The surprise is not that Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. signed on to the Medicare for all bill being offered by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont. The surprise is that she took so long to announce her intentions, coming after Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California. Warren has two reasons to go for government run health care, one from her convictions, the other from cold blooded political calculus.

Warren believes in single payer

Warren believes in Single Payer, government run health care. A government takeover of the practice of medicine in the United States is entirely consistent with her beliefs about how society should be ordered.

Health care, in her view, is a human right. Human rights are guaranteed by the government. Private insurance companies and private health providers are too much driven by the profit motive and will deny patients much-needed procedures and medications if it suits their bottom lines.

On the other hand, Warren, like all supporters of single payer, government run health care, tends to ignore many of the real world problems such systems have encountered in other countries. Instances of rationing and wait lists and even what amounts to allowing patients to die by denying them care do not enter into her considerations.

Single payer is good Democratic politics

The Democratic base is increasingly beginning to favor single payer, government run health care.

The failures of Obamacare are, ironically, seen more derived from the private market than government involvement among people who vote in Democratic primaries. Warren is up for reelection in 2018 and may have a tough time of it. Beyond next year’s election, she has dreams of the Oval Office.

On the other hand, single payer, government run health care is likely to be toxic in a general election.

The Charlie Gard tragedy is illustrative of how people who live under such systems no longer can make their own decisions about their lives and deaths. The power is reserved to the state, to be made at its convenience.

The bottom line

It goes almost without saying that Sanders’ Medicare for all bill is going nowhere so long as the Republicans run Congress.

However, it doesn’t need to go anywhere to be of benefit for Democrats who dream of replacing Donald Trump in the Oval Office. All people like Warren, Sanders, and Harris have to do is to support the bill and then communicate that fact to their voters. The argument in the 2020 Democratic primaries will be over who is most fervent for a government takeover of health care in America. The spectacle should be entertaining at least.