Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that the U.S. needs to “work our way past” an insurance-based healthcare system during an interview Friday with the Las Vegas PBS program “Nevada Week in Review,” the Las Vegas Sun reports.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, is the first step in some lawmakers’ plans to reshape the entire U.S. healthcare system.
Panelist Steve Selebius asked Reid if the U.S. would eventually scrap an insurance-based healthcare system. Reid answered, “Yes, yes. Absolutely, yes.”
“What we’ve done with Obamacare is have a step in the right direction, but we’re far from having something that’s going to work forever,” Reid said. “We had a real good run at the public option… Don’t think we didn’t have a tremendous number of people who wanted a single-payer system.”
During the tense Senate negotiations in 2009, independent Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman told Reid he must abandon plans for expanded Medicare and government insurance, or Lieberman would not vote for the bill. Obamacare eventually passed the Senate 60-39 without a single-payer provision.
The new law’s labyrinthine regulations on reporting requirements make compliance a difficult and complicated process. The Obama administration made a unilateral decision on July in to delay the employer mandate portion of the law until 2015, after the midterm elections. (RELATED: Obamacare official: No more delays of employer mandate implementation)
Several prominent conservative groups have pushed to have the law delayed in its entirety for a full year before open enrollment begins on October 1. Republican senators Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Marco Rubio have likewise made efforts to defund Obamacare, which risks the threat of a government shutdown.