the main message to take away from Henwood’s point: A majority of Americans don’t support the ACA. A majority of Americans does support single payer health care. Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats were prepared, in the last four years, to fight for what the majority wanted; the Democrats’ willingness to abandon the widely popular “public option” is more evidence of this; and, of course, we don’t need to remind ourselves that the health care “policies” supported by GOP leaders probably don’t rise above the teens in percentage of popular support. The question is why neither major party will demand what the majority of Americans want. The answer is that both parties are beholden to the desires of a corporate capitalist minority rather than the needs of the people. And that fact is, indeed, sickening.