The Senate has rejected Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)’s proposal to repeal Obamacare without a replacement, 55-45. Of the eight potential moderate Republican opponents I highlighted in June, five voted against repeal (Capito, Collins, Heller, Portman, and Murkowski), along with two whose opposition to repeal was not known at the time (McCain and Alexander). But the Republicans have not quite given up–they plan to attempt “skinny repeal,” in which only the individual and employer mandates would be repealed. But while this may sound appealing (nobody likes mandates), it’s much worse than it appears.
On June 8 (this Thursday), Britain has a general election. I care deeply about British politics–I’m doing my PhD at Cambridge. But more importantly, Theresa May’s government has managed the country’s economy and public services with stunning fecklessness, and I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t do my part to point this out.
There’s a single payer plan advancing in the state of California, and many people are excited about it. And for good reason–a single payer system can potentially extend coverage while cutting costs. I’ve written about the virtues of single payer many times before, but there is a political danger in attempting to do single payer at the state level. Ironically and tragically, the very economic forces which make single payer such a good federal policy create powerful dangers for state systems.