... no, Hillary has NOT argued against single-payer because it was "a wrenching legislative battle that had already been lost." Rather, she argued that we shouldn't start from scratch. She was never opposed to the public option -- which Obama's team duplicitously dangled in front of the left during 2009-10, while never intending actually to include it in the ACA. In fact, the public option is precisely the kind of add-on improvement to Obamacare that she has been advocating throughout this campaign.
First, does the Times have no editors, at least, who have watched the debates and who know enough about what Hillary actually said to alter the language of this lede accordingly?
Second, it's actually fine, and very Hillary-like. She's allowing Bernie to get credit for something she was already planning to do, in order to have his followers feel a win, feel more welcomed, and vote for her. She's all about the outcome, and if Bernie Sanders goes to his grave thinking he brought the creator of Hillarycare around, it's an acceptable price to pay.