Tuesday, June 27, 2017

How Much Longer Will It Take To Institute Single Payer Here In America?


Saturday evening Bernie was in Pittsburgh Saturday for a Don’t Take Away Our Health Care rally at the Convention Center. He addressed Republican Pat Toomey directly. I hope he takes the same message to Ted Cruz in Texas and to Jeff Flake in Arizona, two Republicans up for reelection in 2018. (Dean Heller has already said he’s voting no.) Sunday he brought the message to Rob Portman in Columbus and then to Shelley Moore Capito in Charleston. Listen to his 27 minutes speech above; you can’t hear his points enough. “This so-called health care bill passed in the House last month is the most anti-working-class piece legislation passed by the House of Representatives in the modern history of this country,” he said to loud applause. “And the Senate bill... is even worse… We will not allow 23 million Americans to be thrown off of the health insurance they currently have in order to give over $500 billion in tax breaks to the top two percent, to the insurance companies, to the drug companies, and to other multi-national corporations... What kind of a country are we if anyone can come before you and talk about cutting health care for children with disabilities in order to give tax breaks to the richest people on earth?”

After the Pittsburgh rally he appeared briefly on Meet the Press, where he told Chuck Todd much the same message he explained to the audience in Pittsburgh (and Columbus and Charleston), even though Todd just wanted to talk about disunity and divisiveness. Bernie’s learned how to use questions like that to springboard into getting to the message he wants to deliver. “For the last 9 years,” he replied to a question about why Ossoff lost, “Democrats have lost the White House, we’ve lost the Senate, we’ve lost the U.S. House. Two-thirds of governor’s chairs are controlled by Republicans. A thousand seats have been lost the Republicans in state legislatures all over this country… There is a massive amount of demoralization on the part of the American people, with the Democratic Party, with the Republican Party. I think the American people, in many cases, are seeing themselves work longer hours for lower wages. They’re worried about their kids not being able to go to college. They’re worried about what’s going to happen to them when they are retiring. They’re seeing almost all new income and wealth going to the top 1 percent. There is an enormous amount of pain in this country, Chuck. People are saying, ‘Does anybody in Washington know what’s going on in my life-- that I’m 60 years of age and I have nothing in the bank and I’m going too be retiring in 5 years or that I have $50,000 in college debt and can’t find a decent job. Does anybody know that? Do the Republicans know it? Do the Democrats know it?’ And I think what the Democrats have got to say is that we will be on the side of the working class of this country. We are prepared to stand up to Wall Street and the drug companies who rip us off everyday and the insurance companies. [at this point Todd got nervous that Bernie was attacking his advertisers and started trying to cut him off] And that we’re going to fight for an agenda that makes sense to working families.”

Ah, and there’s the rub… that elusive agenda. Look how close the Democrats in blue, blue California came to passing single-payer-- only to see Jerry Brown have Assembly Speaker Rendon kill it? The Intercept pointed out that someone who disagrees with Governor Brown’s opposition-- that single payer is too expensive, the Republican argument, which somehow always manages to manipulate the facts and forget to mention the “the efficiencies created from having one public insurer save a lot of money-- was, none other than presidential candidate Jerry Brown in 1992 (when he was still toying around with the idea of posing as a progressive).
It was a cornerstone of his unsuccessful 1992 bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.

In April of 1992, Brown passionately argued for this system in a debate with then-Arkansas Democratic Gov. Bill Clinton on the nationally-syndicated Phil Donahue Show.

“My preference is that we create a single system, put everyone under a universal health care system. We treat health care not as a commodity to be played with for profit but rather the right of every American citizen when they’re born,” he explained.

He then went on to explain how this system would save money:

“You cut out all the private health insurance. You have one single payer either at the national level or through the 50 states. And that one single payer will be the one that negotiates with the doctors, the hospitals, and the other providers. And since you have only one source of income in the whole medical establishment, you can drive down the cost. With the holding down of the cost, you can eliminate the intermediary, the middle man, the bureaucracy. In some of these hospitals there’s more people doing the billing then there are in direct patient care on an eight-hour shift. It doesn’t make any sense. But through a single payer, as we’ve seen in Canada, you can eliminate tremendous amounts of paperwork both for the doctors, the hospitals, and the part of the insurance companies.”
We ran the video of this moment of Brown's long past progressive dalliance here yesterday, if you want to check it out. Here's the whole Meet the Press interview from Sunday morning:


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At 6:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How much longer? Infinity.

SP is politically unfeasible. No major party (as defined by having significant numbers of voters) will ever advocate it, legislate it or otherwise do jack shit toward creating it.

Never, ever mistake oppositional rhetoric (from democraps) as advocacy. When numerically irrelevant, democraps will and regularly has amused us with progressive rhetoric -- to show people how much better the democraps are. But when the democraps are in power and have numbers to do shit, they refuse, fail and entertain us with greek tragedy rather than actually do progressivity.

Pelosi and scummer still run their caucuses and dictate what does and does not see the floor for votes. Neither will ever entertain a bill for SP/MFA. Even Jerry Brown has seen the light on SP, evidently.


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