Obama's views on single payer national health insurance

(excerpted from USA Today, Dec. 11, 2007)

(In 1996) Obama said he would support a single-payer health plan for Illinois "in principal" [sic], "although such a program will probably have to be instituted at a federal level; the long-term objective would be a universal care system that does not differentiate between the unemployed, the disabled, and so on." The campaign says Obama has consistently supported single payer health care in principle.

Under single-payer health care, a government system would replace private health insurance. Obama's campaign said he has always supported the idea in concept, but thinks it is not currently practical because of the existing health care infrastructure.

In a statement, a campaign spokeswoman said, "Obama never saw or approved" the document, and the health care, capital punishment and gun control answers weren't consistent with his stances, then or now.

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