Fmr. Obama Adviser: Sanders' Health Care Plan 'Will Sink the Democrats'

Wall Street financier and former Obama administration advisor Steven Rattner / Getty Images
Steven Rattner / Getty Images
October 24, 2017

Former Obama administration adviser Steve Rattner has suggested that adopting Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I., Vt.) health care plan would be a disaster for Democrats.

"Why 'Medicare for All' Will Sink the Democrats," wrote Rattner, former adviser to the Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry and current New York Times contributor, in a Tuesday op-ed.

"Mr. Sanders — who, of course, isn't even a registered Democrat — is banging on about what he calls 'Medicare for All,' a government-run plan that would provide health care coverage for every American," Rattner argued.

"As a centrist Democrat, I'm scared to see my party pulled into positions that are both bad politics and dubious policy. And I'm disappointed that few of our party's moderates are willing to resist the freight train coming at us from the left."

Rattner, who often speaks on economic issues and is also a current economic analyst with MSNBC, noted previous Democratic presidential nominees like George McGovern and Michael Dukakis had championed the same position as Sanders. Both were suddenly defeated come November.

He allowed polls have shown that support for a single-payer system has increased in recent years, but pointed out that support evaporated when respondents where informed implementing single-payer would mean tax hikes or getting rid of Obamacare.

"In Colorado last November, a whopping 80 percent of voters rejected a universal plan, again over taxes and costs. And for similar reasons, California recently shelved a single-payer proposal," Rattner wrote.

Rattner said that in private, many Democrats facing reelection in 2018 agreed with him, but were too cowed by the Sanders wing of the party to say so publicly. "'It's radioactive for me,' one Democrat facing re-election in 2018 told me," Rattner reported.