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Back into crisis mode

March 27, 2012 - Jim Anderson
Some people on the left are hoping the Supreme Court strikes down “Obamacare.”

At, Dave Lindorff argues that such a ruling would throw the health care system back into crisis mode, “forcing the public and the political system to finally consider the only real answer: expansion of the Medicare program to cover everyone.”

(A link to Lindorff’s analysis is available at right.)

Faced with the death of the Affordable Care Act, Lindorff predicts, a majority of the public would be ready to demand Medicare for all.

In July 2009, a Time Magazine poll asked: Would you favor or oppose a program that creates a national single-payer plan similar to Medicare for all, in which the government would provide health care insurance to all Americans?

Results were: Favor, 49 percent; Oppose 46 percent.

Even with those promising poll numbers, Medicare for all received little more than a sniff from President Obama and Congress (and the national media) during the 2009 health care debate.

Has the political atmosphere changed enough in the past three years to suggest that Medicare for all would stand a better chance today?

Robert Reich, secretary of labor in the Clinton administration, believes it’s possible. (A link to Reich’s commentary at is also available at right.)

Until the court rules, it’s all speculation.

Another thing. Even if public support for universal Medicare should rise — and that’s hardly a given — would Republican (or conservative Democratic) members of Congress be inclined to support it?

It would take more public pressure than seems evident at this point.



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