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ObamaCare Clusterfuck: Sylvia Burwell, Obama's HHS nominee, pleases Republicans by ruling out single payer


U.S. Health Secretary-nominee Sylvia Mathews Burwell sought to allay a major Republican worry about Obamacare on Thursday, telling lawmakers that President Barack Obama's reforms would not lead to a government-run single-payer healthcare system on her watch.

Her assurance against an approach reviled by Republicans and industry leaders came during a two-hour Senate confirmation hearing at which Burwell received an important endorsement from Republican Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina. Burr sits on the Senate Finance Committee, which will decide whether to send her nomination to the floor for a final vote. ...

Republican Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas asked Burwell if such a move was her "endgame," citing top Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, as having endorsed the idea.

Burwell reminded Roberts that the centerpiece of Obamacare is a private market-based insurance system of state-based health insurance exchanges.

Rememember all the career "progressives" telling us "We love single payer, but ______." Well, here we are. Republicans and Democrats are agreed that insurance parasites are necessary for health of their host!

Sebelius said the same. There's really no surprise here, except how very very close the putatively two parties have become.

NOTE Actually, there's one very interesting thing about this story, and that's how Reuters recast it. See this editorial comment at the story's start:

UPDATE 3-Burwell seeks to allay Republican fears about Obamacare

(Recasts first paragraph and throughout to focus on single payer issue)

And since when has single payer been the story? Something is stirring... And it is true that a few Democratic candidates (not nominees) have come out in favor of single payer. So!

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mellon's picture
Submitted by mellon on

Of course single payer isn't on their neoliberal agenda.

**Its banned by the US's own interpretation of the "free trade agreements" which they US wrote and forced on half the world.**

This has got to be the biggest scandal ever.

What an slimy, outrageous pack of liars they are.


The potential impact of the World Trade Organization's general agreement on trade in services on health system reform and regulation in the United States

and dozens of others.

When will they get called on this?

Submitted by lambert on

Get it on the record, get it on the record, get it on the record. One of the things one does while blogging....

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

This interview "clip" was after the primary had been decided. Here is the C-Span description of the PDA and Mr. Carpenter (at the time):

August 23, 2008
Progressive Democrats and Senator Obama

Tim Carpenter talked about the economy, the progressive movement, the Democratic National Convention, and he responded to telephone calls and electronic mail. Mr. Carpenter supported both Senator Edwards and Representative Kucinich for President during the primary but now supports Senator Obama. 

His organization and The Nation magazine are teaming up to host “Progressive Central,” a five-day gathering for activists, Congressional leaders, journalists and DNC delegates during the Democratic National Convention.

Mostly he espouses to support very "left" policies--including single-payer.

He argues that the make-up of the Supreme Court is reason enough to vote for (any) Democrat.

So the PDA agenda seems to be partisan--not ideological.

And Carpenter appears to be willing to support ANY Democrat who wins the Democratic Party Presidential nomination, even while he decries corporatism.

Based upon this, I find it very hard to believe that the PDA "Sanders Draft Movement" in Iowa is anything but Kabuki, or an electoral ploy--intended to bring actual liberal activists into the fold to support the inevitable corporatist neoliberal ticket.

At the same time, I must admit that Carpenter sounds pretty sincere.

Still, I cannot fathom that he does not understand that an organization or movement loses its leverage if it's not willing to withhold support/votes by sitting out an election, or voting third party.

Sometimes, it simply boils down to "short-term pain, for long-term gain."