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Progressive Caucus chairman calls for single-payer health care

Congressional Progressive Caucus Chairman Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., told Red Alert Politics Tuesday morning at the Campaign for American’s Take Back the American Dream Conference, that Obamacare doesn’t go far enough.

The left needs to continue to push for a single-payer health care system in the United States, Ellison said.

“So it doesn’t have a public option, but we will get one,” Ellison said. “And I know that’s not single-payer, but if people are committed we’ll get that too.”

Ellison gave a foretaste of the Democrats’ strategy in the event the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down the law by accusing the high court of being excessively politicized by the right.

“The right is going to try to beleaguer the left saying, ‘You know, see this is unconstitutional and we were right all along,'” Ellison said. “You cannot accept that nonsense. You’ve got to understand that this is the Supreme Court of Citizens United, Bush vs. Gore and now this thing.

“It is a wholly owned subsidiary of the right-wing, and we can’t  just look at what they say, and do necessarily as ‘the truth’.  They can’t do any sort of a fair rendering.”

The liberal congressman told conference participants that the left needs to be united and that it should not let conservatives cast a high court win as a victory.

““We have to get organized right away, and we have to go in and shape the debate because the issue will be if not this, then what? Well, the what is single-payer health care,” Ellison said. “We need to be prepared to pounce and to literally move on.

“It’s either going to be upheld all the way, struck down all the way, or parts are going to be upheld and parts are going to be struck.”

But Gov. Howard Dean, the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, was a bit more nuanced in his approach. Although he disagrees with parts of Obamacare such as the controversial individual mandate, he believes a federal single-payer system akin to what exists in Canada would not work in America.

“We are never going to see a single-payer system because this isn’t Canada,” Dean told Red Alert Politics. “But what we can see is different single-payers in different areas, and think frankly that’s much more efficient in terms of health care costs.”

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