News & Politics

Would Passing Universal Health Care Kill the GOP?

Signs point to yes.

Barack Obama's selection of Tom Daschle as Health and Human Services Secretary, as well as "health reform czar," signals that the incoming president is serious about passing comprehensive healthcare reform. Over at the think tank Cato, Michael Cannon warns that blocking any such legislation is vital for the GOP's survival (h/t Kos):

Ditto Baucus' health plan. And Kennedy's. And Wyden's.

Why? Norman Markowitz, a contributing editor at (motto: "Marxist Thought Online"), makes an interesting point about how making citizens dependent on the government for their medical care can change the fates of political parties:

A "single payer" national health system -- known as "socialized medicine" in the rest of the developed world -- should be an essential part of the change that the core constituencies which elected Obama desperately need. Britain serves as an important political lesson for strategists. After the Labor Party established the National Health Service after World War II, supposedly conservative workers and low-income people under religious and other influences who tended to support the Conservatives were much more likely to vote for the Labor Party...