Saturday, May 12, 2018

Have We Mentioned Lately That Bernie Would Have Beaten Trump?


A neighbor's son-- a Trump fanatic-- got rid of his insurance because he's positive Trump is about to offer cheaper healthcare... in a week or a month. He'll hold off on buying healthcare 'til Trump makes healthcare less expensive and better. Poor guy! Yesterday, Robert Pear reported at the New York Times that Trumpanzee has dropped his campaign promise to let Medicare negotiate with pharmaceutical companies to lower drug prices. Pear reminded his readers that during the campaign, Trumpanzee "boldly broke with his party and embraced a longstanding Democratic proposal when he called for the federal government to use its buying power to negotiate lower drug prices for Medicare recipients. The proposal was popular with voters but not with other Republican politicians, who had been battling it for years. Under Part D of Medicare, millions of older Americans receive insurance coverage for prescription drugs. The benefit is delivered entirely by private entities under contract with Medicare. These private entities-- insurance companies and the middlemen known as pharmacy benefit managers-- negotiate prices with drugmakers. But under a 2003 law, the federal government 'may not interfere' in those negotiations." I love Medicare; it saved my life. The only bad part of Medicare in the Republican addition-- "Medicare Part D," which is a giant rip-off. Last month I went to Thailand and spent $5,000 on life-saving drugs that would have cost me-- thank Medicare Part D-- $35,000 here in the richest nation on earth.
The theme of the president’s initiative is “American patients first,” and his plan takes aim at what the White House calls “foreign freeloading.” The administration will, as expected, put pressure on foreign countries to relax drug price controls, in the belief that pharmaceutical companies can then lower prices in the United States.

“Other countries use socialized health care to command unfairly low prices from U.S. drugmakers,” said a summary provided by the White House on Thursday. “This places the burden of financing drug development largely on American patients and taxpayers, subsidizes foreign consumers, and reduces innovation and the development of new treatments.”

The United States spends well over $300 billion a year on prescription drugs sold at pharmacies and other retail outlets, and Medicare and Medicaid account for nearly 40 percent of that spending, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Mr. Trump plans to criticize brand-name drug manufacturers for setting high list prices and for trying to stifle competition by delaying the marketing of lower-cost generic drugs. He is also expected to criticize pharmacy benefit managers, saying they profit from rebates paid by drug companies but do not pass on much of the savings to patients.

Mr. Trump has repeatedly said that drug companies are “getting away with murder.”

...As a presidential candidate, Mr. Trump supported two ideas that are anathema to the pharmaceutical industry: allowing Medicare officials to negotiate prices and allowing consumers to import prescription drugs from Canada and certain other countries where brand-name drug prices are generally lower than in the United States.

But top administration officials, like Alex M. Azar II, the secretary of health and human services, and Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, strenuously oppose those ideas. Republicans argue that the federal government has such overwhelming power as a buyer that it could basically set a price that manufacturers would have to comply with.

And since taking office, Mr. Trump has not endorsed such proposals.
Forbes published a story yesterday by Omri Ben-Shahar about how Trump won because of non-voters and that Trump won because of lower Democratic turnout. Maybe they wanted to see Trump get in so they could get cheaper medicine.

Ben-Shahar points out that the conclusion that Trump won in 2016 because he "succeeded in awakening a popular movement of anger and frustration among white, blue-collar, less educated, mostly male, voters, particularly in non-urban areas. Trump promised them jobs, safe borders, and dignity, and they responded by turning out in masses at his pre-election rallies and eventually at the ballots, carrying him to victory. This story is mostly wrong. Trump did not win because he was more attractive to this base of white voters. He won because Hillary Clinton was less attractive to the traditional Democratic base of urban, minorities, and more educated voters. This is a profound fact, because Democratic voters were so extraordinarily repelled by Trump that they were supposed to have the extra motivation to turn out. Running against Trump, any Democratic candidate should have ridden a wave of anti-Trump sentiment among these voters. It therefore took a strong distaste for Hillary Clinton among the Democratic base to not only undo this wave, but to lose many additional liberal votes."

As we've mentioned again and again since the election, statistics and analysis prove that Bernie would have won. Fuck Putin and Debbie Wasserman Schultz for taking that away from America and shackling this country to Trump.
The story of Hillary Clinton’s defeat, then, is not the Trump Movement erupting in the ballots, nor the fable that some “Reagan Democrats” flipped again from Obama to Trump. The story is altogether different, and very simple: the Democratic base did not turn out to vote as it did for Obama. Those sure-Democrats who stayed home handed the election to Trump.

Take Michigan for example. A state that Obama won in 2012 by 350,000 votes, Clinton lost by roughly 10,000. Why? She received 300,000 votes less than Obama did in 2012. Detroit and Wayne County should kick themselves because of the 595,253 votes they gave Obama in 2012, only 518,000 voted for Clinton in 2016. Mote than 75,000 Motown Obama voters did not bother to vote for Clinton! They did not become Trump voters-- Trump received only 10,000 votes more than Romney did in this county. They simply stayed at home. If even a fraction of these lethargic Democrats had turned out to vote, Michigan would have stayed blue.

Wisconsin tells the same numbers story, even more dramatically. Trump got no new votes. He received exactly the same number of votes in America’s Dairyland as Romney did in 2012. Both received 1,409,000 votes. But Clinton again could not spark many Obama voters to turn out for her: she tallied 230,000 votes less than Obama did in 2012. This is how a 200,000-vote victory margin for Obama in the Badger State became a 30,000-vote defeat for Clinton.

This pattern is national. Clinton’s black voter turnout dropped more than 11 percent compared to 2012. The support for Clinton among active black voters was still exceedingly high (87 percent, versus 93 percent for Obama), but the big difference was the turnout. Almost two million black votes cast for Obama in 2012 did not turn out for Clinton. According to one plausible calculation, if in North Carolina blacks had turned out for Clinton as they had for Obama, she would have won the state. I saw a similar downtrend in my own eyes: I voted in a predominantly African American precinct in the south side of Chicago, and I can testify that the lines for early voting at the polling place were much shorter than they were in 2012.

I don't know... maybe so many Democrats stayed home in 2016 because they were fed up with voting for status quo careerist candidates. And here we have the DC committees-- the DCCC and the DSCC-- trying to shove the same stinky garbage down voters' throats again this year. Everyone hates Trump... but will it be enough to get Democrats to pull the levers for pure trash like Kyrsten Sinema (Blue Dog-AZ), Jason Crow (New Dem-CO), Brad Ashford (Blue Dog-NE), Gil Cisneros (CA), Ann Kirkpatrick (New Dem-AZ), Susie Lee (New Dem-NV), Jeff Van Drew (Blue Dog-NY), Anthony Brindisi (Blue Dog-NY)...? I wouldn't bet on it. People have learned to really hate the DCCC, the DSCC and the DNC. They're on to the scam now. Best of two evils? Voters-- or non-voters, to be more precise-- want better than that.

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At 5:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have We Mentioned Lately That Bernie Would Have Beaten Trump?

I am not so sure about that. If your thesis is that Hillary underperformed with black folks what on earth makes you think they would have come out for Bernie? You don't remember 20016 too well do you? Bernie couldn't buy an African-American vote because the entire leadership class was in Hillary's back pocket. The black "leaders" would have encouraged their people to stay home rather than vote for Bernie.

One quick question - You keep insisting that Bernie would have beaten Trump. Yet Bernie couldn't beat the woman whom Trump beat. My personal guess is that they would have McGoverned Bernie to ensure he lost and discredit the progressive cause once and for all.

At 6:43 PM, Blogger News Nag said...

It's one of those questions that we'll never know for sure the answer to. However, Bernie would have had the wind at his back and reached voters actually interested in jobs and economics. Bernie's passion and knowledge would have exposed Trump's superficial pretend-interest in working people. People would have voted for the real thing, meaning Bernie's politics, over Trump's fakery. Another thing Bernie had in his favor is that he could stand up for himself and his issues very forcefully, and therefore could have overcome a McGovern type of effect. African-Americans didn't turn out for Hillary in greater numbers because they understood what her husband's presidency had done TO them, and Hillary dumbly didn't seriously address this whatsoever (neither Clinton can admit to a mistake, it seems). I think Bernie could have back African-American voters once he had the nomination, especially given his early commitment to civil rights and his economic programs. He could have addressed them directly and have done so in full honesty and integrity. Anyway, we may get to see if he can beat Trump in 2020. Let's hope he gets the chance, either as the top of the ticket or the vp candidate.

At 9:22 PM, Anonymous Webstir said...

Yes, Hillary is, was, and always will be a shitty candidate. But let’s not forget: Obama set the table. He broke just as many promises as Trump is breaking now, and people basically said fuck this shit. Not a tough analysis.

At 11:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This African American - Bernie thing is BS. Which group gives Bernie his highest favorables? African Americans. African Americans are not stupid. They know who supports them. They just didn't know Bernie well in 2016 and like most Democrats they thought, incorrectly, that Clinton was more likely to win

At 6:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Webstir is correct.

11:24 forgets that the blacks loved bill, unknown why. And they supported $hillbillary bigly in the primaries.

I suspect that they'd have supported Bernie in the general, but you just never know about the hate factor (anti-Semitism) among those people. There could have been a lot of money spent by Russia (who used most of their 'bot efforts to sow racial discord) or the kochs ... or all of them.

One can never misunderestimate the stupidity of any American demographic any more.

At 11:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greg Palast and Jimmy Dore and others have covered this topic, and what they present blends nicely with the reported numbers of reduced voters for Hillary. Now if only she had bothered to campaign in those areas . . .


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