Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Why Won't Nancy Pelosi And Her Leadership Team Support Single Payer Health Care?


I bet if Pelosi held her town hall back in her San Francisco district instead of on a CNN set with Chris Cuomo, it would have been a very different event. I suspect she would have faced a similar response from activists that other members of Congress have gotten from their constituents. First of all, all Cuomo's questions about the day's Trump infotainment crap would not have dominated an opportunity to find out what Pelosi stands for and where she wants to take her party and our country. Sixteen minutes in and they were still jibber-jabbering about the details of Trump's revelations to the Russian spies-- great for breathless CNN coverage but mostly a waste of time in terms of what Pelosi's constituents-- both in San Francisco and even nationally-- are really interested in. Yes, "loose lips can sink ships," thank you Nancy and Chris.

If she's trying to get out a message that inspires midterm voters, she failed by using a third of her time to talk about the Washington Post assertions about Trump's oafish behavior with Putin. She didn't say anything wrong, but Cuomo used her as a news commentator on the popping news story of the day. She should have known better and steered towards a positive message. Even the first message Cuomo pre-arranged, was more of this Trump/Russia stuff. And then Cuomo brought up impeachment-- specifically Rep. Al Green's call the other day to start the process. According to new polling a plurality of Americans now want to impeach Trump-- 48%, as opposed to 41% who oppose impeachment. And among people who supported Hillary last year, 81% want to impeach Trump.

But not Leader Pelosi, who once, as Speaker, took impeachment "off the table" in regard to Bush. Remember? In regard to impeaching Trump: "They [her caucus] know I don't subscribe to that... We owe the American people some stability in all of this. This is the time he's supposed to be having his honeymoon." Her criticism of Trump seems to be that he's "sloppy."

Second question CNN set up-- more Putin crap. This was so obviously about CNN infotainment rather than about what people are asking in town halls. Finally-- 30 minutes in-- CNN managed to figure out a way to bring up health care by inviting a 26-year old college student, an orphan from Arkansas who had given Tom Cotten a rough time at his town hall earlier this year. She's has a horrifying personal health story and feels that the Affordable Care Act is all that stands between her and certain death. Her question, precisely, was "what will you do to inspire lower out-of-pocket expenses, not higher, with the same or better benefits, regardless of age, income or preexisting condition, and sustaining Medicare and Medicaid expansion... What will you do, congresswoman, to save my life and the lives of Americans like myself?"

Finally the kind of question real people-- rather than CNN hosts-- actually want to get some answers to! Yesterday the number of congressmembers co-sponsoring John Conyers' Medicare-For-All bill jumped to 110-- all of them Democrats-- when Albio Sires (NJ) and Ted Deutch (FL) signed on. Pelosi is one of the increasingly smaller number of Democrats who opposes single payer. All she could talk about is defeating TrumpCare and did nothing to move the ball forward or present a progressive alternative vision or present anything that makes the very flawed Affordable Care Act any better (i.e.- single payer). She repeated all the talking points-- all true-- about what's wrong with the Republican approach, how it's a "death panel bill" and a "tax bill disguised as a healthcare bill." She's right but what about giving us an alternative, the way Conyers has or the way Bernie has? Maybe she should start talking like this:
It has been the goal of Democrats since Franklin D. Roosevelt to create a universal health care system guaranteeing health care to all people. Every other major industrialized nation has done so. It is time for this country to join them and fulfill the legacy of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson and other great Democrats.

The Affordable Care Act was a critically important step towards the goal of universal health care. Thanks to the ACA, more than 17 million Americans have gained health insurance. Millions of low-income Americans have coverage through expanded eligibility for Medicaid that now exists in 31 states. Young adults can stay on their parents’ health plans until they’re 26. All Americans can benefit from increased protections against lifetime coverage limits and exclusion from coverage because of pre-existing conditions. Bernie was on the U.S. Senate committee that helped write the ACA.

But as we move forward, we must build upon the success of the ACA to achieve the goal of universal health care. Twenty-nine million Americans today still do not have health insurance and millions more are underinsured and cannot afford the high copayments and deductibles charged by private health insurance companies that put profits before people.

The U.S. spends more on health care per person, and as a percentage of gross domestic product, than any other advanced nation in the world, including Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. But all that money has not made Americans healthier than the rest of the world. Quite simply, in our high-priced health care system that leaves millions overlooked, we spend more yet end up with less.

Other industrialized nations are making the morally principled and financially responsible decision to provide universal health care to all of their people-- and they do so while saving money by keeping people healthier. Those who say this goal is unachievable are selling the American people short.

Americans need a health care system that works for patients and providers. We need to focus our federal investments on training the health care providers. We need to ensure a strong health care workforce in all communities now and in the future. We need to build on the strength of the 50 years of success of the Medicare program. We need a health care system that significantly reduces overhead, administrative costs and complexity. We need a system where all people can get the care they need to maintain and improve their health when they need it regardless of income, age or socioeconomic status. We need a system that works not just for millionaires and billionaires, but for all of us.

Under Bernie’s plan, Americans will benefit from the freedom and security that comes with finally separating health insurance from employment. That freedom would not only help the American people live happier, healthier and more fulfilling lives, but it would also promote innovation and entrepreneurship in every sector of the economy. People would be able to start new businesses, stay home with their children or leave jobs they don’t like knowing that they would still have health care coverage for themselves and their families. Employers could be free to focus on running their business rather than spending countless hours figuring out how to provide health insurance to their employees. Working Americans wouldn’t have to choose between bargaining for higher wages or better health insurance. Parents wouldn’t have to worry about how to provide health insurance to their children. Americans would no longer have to fear losing their health insurance if they lose their job, change employment or go part-time. Seniors and people with serious or chronic illnesses could afford the medications necessary to keep them healthy without worry of financial ruin. Millions of people will no longer have to choose between health care and other necessities like food, heat and shelter, and will have access to services that may have been out of reach, like dental care or long-term care.

Simply put, Bernie’s plan will provide all Americans with the sense of freedom and peace of mind that comes from knowing you always have access to the health care you need.

Bernie’s plan would create a federally administered single-payer health care program. Universal single-payer health care means comprehensive coverage for all Americans. Bernie’s plan will cover the entire continuum of health care, from inpatient to outpatient care; preventive to emergency care; primary care to specialty care, including long-term and palliative care; vision, hearing and oral health care; mental health and substance abuse services; as well as prescription medications, medical equipment, supplies, diagnostics and treatments. Patients will be able to choose a health care provider without worrying about whether that provider is in-network and will be able to get the care they need without having to read any fine print or trying to figure out how they can afford the out-of-pocket costs.

As a patient, all you need to do is go to the doctor and show your insurance card. Bernie’s plan means no more copays, no more deductibles and no more fighting with insurance companies when they fail to pay for charges.

We outspend all other countries on the planet and our medical spending continues to grow faster than the rate of inflation. Creating a single, public insurance system will go a long way towards getting health care spending under control. The United States has thousands of different health insurance plans, all of which set different reimbursement rates across different networks for providers and procedures resulting in high administrative costs. Two patients with the same condition may get very different care depending on where they live, the health insurance they have and what their insurance covers. A patient may pay different amounts for the same prescription depending solely on where the prescription is filled. Health care providers and patients must navigate this complex and bewildering system wasting precious time and resources.

By moving to an integrated system, the government will finally have the ability to stand up to drug companies and negotiate fair prices for the American people collectively. It will also ensure the federal government can track access to various providers and make smart investments to avoid provider shortages and ensure communities can access the providers they need.

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At 6:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why? Of course, it's all the money that the DNC, D PACs and individual corrupted Ds take from health insurance and PHRMA. DUH!!! Shouldn't need to even ask, so obvious is the answer.

As to why she is against impeachment... well, they raise a lot of money off of odious acts/words from ruling R juntas. Plus, they might squeeze out a slim house majority in 2018 (but not beyond) if the orange-utang stays and continues his insane inanity. This is assuming their finessing of a select number of house races goes their way with carefully selected former R candidates and other non-democrats posing as democraps.

The one thing this piece of shit won't do is allow her house and leadershit to become progressive. That would shut off all the corporate cash and pac donations meant to insure pure fidelity to their interests.

It's for voters to decide. Is it worth it to continue with Pelosi's charade? How many times can an electorate be betrayed, played and disaffected?

At 8:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your criticism of discussion of " the Putin crap" is tad hypocritical!

It was hardly a couple weeks ago that "impeachment is off the table," version 2.0 was predicted right here in these comments!

Thanks for clarifying that said impeachment is essentially the obsession of "those who supported Hillary."

John Puma

At 9:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the stunned look on Chris Hayes' face as Bernie's comments ended the video. It's like he didn't know how to respond. Maybe his MSDNC salary has stopped the thought processes in his head?

At 2:48 PM, Blogger samuel glover said...

Did Pelosi at least manage to put some complete sentences together? Most of the time she sounds like a spastic gibbering idiot. Of course, in that sense she's right at home among Dem "leadership".

At 5:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Samuel, you nailed it. I was taking a capitol tour a couple of summers ago. There was a lot of renovation going on and the rotunda (?) between chambers was squeezed by all the scaffolding. Someone shouted to our group to "make a hole", which we did. We were treated to Pelosi being led by an aide on each arm through the hole. As she passed, I heard the babbling, gibbering nonsense. She looked like a deer in the headlights. Never made eye contact with a human being in the rotunda.

And that was 2 years ago. One wonders what pharmaceuticals she must be on in order to appear on TV and not sound like Forrest Gump trying to speak Klingon.


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