Robert Maxwell wrote:
Actually Obama could have based a single payer system. He had the votes in the house and the senate, but he didn't push for it hard enough, because, like most liberals, he's a whiney crybaby that just sits in the corner and bitches about Republicans instead of taking them on. I will never forgive him for the fact he just sat around and did nothing while the bill got watered down into nothing. Companies shouldn't have control over my health and profit from me being sick, or let me die because it's cheaper.
Absolute nonsense that isn't even a little bit true. Obama wanted a public option and fought hard for it. He didn't even have the votes for that
, not even from his own party, even though he said there would be no healthcare reform without it. Congress called his bluff and he had to drop it, which resulted in the individual mandate instead. To say we didn't get single-payer because Obama didn't "fight hard enough" is just factually wrong. It wasn't going to happen, not with the makeup of Congress at the time. Sorry.
Actually, Obama did have the votes for a single payer system but wanted a bipartisan solution. The (single) Republican that Obama targeted was Olympia Snowe. The plan was watered down until she was willing to vote for it in the Senate Finance Committee (which she did), but then she voted against it in the final senate vote (making it pretty much a wasted effort and a lost opportunity for the rest of us).
At the time it seemed like Obama didn't want to believe what Republicans were saying quite loudly... they didn't care what the costs to the country, they were going to do anything to stop him from being successful at anything if they could help it so he would be a one term president. This clashed with Obama's priorities of the early days of his presidency where he put bipartisanship above anything else (including healthcare for the rest of us).
The thing is, Obamacare isn't just based on Romney's plan, it is based largely on the Republican alternative proposal to Hillary Clinton's 1993 healthcare plan. Obama wanted a bipartisan solution when one wasn't needed or even (in my opinion) possible.
I don't think we will know why Obama truly made the move he did until after he is out of office, but I'm guessing that he thought the Republicans were just making a lot of noise back then but would be reasonable if presented with a reasonable plan. Plus it should be noted that Obama is more conservative than most Democrats (many of his policy choices mirror the types Nixon or George HW Bush would have made actually... though we would have gotten better healthcare from Nixon). The fallout from the Republican party being hijacked by the right is that most everyone else ends up a Democrat... which hurts debate.
You are right on a lot of those details but wrong about the starting point. He did not
have the votes for a single-payer system. Ever.
This is a Republican lie--that Obama's party controlled the entire Congress and pushed the individual mandate because it was the only solution they could come up with. It's not true. The Democratic majority in the House was made up of quite a few Blue Dogs, who would not
vote for a public option, much less single-payer. These were folks who might as well have been Republicans. So, Obama then decided to approach a bipartisan solution, so he could get enough Republicans on board to pass it without all the House Democrats voting for it. And you're right, he thought Republicans would vote for a reasonable plan and be willing to compromise. That's why he tried so hard to work with them on this. But they were intent on killing it, any way they could. In the end, a watered-down measure was produced that at least his own party would vote for, but obviously that didn't have a public option.
But the public option was not dropped because of Republicans, it was dropped because of Democrats, and single-payer was simply never on the table, considered politically impossible.