NO, A SUPREME COURT REJECTION OF THE MANDATE WON'T LEAD TO SINGLE PAYER
A lot of liberals -- see, for instance, Josh Marshall -- think the appropriate response to a Supreme Court rejection of the individual mandate would be for progressives to pursue single-payer health care. Jonathan Bernstein and Jamelle Bouie think that's silly, because, in their view, if this Court can find a heretofore unexpected rationale for invalidating the Obama health care law, the Court will find a way to invalidate single payer as well.
But I don't think we're ever going to find out whether that's true, at least not for decades. Why? This is why:
In U.S., Fear of Big Government at Near-Record Level
Americans' concerns about the threat of big government continue to dwarf those about big business and big labor, and by an even larger margin now than in March 2009. The 64% of Americans who say big government will be the biggest threat to the country is just one percentage point shy of the record high, while the 26% who say big business is down from the 32% recorded during the recession....
(Click chart to enlarge.)
Notice the trend. We always fear "big government" the most.
We're Americans. We love the government programs we've grown accustomed to -- Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment insurance, and so on -- but we hate government. And we have no idea that that makes no sense.
The corpocracy and the right-wiong noise machine are hell-bent on keeping us this way (and would love to get us to reject even the government programs we like). Meanwhile, Democratic politicians won't make an affirmative case for government, and often don't work very hard (especially at the state and local level) to make sure government programs work well.
And I wouldn't count on future support for large government programs like single payer, either. Think about it: Who's the one politician now generating excitement among Americans under thirty? Ron Paul.
We have to make average Americans believe government is the solution in this case, and we have to fight vested interests to the death. In theory, it could be done. In practice, I don't believe it's possible anytime soon. If you disagree, start working on changing ordinary Americans' minds about government now. It's the necessary first step.
(X-posted at Booman Tribune.)