In an interview with Tucker Carlson on Fox News, commentator Charles Krauthammer said that Obamacare fundamentally changed Americans' expectations of government. Despite Thursday's victory in the House of Representatives for Republicans and President Trump, Krauthammer opined, "In less than seven years, we will be a single-payer system" for healthcare.
Because Americans' perspective on health care has evolved, Krauthammer said, ironically, it is the Democrats and Obamacare that have won the day. Republicans, Krauthammer said, have not argued in terms of the free market anymore. Health care is now viewed as a service that should be guaranteed by the government.
Here follows a transcript of his remarks:
"I think historically speaking we are at the midpoint. We had seven years of Obamacare, a change in expectations. And I would predict that in less than seven years, we will be in a single-payer system. I think that's the great irony of this.
"Obamacare failed at every level. Politically, the Democrats were crushed over six years and four elections, whereas you say, they lost seats in the House, the Senate, the governorships, etc. largely because of Obamacare.
"It failed on the ground, as was pointed out earlier. The insurers are in a death spiral. The Obamacare exchanges are collapsing. You've had these exchanges, these community exchanges completely disintegrating.
"But the irony is in the end, I think Obamacare wins the day because it changed expectations. Look at the terms of the debate. Republicans are not arguing the free market anymore. They have sort of accepted the fact that the electorate sees health care as not just any commodity. It's not like purchasing a steak or a car. It is something people now have a sense that government ought to guarantee."
Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.