Affordable Care Act Architect Flips on Single-Payer: ‘The Time Has Come’

WASHINGTON — In the summer of 2009, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. was asked if Max Baucus, the Democratic chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee who was taking the lead on health care reform at the time, was open to his ideas.

“To a single-payer idea? No. Not in a million years,” Sanders replied to a C-SPAN interviewer.

It turns out the wait was much shorter.

“I just think the time has come,” Baucus told NBC News Friday, after stunning healthcare observers earlier in the day by seemingly coming around on single-payer at a public forum. “Back in ’09, we were not ready to address it. It would never have passed. Here we are nine years later, I think it’s time to hopefully have a very serious good faith look at it.”

Image: House Holds Hearing On Nomination Of Max Baucus To Be Ambassador To China

Then-Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) testifies during his confirmation hearing to become ambassador to China before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee January 28, 2014 on Capitol Hill.