Conservative columnist and Fox News regular Charles Krauthammer is not a fan of the Affordable Care Act, but after House Republicans voted to partially repeal and replace it on Thursday, he said he thinks, ironically, ObamaCare won the day. "I think what conservatives and Republicans are beginning to understand is how the fundamental view of health care among the American people has changed," he told Tucker Carlson Thursday night.
"ObamaCare is a disaster on the ground," he said, "and politically it ruined the Democrats. However, there's an irony and a hidden victory here: Over these past seven years, people's expectations have changed. You watched the debate over the last three months, Tucker. What are the grounds? The grounds are all liberal grounds: How many people are going to lose their coverage? How can you leave people out in the cold? The Jimmy Kimmel thing. It's showing that the country is at a point where I think it believes in universal coverage."
"I saw a piece this week entitled 'The conservative case for single-payer,'" Carlson said. "I'm not sure most conservatives are there yet, but do you think that's where it's going?" Krauthammer said yes. "Whether it will end up single-payer, like in the Canadian system, or not, I'm not sure, but I will guarantee you this," he said: "Within a few years there won't even be an argument about whether or not government has an obligation to ensure that everybody gets health coverage."
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
Krauthammer had made a similar argument earlier on Fox News, and was more specific in his predictions. "I think, historically speaking, we're at the midpoint," he told Chris Wallace. "We had seven years of ObamaCare, a change in expectations, and I would predict in less than seven years we'll be in a single-payer system." He said the Senate will scrap the House bill, pass its own, and the two will be reconciled in a conference committee. "Who knows where it will end up, but it will be a rickety arrangement, it's likely that Republicans are going to suffer at the polls, and as a result of that — if that happens — you're going to get a sea-change in opinion," he concluded. "Then there's only two ways to go: to a radically individualist system, where the market rules, or to single-payer. And the country is not going to go back to radically individualist." Watch below. Peter Weber
Create an account with the same email registered to your subscription to unlock access.