Friday, June 08, 2018

Abdul El-Sayed Is Running On A Bernie-Like Platform. Will Bernie Voters Turn Out For Him In The Gubernatorial Primary?

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Blue America's thing has always been House races. Occasionally we stray a little and support people running for Senate, state legislatures and governor-- but not that often. This cycle, for example, we found 4 candidates-- at least so far-- running for governor who are right up our ally. It's never a thing about backing a Democrat because a Republican would be worse. That's almost always the case and no one needs Blue America to tell them about lesser of two evils. You never see someone like Gavin Newsom or Gina Raymond or Colleen Hanabusa on our list of endorsees. We've tried explaining over the last few months why we have been happy to endorse Michigan progressive Abdul El-Sayed. And this week, he gave us-- and hopefully-- lots of Michigan voters another reason for backing his bid. "Democratic gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed," wrote Jonathan Oosting in the Detroit News, "wants to make Michigan the first state in the nation with its own Medicare-for-all government health insurance system under a proposal he unveiled Wednesday."

Abdul explained to Michiganders that "Michiganders today are trapped in a broken health insurance system that leaves too many families suffering from high costs and lack of affordable coverage. Nearly 600,000 Michiganders still lack health insurance coverage, even after the expansion of Medicaid thanks to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)... Michicare is a plan for Medicare for All for the state of Michigan, providing publicly financed health insurance to all Michigan residents under age 65. Michicare would cover a comprehensive set of benefits based on the essential health benefits outlined by the Affordable Care Act, and every Michigander would choose a primary care provider to help direct their care. Michicare would eliminate co-pays and deductibles for medically necessary services, so you would not pay out-of-pocket fees when you are seeking needed care. Michicare would decrease overall healthcare costs in Michigan by moving to a streamlined system with lower administrative costs and fairer prices. Instead of deductibles, out-of-pocket costs, and premiums paid to private insurers, Michicare would be publicly financed through a combination of a payroll tax and a business tax. Private insurance companies would still be permitted to offer supplemental health insurance, but Michicare would provide comprehensive benefits to all Michiganders, diminishing the need for private coverage. Michicare is an ambitious and realistic plan to secure truly universal healthcare in Michigan."




His campaign website explains in great depth why Michigan needs Medicare-For-All, what the system would do (including how it deals with prescription drugs and, unlike Medicare, with vision and dental issues) and how it would be paid for.

El-Sayed is a doctor and the former director of the Detroit health department and his plan will result in significant health care savings for families and employers. Needless to say, conservatives oppose it and are already screaming like stuck pigs, screwing the same bullshit about it that they spewed when Social Security and Medicare were first proposed-- and fought by Republicans. "Government monopoly" is their mantra. James Hohman of the reactionary Mackinac Center for Public Policy emphasized the cynical right-wing talking points: "I can’t imagine a lot of voters will be happy to pay higher taxes in order to pay for wealthy people’s health care costs." Yeah, sure... that's what Medicare-For-All is all about. And, of course, Establishment Democrats, like Whitmer oppose single-payer as well-- even if they're afraid to say so out loud, just avoiding a substantive discussion of the idea and hoping voters don't notice. Whitmer's campaign is getting lots of money from executives from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, the state's largest private health insurer. So... sshhhhhh.
“This is an opportunity to stand up for health and human rights, to give health care to 600,000 Michiganders who have been locked out of the system," El-Sayed told The Detroit News ahead of a mid-day press conference.

The plan would “do away with things like co-pays, deductibles and premiums, which are tools the insurance companies use to extract value out of the health care system,” he said.

The plan also potentially could cost billions of dollars to implement and administer for state government. El-Sayed declined to share any cost or proposed tax revenue projections beyond what he estimates could be $5,000 a year in health care-related savings for an average Michigan family.

Single-payer health care-- or government-subsidized health care-- is an increasingly popular idea among Democrats, especially the progressive wing of the party. El-Sayed’s detailed proposal might help him stand out in his primary race against Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer of East Lansing and Ann Arbor entrepreneur Shri Thanedar.

Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, who won Michigan’s 2016 presidential primary over eventual Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, is a leading advocate for a federal Medicare-for-All type program.

El-Sayed’s state version would cover all Michigan residents, until the age of 65, when traditional Medicare coverage kicks in, according to his campaign. But it would continue to provide additional prescription drug, vision and dental coverage for seniors.

To pay for it, El-Sayed is proposing a new 2 percent tax on gross receipts for businesses with fewer than 50 employees and a 2.25 percent tax for businesses with more than 50 employees. But first $2 million in receipts would be tax exempt, meaning about 75 percent of all Michigan businesses would not be subject to the tax, he said.

The Shelby Township Democrat also wants to move to a graduated income tax. His plan calls for raising the state's 4.25 percent personal income tax to 5 percent for the lowest earners and up to 8 percent for the state’s wealthiest residents. The increase would be administered through a payroll tax deducted from employee wages.

Moving to a graduated income tax would require voter approval for an amendment to the Michigan Constitution. Other elements of the plan could require sign off by the state Legislature, currently controlled by Republicans, or GOP President Donald Trump’s administration.

Despite the potential road blocks, El-Sayed said he’s confident it's "possible" the plan could be law and noted fall elections could dramatically reshape political power in Lansing.

“We’ve got an opportunity here to put policy ahead of politics, to present a plan that Michiganders want and that will save Michiganders money,” he said. “We’ll worry about the political reality after that.”

El-Sayed's "Michicare" coverage would be based on required essential health benefits outlined in the federal Affordable Care Act insurance law, including outpatient, emergency and hospital care, maternity and newborn care, reproductive health, mental and substance abuse care, prescription drugs and rehabilitative services.




Michigan residents could still choose to purchase private health insurance to supplement the Michicare program, and business could also offer supplemental health insurance to their employees if desired.

The average Michigan family making $48,432 a year would save almost $5,000 a year on insurance, out-of-pocket health costs and auto insurance, which could get cheaper if unlimited medical benefits are not required, according to the El-Sayed campaign.
Goal ThermometerEven though Wasserman Schultz had rigged the system so that Hillary received 73 electoral votes to Bernie's 65, the voters in the Michigan primary wanted Bernie-- by a margin of 595,222 (49.8%) to 575,795 (48.3%). Had they gotten their way, had the Democratic establishment not shoved a status quo candidate down their throats, Bernie would be president now, not Trump. Take Kalamazoo County. Not only did Bernie beat Hillary 20,146 to 12,593 but he beat Trump as well (8,655). Same in Eaton County, where Bernie beat Hillary 7,007 to 5,560, where Trump took 5,386 votes on the same day. Same in Grand Traverse County-- Bernie 8,091, Hillary 4,140, Trump 5,891. Same in Ingham-- Bernie 22,909, Hillary 18,287, Trump 8,056. Kent Country saw Bernie roll up the votes as well-- 43,375 to Hillary's 25,899 and Trump's 22,742. We could go on and on. But you get the point.

The new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll-- released yesterday-- shows that 22% of voters nationally (32% among Democrats), picked health care as the issue that will be most important in determining how they vote in November, above the economy and jobs at 19%, guns at 13%, taxes and spending at 11% and immigration at 10%.If El-Sayeed can appeal to these voters in the August 7th Democratic primary, he'll be Michigan's next governor-- and Michigan will be the first state with a viable Medicare-For-All healthcare system.


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6 Comments:

At 5:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Increasingly, Muslims are entering domestic politics. It's my impression that they tend to stand for things I agree with. But realistically, this nation remains mired in bigotry. While I hope this candidate succeeds, he's in for a rough ride.

 
At 5:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting. However, he can't do this because it requires the lege to pass tax increases. That won't happen. He must know this.

So this becomes another typical democrap song and dance that will amount to nothing. I don't know whether he is truly sincere or not.

But if this could pass and be implemented, wouldn't it make the CA democraps look like shit!

 
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At 11:49 PM, Anonymous zeeman said...

Let's get one thing straight! As a subscriber to the 'progressive' ideology, and this blog DWT I would vote for him if I could. But his name will scare the hell out of most white low info racist voters!

 
At 7:05 AM, Blogger Faladha Gibson said...

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At 8:56 AM, Blogger Jamarreon Miller said...

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