Kamala Harris, the Junior Senator from California, has announced her intention to co-sponsor a “Medicare for All” bill in the Senate along with the lines advocated by Bernie Sanders, the independent socialist senator from Vermont. The bill, which of course has no chance of passing in the current Congress or being signed into law by President Trump, has another purpose besides dragooning the American people into the dubious joys of government run health care. The idea is to make Sen. Harris president in 2020. The results are not likely to be to Harris’ expectations.

Harris’s single payer gambit

In the context of Democratic primary politics, single player looks like a winner. Democrats are quite comfortable with the idea of the government running the health care system, the theory being that private insurance companies are evil and that too many people are being denied the medical care they need. Obamacare may be falling apart, but the solution seems to be more, not less government.

The general election problem

Why single-payer may be a winner for Democrats, it is by no means sure that the general election electorate is going to buy into it. President Trump, presuming that he runs again, will be able to point out with some glee that Harris’ own state of California rejected Single Payer because it cost too much.

Trump will also be able to point out the more pernicious aspects of government health care, such as what Charlie Gard and his parents had inflicted upon them at the hands of the British National Health Service,

Harris seems to have fallen into a George McGovern trap. McGovern, a senator from South Dakota, ran for president in 1972 against President Richard Nixon.

The senator lost in a 49 state blowout partly because he tended to make alarming proposals, such as a $1,000 a year stipend to every American.

Still, having government care as a political issue in 2020 may be a useful thing, if only to bury it for all-time. The concept is an appealing one who has not thought through the implications of having the same institution that runs the IRS, the DMV, and the VA determine when and under what circumstances one can see the doctor.

Airing out the details of how such a scheme would work in a national campaign for the presidency would be a useful thing. No one wants to pay through the nose for inferior medical care that, as a bonus, kills the elderly and children who are not worthy to be kept alive. Confirming that fact would remove a decades-old issue from public discourse altogether.