In a just-completed New Hampshire town hall meeting, President Obama stated that he never said he supported a single-payer health care system. But as clearly evidenced by this video, in 2003, he declared: “I happen to be a proponent of a single payer universal health care plan.”
Meanwhile, at another point of today’s town hall meeting, Obama was pushing back against the idea that the creation of a new government-run plan would drive private insurers out of business, and he said that UPS and FedEx were doing fine, but “it’s the post office that’s always having problems.” Oops!
The gaffe arose from the inherent contradiction of those arguing for the introduction of a government government-run plan. On the one hand, Obama and other supporters of the idea argue that we need to have a strong government plan to create more efficiency, drive down prices, and “keep private insurers honest.” Yet at the same time, they have to make it appear weaker to push back against those of us who argue that it will threaten private insurance and move us toward a single-payer system. So then you get statements in which Obama, in the course of arguing for a government-run system, takes a shot at the government-run post office.
UPDATE: Here’s the video.