Back in 2009/2010, right or wrong, the Obama Administration decided that the nation wasn’t ready for a single payer health care insurance plan. So after a lot of internal hand wringing and self inflicted concessions we ended up with a Romney-care look alike called the Affordable Care Act. It was less that perfect out of the gate and then messed with a bit by the Republican minority who ended up adding around 188 amendments to the plan…and then although reaffirmed by the Supreme Court had a key measure limited/adjusted by that same court. And then without effective enforcement of the individual mandate…missing a public option…and no effective pressure on the states to create and maintain their own markets…we have an ACA that affords many more Americans health insurance…but has enough warts that it deserves quick and sure remedies. (and of course the whole thing was undersold to the American public as I discussed earlier)

With the overall failure of their various repeal/replace, repeal, repeal/replace, and skinny repeal schemes these past few months, as the Republicans learned, the devil really is in the details. And after seven years of promising a better health care insurance system…they didn’t really have one.

Now I fear the Democrats are finding themselves in that same place. Despite Senator Bernie Sanders promise of a single payer system in the 2016 Democratic primaries…there apparently isn’t really a plan. But that campaign proved that the American public is ready for single payer healthcare. Whether that is a universal opportunity to buy into Medicare/Medicaid? Or Medicare for all? Or an expansion/repair of the ACA? Or a whole cloth new solution? Where is the plan? Doesn’t Senator Sanders have one in his hip pocket to slam down on the table?

During the obvious desperate thrashing around by the GOP the past seven months, shouldn’t the Democrats have floated an opposing health care insurance plan by now? Now that the GOP ‘plans’ have imploded, shouldn’t the Democrats be putting out their single payer plan? Yes, I realize it hasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell of passing. But without someone floating a plan there is no conversation about alternatives. There is no awareness of other means to provide health insurance coverage for all Americans.

And if Senate Majority Mitch McConnell is suddenly struck by lightening and follows up on Senator John McCain’s suggestion that health care reform should be a bi-partisan negotiation, where do the Democrats start from without a plan of their own? Just being the current party of ‘No’ isn’t where we want to be coming from. Just mouthing single payer again and again isn’t a plan. The best defense is a good offense? Oui? Start the ‘A Better Deal’ with a better health plan? Should be a ‘duh’ moment.

Can Democrats actually start running a positive campaign by being FOR something tangible finally?

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