MASSLIVE: Single payer health care should be at ‘top of the list’ if system gets overhauled, Sen. Elizabeth Warren says
As originally appearing in MassLive

BY GINTAUTAS DUMCIUS

A single‑payer national health care system should be at the “top of the list” if there’s talk of re‑jiggering the nation’s health care, Sen. Elizabeth Warren said Monday.

Appearing in front of the pro‑business group New England Council, Warren said President Donald Trump is “rooting” for the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, to fail, after support for a bill he backed with House Speaker Paul Ryan to repeal Obamacare fell apart amid an intraparty battle over legislative details. Afterwards, a reporter asked Warren if she supporters switching to a national system, sometimes called single payer or “Medicare for All.”

“It depends on where we want to go next. And what we can do next,” Warren said. “If the question is can we make the Affordable Care Act better or we can find some Republican colleagues to do that, absolutely, we should do what we can to improve it.”

Obamacare is laden with Republican ideas, according to Warren, who noted the legislation is based on the health care reform bill passed in Massachusetts under Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican.

“How much Republican support did we get for that? Uh, none,” Warren said.

“So if we’re talking about tearing down the health care system and starting over, then I think every option needs to be on the table, and single payer sure ought to be at the top of the list,” she added. Warren is appearing on Friday with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has proposed a single payer plan.

The reporter then asked about the medical device tax, which would affect companies in Massachusetts. Warren had previously backed a repeal of the medical device tax embedded inside Obamacare. “It all ought to be on the table,” Warren said. “All of it ought to be on the table. I think everything goes on the table.”

The Massachusetts Republican Party has called Warren’s stance on single payer a “flip-flop-flip,” and accused her previously supporting it, then opposing it, before coming back to her original position in an attempt to pander to the far-left wing of the Democratic Party.

“With this latest flip-flop on single-payer, Sen. Warren is demonstrating more clearly than ever that she’s more focused on appeasing national liberal activists than advancing the interests of the Commonwealth,” MassGOP chair Kirsten Hughes said in a statement.

“As she continues to adjust her positions based on which way the political winds are blowing, it will be increasingly obvious to Massachusetts voters that she’s simply not interested in serving them,” Hughes added.

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