Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Democrats Have Their First Challenger Of 2014-- Nick Ruiz Wants To Take Out John Mica... And Lots Of Bad Democrats


Nick'n'Nancy-- for my own amuselment

The other day we applauded Congresswoman-elect Carol Shea-Porter's unambiguous line in the sand she wrote in a hometown OpEd: "I will not vote to reduce Medicare and Social Security. You can bet on that." She didn't have to say a word about it; she's not part of the lame duck and won't start voting until next year. But "not saying a word" is not part of Carol Shea-Porter's DNA-- and her outspoken advocacy for ordinary working families is why Blue America has been so proud to support her over the years.

Bernie Sanders, next door in Vermont, was also an electoral winner last month-- with a stunning 71% of the vote. Like Obama, Bernie won every single town in the state. Vermont was Obama's best-performing state. He got 199,259 votes, 67%. Bernie won with 208,253 votes. Vermont voters were very clear about who they preferred. And Bernie's message-- before the campaign, during the campaign and since the campaign-- has been clear in a way we could only wish other progressive politicians could be clear: "We will not accept cuts to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid."
He wants us to start with a strong stand to keep billionaires from controlling our political process, as they are now attempting to do in the so-called fiscal cliff debate.

... He declared that the deficit was a result of the Bush tax cuts, a Wall Street-driven recession, and two unfunded wars initiated by George W. Bush. The principled stand for progressives, he insisted, was to defend Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid from any cuts. Social Security, he emphasized, "has not contributed a nickel to the deficit." Sanders also called for progressives to end red state/blue state regional divisions and embrace a new 50-state strategy. "There are good people in Mississippi," Sanders reminded the audience, and "we need to stand with them." Sanders also focused on the travesty of income inequality and poverty in the United States, a global embarrassment, and announced his hope that in two years, he will preside over a single-payer healthcare system in Vermont. The primary problems facing the country, he said, were unemployment, infrastructure and climate change-- not the deficit.

Sanders' strong words on the so-called fiscal cliff were especially welcome given the flurry of mixed signals coming out of Washington. Tim Geithner, the bank-centric Treasury Secretary chosen by Obama to lead negotiations, said on Monday that Social Security should be dealt with using a separate process, hinting at the possible creation of a new commission. Noticeably, he left the door open to the idea that cuts would be part of that separate process.
This week one of the first challengers for a House seat for 2014 filed his FEC papers-- Nick Ruiz, a Blue America-backed candidate who didn't win in 2012. He's the first challenger we're endorsing this cycle as well. And this despite a Beltway operative insisting he can't win because of his haircut and refusal to... hire Beltway operatives for his campaign. Nick is a passionate intellectual and an activist. He'll make a great congressman, especially when you compare him to a corrupt troglodyte like Mica. I suggest you consider following Nick on Twitter and reading his website. He doesn't hesitate to lay it all out. If he wins in two years, no one will be able to claim he was unclear about his intentions. If you want to see a twenty-first century version of Thaddeus Stevens in Congress, please help us finance Nick Ruiz's campaign. I can assure you, he'll never be another garden variety Democratic Party stooge. Don't believe me? He wrote this yesterday:
We knew it would come to this. The administration, set to administer plutocratic Big Capital’s austerity for others-- not for themselves, who really need it. The GOP House, administering racist, misogynist, homophobic, and of course, plutocratic-- lunacy, wherever they can get away with it. And then there’s the Senate, administering oligarchic red tape and inertia. It’s their ancient tradition. Plan?

There’s a loose one.

As serious as a drone attack, first there will be the shepherding of healthcare trinkets for middle and lower America. The travesty of ACA is the sense of equitable moral closure that it purveys, but does not deliver, regarding the US healthcare crisis. People will still go uncovered. Illness will still go unchecked. Health care costs will still break the bank. And moral and ethical outrage will continue.

The reason? Still, far too much profiteering in US healthcare. Here’s a nice graphic that really shows the disparity, between us and much of the rest of the world, when it comes to healthcare costs and outcomes:

The profiteering spike at which the US rests on the graph is caused by a very simple problem, that most other countries have already solved. Figures vary, but in general, administrative costs (e.g. multi-million dollar medical CEOs are less numerous, for example), are far less in other countries, because medical profiteering is discouraged.

For example, medical insurance advertising, a huge cash cow-- costs nothing in Japan, because it’s illegal. In the US, medical profiteering vis-à-vis advertising is rewarded, with high financial instrument share prices.

But there are many other built in differences internationally, that are ideological and structural.

In Sweden, physicians may average around $100,000/yr and they pay virtually nothing for malpractice insurance, and are educated by a publicly-funded, ‘free’ educational system. In the US, physicians easily average >$200,000 per year, but medical education is outrageously expensive >$100,000, as is malpractice insurance. And the time it takes to become an American physician is radically lengthened because of our serial K-12, baccalaureate, and professional degree educational path. In Sweden, after the approximate ‘K-12' sequence, a medical degree is a professional degree that takes about 5 years to complete, right out of the K-12 sequence. After the medical degree, comes internship training, specialist training, etc. So the Swedish sequence probably shaves about 4 years off the American process, for less money, and better healthcare outcomes for their citizens.

Variances as described above for Japan and Sweden, in contrast with the US are abundant for virtually every position in the healthcare chain (e.g. nursing, pharmacy, etc.).

And then there’s the drugs. In the US, we pay 20-60% more for pharmaceuticals, in general-- as compared with the international community. And it’s for the obvious reason of pharmaceutical profiteering, through advertising, monopolization via patents, and lack of price regulation and competition. In short, because the political shills we elect, let drug corporations price gouge Americans every single day, when it comes to drug prices.

So it comes to the heart of the matter. How to exact replacement therapy on Congress, to elect progressive politicians that understand that we have so much to learn from the international community, and many essential changes to make in the US, when it comes to healthcare, education, and so much more? I have an idea. Let’s primary every single Democratic shill in Congress, and elect people who will do right by our friends and family.

...Otherwise, American public policy, wrought by the ‘Modern Democrats’-- will continue to issue like the whole thing was put together in the dark.

Labels: , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home