- The Washington Times - Friday, May 5, 2017

Conservative stalwart Charles Krauthammer predicts the U.S. will have a single-payer health care system within the next seven years.

Fox News Channel’s “Special Report” panel gathered to discuss the House’s passage of the American Health Care Act on Thursday evening, at which time Mr. Krauthammer predicted the “great irony” of Obamacare’s shortcomings: Socialized health care will be an American reality within a decade.

“I think historically speaking we are at the midpoint,” the conservative author said. “We had seven years of Obamacare, a change in expectations. And I would predict that in less than seven years, we will be in a single-payer system. I think that’s the great irony of this. Obamacare failed at every level. Politically, the Democrats were crushed over six years and four elections, whereas you say, they lost seats in the House, the Senate, the governorships, etc. largely because of Obamacare.”

Thursday’s bill passed on a 217-213 vote while Democrats taunted Republicans with chants of “Na na na na, hey, hey, hey, goodbye.”

Mr. Krauthammer said that repealing Obamacare’s mandate to hold insurance and altering rules on subsidies will not matter in the long run because too many Americans perceive health care to be a right.

“I think Obamacare wins the day because it changed expectations,” the pundit said. “Look at the terms of the debate. Republicans are not arguing the free market anymore. They have sort of accepted the fact that the electorate sees health care as not just any commodity. It’s not like purchasing a steak or a car. It is something people now have a sense that government ought to guarantee.”

SEE ALSO: House passes GOP’s Obamacare replacement bill

President Donald Trump offered a different take on Thursday, telling the public to “make no mistake, this is a repeal and a replace of Obamacare.”

Senators said Thursday that they will craft their own bill instead of voting on the House version.

“The safest thing to say is there will be a Senate bill, but it will look at what the House has done and see how much of that we can incorporate in a product that works for us in reconciliation,” Sen. Roy Blunt, Missouri Republican, told The Washington Examiner.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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