Friday, September 14, 2018

Medicare-- Progressives Want It To Be Available For Everyone; Republicans Want To Cut It Back So They Can Afford More Tax Cuts For The Rich


First the bad new-- courtesy of Newsweek-- Marco Rubio admited that the Republican tax cut plan, which benefits corporations and the wealthy, will require cuts to Social Security and Medicare to pay for it.
To address the federal deficit, which will grow by at least $1 trillion if the tax plan passes, Congress will need to cut entitlement programs such as Social Security, Rubio told reporters this week. Advocates for the elderly and the poor have warned that entitlement programs would be on the chopping block, but this is the first time a prominent Republican has backed their claims.

...Rubio's talk of structural change is vague but will likely include changing the rate and age of Social Security and Medicare payouts.

Republicans have long said that the growth generated from slashing corporate tax rates from 35 percent to 20 percent would make their tax cuts "revenue neutral," but there's no evidence they're right. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the Senate tax plan would increase the U.S. deficit by $1.4 trillion over the next decade, and the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation has said the plan will boost economic growth by only 0.8 percent over the next decade, leaving $1 billion in cuts unpaid for.

So where does that money come from?

The simple answer is Social Security and Medicare, which together make up 38 percent of the total federal budget, second only to military spending.

Other key Republicans have hinted that after the tax bill passes they’ll take on welfare and entitlement programs. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said that he wants Republicans to reduce spending on government programs in 2018. Last month, President Donald Trump said that welfare reform will "take place right after taxes-- very soon, very shortly after taxes."

Senate Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said Thursday that “liberal programs” for the poor were wasting Americans’ money. 
And now the good news. This week, one of Congress' most fervent progressives, Pramila Jayapal, who represents most of Seattle, started a new PAC, The Medicare for All PAC to, in her words, "support candidates and initiatives around the country that share the common conviction that health care is a human right. One of the best ways to ensure health care for all is to use the system that already exists for millions over the last half century: Medicare. It’s time for public officials around the country to stand with the American people, the majority of whom-- according to the latest polling-- believe Medicare For All is the best path forward. Now is the time to improve and expand Medicare to cover all Americans."

Salon interviewed Pramila about the PAC yesterday and she told them that she's "been advocating for a single-payer health care system since the Obamacare days, when I was not in Congress. I think that the Affordable Care Act really provided people with the realization that health care is a right and not a privilege, and I think it's been a huge step forward. But we are now at a place where the momentum is really strong across the country to have a real transformation of the system and to move to a Medicare for All system." This is the exact opposite of what the GOP is trying to do. Who's side are the American people on? It isn't even close:

"I'm a proud progressive, obviously. I'm the first vice chair of the progressive caucus," Jayapal explained. "But I think Medicare for All actually should be called a centrist idea. It's an idea that has been adopted by every industrialized nation in the world. It is an idea that serves the center of the country, if you really think about what 'centrist' should mean. It shouldn't be one fulcrum over on the edge of a ruler, it should be right in the center. And to me, that's what a universal health care system is. I believe it is an idea whose time is past due, and if we have a Blue Wave we are bringing in many candidates who have embraced this."

Jayapal also made it clear that the success of any Medicare for All bill will depend on Democrats winning control of the House. So long as they are in charge of that legislative chamber, she asserted, such a bill will never even reach a vote, let alone prevail.
76 members of Congress are listed as co-founders of the PAC. I asked some of the candidates likely to win seats in November if they would sign on and work with Pramila on this. Jesse King, running one of the most grassroots-oriented campaigns anywhere in the country told us that when she's elected to represent her Pennsylvania district she "would be excited to join the Medicare-For-All caucus. We need to pass Medicare-for-All and ensure that every American, no matter how rich or poor, has access to medical care. During my 20+ years of work in economic development, I saw again and again how our current system of privatized healthcare stifles innovation and entrepreneurship. The high cost and volatility of healthcare keeps would-be entrepreneurs tethered to employer-sponsored healthcare and pushes some small business owners to close up shop and work for someone else-- just because folks can’t live without health insurance. Guaranteeing quality healthcare to all Americans is both morally right and fiscally pragmatic."

Once the new Congress is sworn in, I expect a lot more members in the Medicare for All Caucus. Aside from conveners Pramila, Keith Ellison (MN) and Debbie Dingell (MI), these are the members so far:
Karen Bass (CA)
Joyce Beatty (OH)
Don Beyer (VA)
Earl Blumenauer (OR)
Suzanne Bonamici (OR)
Brendan Boyle (PA)
Anthony Brown (MD)
Andre Carson (IN)
Kathy Castor (FL)
Judy Chu (CA)
David Cicilline (RI)
Katherine Clark (MA)
Yvette Clarke (NY)
Lacy Clay (MO)
Steve Cohen (TN)
Pete DeFazio (OR)
Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA)
Mike Doyle (PA)
Eliot Engel (NY)
Adriano Espaillat (NY)
Dwight Evans (PA)
Lois Frankel (FL)
Marcia Fudge (OH)
Tulsi Gabbard (HI)
Ruben Gallego (AZ)
John Garamendi (CA)
Jimmy Gomez (CA)
Vicente Gonzalez (TX)
Al Green (TX)
Raúl Grijalva (AZ)
Alcee Hastings (FL)
Brian Higgins (NY)
Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC)
Jared Huffman (CA)
Hank Johnson (GA)
Robin Kelly (IL)
Ro Khanna (CA)
Brenda Lawrence (MI)
Barbara Lee (CA)
John Lewis (GA)
Ted Lieu (CA)
Zoe Lofgren (CA)
Alan Lowenthal (CA)
Carolyn Maloney (NY)
Jim McGovern (MA)
Jerry McNerney (CA)
Grace Meng (NY)
Jerrold Nadler (NY)
Grace Napolitano (CA)
Richard Nolan (MN)
Chellie Pingree (ME)
Mark Pocan (WI)
Jared Polis (CO)
Jamie Raskin (MD)
Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA)
Tim Ryan (OH)
Jan Schakowsky (IL)
Bobby Scott (VA)
Jose Serrano (NY)
Albio Sires (NJ)
Adam Smith (WA)
Darren Soto (FL)
Mark Takano (CA)
Dina Titus (NV)
Paul Tonko (NY)
Marc Veasey (TX)
Nydia Velázquez (NY)
Maxine Waters (CA)
Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ)
Peter Welch (VT)
Frederica Wilson (FL)
John Yarmuth (KY)
Is your own member of Congress missing? Call them or write them and ask them why. Pelosi should be thinking about all these members before she goes forward with her crazy PAY-GO scheme, although I suppose if she loses 70 of so Democrats it'll be easy as pie to pick up enough Republicans to pass it, since it's a Republican plan anyway.

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At 7:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice list of pretend progressives who will pretend to advocate MFA.

Just count them. Still a minority... still rendered moot by Pelosi... still posing.

You know what would get mfa off the ground? Letting the Nazis kill millions by denying them Medicare and Medicaid and even SSI... as long as 3 of the dead are Pelosi and hoyer and scummer (probably 50 more, but I don't readily know all their names... some may be on that list).

Nothing will ever move this brain dead electorate like watching their families lose members because the trumps needed a few more million per year in tax breaks.

Of course watching themselves get ratfucked for 40 years so those same motherfuckers can buy more yachts and jets and summer estates hasn't awoken anyone yet... so maybe I'm wrong and absolutely nothing will get MFA moving...
or Pelosi and scummer don't die...
either way...

At 10:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone monitoring pitchfork sales? We already know that the Nazis bought all the torches.


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