Brooks starts out by acknowledging the merits of single-payer health care. The problem is the many politically problematic ramifications of a transition to a single-payer system. Among other things, he points out that a majority of Americans have employer-provided healthcare, and most of these are satisfied with that arrangement. Do Democrats really want to tell roughly half the electorate, as Brooks put it, ”We’re going to take away the insurance you have and are happy with, and we’re going to replace it with a new system you haven’t experienced yet….” Brooks is hardly exaggerating when he says, “This seems like an excellent way to re-elect Donald Trump.”
Arguably, Brooks is too pessimistic. Single-payer can and should be a long-term policy objective. But proponents have to come up with a way that gets there gradually, without making voters nervous in 2020.