Friday, December 27, 2019

Will 2020 Be The Medicare-For-All Election?


There are some undeniably good things Obamacare accomplished-- top-most, prohibiting predatory insurance companies from ripping off the general public by denying reasonably-priced health insurance based on preexisting conditions. But as a way to cover costs for medical treatment, Obamacare was always sorely lacking, especially as the GOP increasingly whittled away at it. It was never much more than better-than-nothing and a work-on-progress. Unfortunately, the Democrats failed at making it better when they could have-- and then along came Trump. So… now that Trump and the GOP have pretty much managed to gum up the works, it has become more and more evident that it’s time to abandon half-measures and update Medicare to cover everyone, the way it was meant to before conservatives made it a senior-care program-- while Democratic sadly persuaded themselves they would fix it "soon." It’s been over 5 decades and… how soon is now. It’s time to pass original Medicare-- which would include a viable drug program, dentistry, psychiatric care, visual care… and several other improvements, not the least of which would be universality. Maybe it should’ve been called Original Medicare instead of Medicare-for-All.

But the corporate and conservative overreach in regard to Obamacare is likely going to bring us right to Medicare-for-All. The only way to prevent it at this time? Leave the keys to the vehicle in the hands of visionless conservatives, whether Trump or Biden (not to mention Moscow Mitch and Pelosi).

The day after Christmas, a couple of Politico reporters, Miranda Ollstein and James Arkin, almost saw it. They recognized that the court ruling putting what’s left of the Affordable Care Act further in jeopardy could be a good thing for Democrats-- but they only got halfway there, predicting that it would help the Democrats electorally (again). But what they didn’t see, is that it would help progressives push through Medicare-for-All, something Politico and all of the Beltway media recoils from in instinctual horror.
“I think it’s an opportunity to reset with the new year to remind people that there’s a very real threat to tens of millions of Americans," Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) said in an interview. "We Democrats are always striving to improve the system, but, at a minimum, the American people expect us to protect what they already have."

In 2018, Democrats won the House majority and several governorships largely on a message of protecting Obamacare and its popular protections for preexisting conditions. This year continued the trend, with Kentucky’s staunchly anti-Obamacare governor, Matt Bevin, losing to Democratic now-Gov. Andy Beshear.

The landscape in 2020 may be more challenging for Democrats than it was in 2018, when Republicans had more recently voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Republicans also say they now have more ammunition to push back on Democrats’ arguments with the party’s divisions over single-payer health care, which would replace Obamacare, shaping the presidential race.
Notice the corporate media spin and a refusal to mention how immensely popular Medicare-for-All is, despite the efforts of the insurance and pharmaceutical companies and their bought and paid for conservative politicians on both sides of the aisle.

Democrats believe they can win the political battle over health care, especially in Senate races. At least a half-dozen GOP senators are up for reelection, and Democrats need to net three seats to win back control of the chamber if they also win back the presidency. Democratic strategists and candidates are eager to run a health care playbook that mirrors that of the party’s House takeover in 2018, and say Republicans are uniquely vulnerable after admitting this year that they have no real plan for dealing with the potential fallout of courts striking down Obamacare.

Within a day of the ruling, the pro-Obamacare advocacy group Protect Our Care cut a national TV and digital ad featuring images of Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Cory Gardner (R-CO), warning that if the lawsuit succeeds, “135 million Americans with preexisting conditions will be stripped of protections, 20 million Americans will lose coverage and costs will go up for millions more.”

Other state-based progressive groups told Politico they’re readying their own ads going after individual Senate Republicans over the 5th Circuit’s ruling.

Protect Our Care director Brad Woodhouse predicts that it’s just a preview of the wave of attention the issue will get in the months ahead, as Democratic candidates and outside groups alike hammer the GOP on the threat their lawsuit poses to Obamacare.

“If there is one issue in American politics that is going to flip the Senate from Republican to Democratic in 2020, it’s this issue,” he said. “Our message is simple: President [Donald] Trump and Republicans are in court right now, suing to take away the ACA, take away your health care. And if Cory Gardner or Thom Tillis or any of them don’t think that’s an indefensible position, they should ask the 40-plus House Republicans who lost their seats in 2018.”
Goal ThermometerThere are three approaches that must be taken: 1- replacing conservative, anti-healthcare Democrats, like Dan Lipinski, Tom O’Halleran, Bill Foster, Kurt Schrader, Jim Costa and Derek Kilmer with progressives in primaries; 2- replacing anti-healthcare Republicans like Don Bacon, Fred Upton, Michael McCaul, Roger Williams, Steve King and Ken Calvert in the general election; and 3- making sure the Medicare-for-All ticket wins the presidency, not a Republican-lite faux Dem like Status Quo Joe, Mayo Pete or-- worst of all-- Michael Bloomberg.

Marie Newman has to contend with one of the most notorious anti-healthcare “Democrats” in Congress, reactionary Blue Dog Dan Lipinski-- probably the next to jump ship now that his pal Van Drew is gone. Marie noted that "It really is perplexing why Congressman Lipinski does not like a tried and true program, like Medicare and make it more robust/updated, then provide it to everyone. This is the American way. I just don’t understand it." Yes, it’s the American way… but it isn’t the conservative way. Lipinski chose sides long ago.

Like Marie, Mark Gamba is running for a seat held by a conservative anti-healthcare Blue Dog, Kurt Schrader. And like Marie, Mark and the Blue Dog have little in common. “We keep being told,” he told me, “that universal health care is too hard or too expensive! Really? It’s so hard that we are the only industrialized nation in the world that doesn’t have it? As an American I take that as a direct insult.  Are you saying that our government is so inept it can’t even pull off something that Albania and Azerbaijan, the Cook Island and Croatia, Gabon and Guyana or Palau and Uzbekistan did years ago? Before I ran for office, I used to shoot for National Geographic and so had an inordinate number of opportunities to experience the health care systems of various countries. I can tell you that the care I got was always excellent, it was quick, there was no paperwork to fill out and it was virtually free. Universal health care works great. Health care systems designed to provide health care, rather than maximize profits are much cheaper than what we have here. Do you want to know why most people in congress think it’s hard? Because the insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industry and the for-profit-hospitals are going to make it hard for them by withholding the fat checks. My opponent is a classic example of that. Blue Dog Kurt is well funded by all of the above, so he sent his chief of staff to an event where his job was to learn how to stop universal health care. As long as the majority of congress is taking money from the industries that are milking us dry when we are at our most vulnerable, it will not change and we will have a worse system for providing health care to all of our citizens than Finland or France. Maybe it’s long past time to help people who aren’t taking corporate money raise enough to replace the health industry lackeys.”

Same with Kim Williams; she’s running for a seat in California’s Central Valley that’s being held by another Van Drew crony, Blue Dog Jim Costa. “Over the course of this campaign,” she said, “we have knocked on thousands of doors to not only share our vision for the Valley but to make sure constituent voices shaped our policy platform from the start. When conservative Democrats dismiss Medicare for All, they aren’t just catering to their wealthy donors, they are denying the very real struggles working families face. They do this because they benefit from a system that rewards the wealthy and because they do not believe the poor will show up. What they seem to miss, however, is that the poor may not have shown up in the past because there wasn’t much reason to do so. For many election cycles, voters in my district have had to choose between two conservatives from two different parties with no reason to believe that their lot would improve with either. They weren’t wrong, but the tide is turning. The majority clearly want Medicare for All, and as the only candidate to personally knock on thousands of doors, I am certain voters are ready to show up for it.”

Rachel Ventura’s opponent isn’t a Blue Dog-- but he is a reactionary New Dem, Bill Foster, generally just as bad. Rachel: “I’ve heard dozens of stories from constituents who have gone to Bill Foster to ask him to support changes to our healthcare system and how they have all walk away with disappointment from their congressman. Bill Foster continues to take money from insurance companies and big Pharma, yet his constituents’ needs fall on deaf ears. What’s more concerning is how he has turned his back on an iconic award-winning scientist who endorsed him. Bill Foster reminds his voters he’s a physicist who used to work at Fermi Lab. He uses this fact to mislead his voters to believe he is fighting for them. But in reality, he has ignored the healthcare atrocities of many including an iconic scientist who paved the way for the type of science Foster studied. Leon Max Lederman was a physicist who received both the Wolf Prize and the Nobel Prize in Physics, for the research on neutrinos. This is the very thing Bill Foster studied at Fermi. In fact, Lederman was Director Emeritus of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois! He even founded the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy right here in our district in Aurora. Lederman began to suffer from memory loss in 2011 and, after struggling with medical bills, he had to sell his Nobel Prize medal for $765,000 to cover the healthcare costs in 2015. He died of complications from dementia on October 2018. The current Medicare program does not cover long-term care-- neither care at home nor in nursing homes. The expanded and improved Medicare for all legislation includes comprehensive long-term care coverage, including at-home services and supports, as well as nursing home care. The Medicare for All Act also adds hearing, dental and vision coverage. This would be life-changing for tens of millions of people. It also wouldn’t force seniors to impoverish themselves just so they can qualify for Medicaid like today. After all, most families cannot pay their healthcare bills by selling a Nobel Prize medal. Bill Foster has turned his back on both on every day Americans as well as the innovated minds of the world. He cannot see the damage this broken system is causing to living breathing human beings; which is just one of the reasons he needs to be voted out of office.”

Mike Siegel is also running against an arch-conservative, but one already in the Republican Party, multimillionaire Michael McCaul. Siegel knows exactly what he’s up against-- and what Texas working families he seeks to represent are up against: "Medicare for All offers the clearest contrast to Republican attacks on the Affordable Care Act and the safety net in general. On one hand, you have representatives like McCaul who have systematically undermined Obamacare, call safety net programs 'socialism' and otherwise promote austerity. The result: in TX-10 alone, over 100,000 are uninsured; tens of thousands more are under-insured and at risk of bankruptcy in the event of a medical emergency; and multiple rural hospitals have closed in the last decade. Under Medicare for All, a huge proportion of the district will instantly have high quality care at a fraction of the cost, or no cost at all; hospitals will re-open, saving lives and stimulating local economies; and innovation, productivity and happiness will improve, as we lift the burden of health care from the backs of countless working families. As a candidate supporting Medicare for All, I look forward to running alongside a Democratic nominee who will make the case, to Texas and the nation, that this single reform will improve the lives of millions, and take a huge step forward towards a more just and equitable society." Help Mike, Rachel, Kim, Mark and Marie win their elections by contributing what you can; just tap on the Medicare-For-All thermometer above.

Did I mention earlier how Politico and the rest of the Beltway media abhors Bernie? Even Politico was forced to admit this week that he could win the nomination. Source: the corrupt establishment politicos who would volunteer to amputate a limb rather than see Bernie’s political revolution win the presidency. Holly Otterbein and David Siders walked the tightrope. “Suddenly,” the wrote, exposing themselves for the fools they are, “Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign is being taken seriously.” Either could have pulled their heads out of their asses at any point in the last 12 months and the word “suddenly” wouldn’t have been the word that began their piece. Anyway, they reported how Democratic Party “insiders” had written Bernie off as “a candidate with a committed but ultimately narrow base who was too far left to win the primary.” They wish! Really, they do-- especially profiteering Republicans-in-all-but-name like David Brock.
California state Sen. Scott Wiener, who defeated a Sanders-backed Democrat for his seat in the liberal-heavy San Francisco area in 2016, said that Sanders has been “more resilient than I anticipated.”

“But in retrospect,” he added, “he has a very, very loyal following, and people have really stuck with him.”

Sanders is in second place in national polls, nearly 9 percentage points behind Joe Biden, according to the most recent RealClearPolitics average. He is second in Iowa and first in New Hampshire. The latest CNN poll found that he has the highest net favorability rating of any Democratic presidential candidate.

…At the beginning of the year— another high point for Sanders’ campaign, before Warren surged— some establishment Democrats talked about how to stop his momentum. Brock, who has a close relationship with many Democratic donors, said he has not heard anything like that being revived in recent weeks: “That doesn’t mean it won’t happen. This is more of an analysis in the political world than in the donor world.”

Many moderate Democrats [NOTE: Politico uses the word “moderate” when they describe corrupt conservatives; it sounds better to their tin ears] still dismiss Sanders’ candidacy. They believe his so-called ceiling remains intact, and that Warren will depress any room for growth he might otherwise have.

“He can’t win the nomination,” said Matt Bennet, co-founder of the center-left [they mean so far to the right that a centimeter more in that direction, they are bona fide Republicans] group Third Way, adding that Sanders’ uptick is simply him “bouncing around between his ceiling and his floor a little bit more than people had thought he would.”

On the other hand, he acknowledged his staying power. “Not until the very end will people say to Bernie Sanders, ‘When are you dropping out?’”

A series of TV segments around last week’s Democratic debate illustrate the shift in how Sanders is being perceived. “We never talk about Bernie Sanders. He is actually doing pretty well in this polling,” former senior Obama adviser David Axelrod said on CNN after the event. “He’s actually picked up. And the fact is Bernie Sanders is as consistent as consistent can be.”

The same day on MSNBC, national political correspondent Steve Kornacki said, “Democratic voters like him, and if he starts winning, there could be a bandwagon effect.” GOP pollster Frank Luntz, who conducted a California focus group that found most participants thought Sanders had won the debate, said on CNBC, “I think you’re going to see continued movement. Sanders has been gaining in California over the past two months.”

Larry Cohen, chairman of the pro-Sanders group Our Revolution, said Warren’s candidacy is not a problem for Sanders if both of them can-- together-- amass a plurality of delegates heading into the convention.

“The math is that if you think of the voters for Warren and the voters for Sanders as two circles, yes, there is overlap, [but] most of the circles are separate,” Cohen said. “I think between them, we can get to a majority.”

…Former California Gov. Gray Davis [a conservative bag of diarrhea so putrid that he managed two be recalled in the bluest state in the nation, not because Republicans hated him but because progressives did— and do] stopped short of saying firm support for Medicare for All would be an impediment for Democrats in the primary, but suggested the risk for the nominee is significant.

“Californians and Americans in general like options-- not mandates,” he said. [Social Security, Medicare and drivers' licenses are all popular mandates and the option Californians wanted was anything to get rid of Grey Davis, even a Republican!]

Faiz Shakir, Sanders’ campaign manager, said political insiders and pundits are rethinking his chances “not out of the goodness of their heart,” but because “it is harder and harder to ignore him when he’s rising in every average that you see.” And he welcomes a conversation about Sanders’ electability, he said.

“We want that,” he said. “I’d love to be able to argue why he stands a better chance to beat Donald Trump than Joe Biden.”

Labels: , , , , , , ,


At 6:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sheepdogging again.

2020 will be the trump election. the democraps are never going to allow Bernie or Elizabeth, unless the latter disavows MFA (which could happen since her ambition seems to exceed her grasp of principles). The DNC has the fix in and voters seem quite willing to ram their heads up their asses deeper than ever.

This will be a contest between the most loyal fucktards on the right and the most loyal fucktards on the left and, as usual these days, the electoral college choosing the Nazi.

Any mention of MFA as a key issue for the nomination of the democrap by the DNC and the money that owns them is pure sheepdoggery. It is, in fact, the issue that DQs Bernie (among many) from the DNC allowing him anywhere near that nomination.

And we all know from the past 40 years that lefty voters NEVER insist on anything except that their hero have a D next to their name. issues don't really matter.

Do NOT let yourself be fooled.

At 6:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the senate flips, whether due to trump or mfa, it won't make mfa an issue. the senate tyrant will be scummer. just as Moscow mitch did not allow issues he didn't like to be heard, scummer will not allow mfa to be heard. combine that with Pelosi's continued refusal (or did you not realize that she's smothered it in the house for almost a year now?) means mfa is doa in the usa.

At 7:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ag, what could have been! All the Democrats needed was a candidate who wasn't a "moderate 1985 Reagan Republican" and whose role model was FDR and not Ronnie Reagunz, Corporate Shill. Who spent his time calling the Republicans he clearly preferred to vote on a bill which would have achieved Medicare For All instead of strutting about in his POTUS jacket and waiting for the Congress to so all the heavy lifting.

But then, what can you expect from a man who clearly has no gonads (unless you are a real progressive) and demonstrates that women would make better leaders than he would?

At 12:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@6:09 am

Doesn't seem wholly fair to say Trump will win via Electoral College and NOT admit that this will more than likely be after losing the popular vote to the tune of (probably) 5-6 million this time. It is kinda at odds with much of your line of attack (or would at least require a slightly more nuanced approach to these things).

I have serious doubts as to whether a progressive can win the presidency via the Electoral College in this country at this time. Too many whites (men especially) just cannot stand the idea of "lazy and undeserving darkies" benefiting from any kind of enlarged/enhanced safety net and will vote against anyone advocating it.

Saw some of your posts over at Smirking Chimp. Looks like you and yours had a pretty rough patch in 2009-2010. Hope things are better now.

Steve 12/27/19

At 2:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve, I've predicted that trump could lose the general by up to 10 million and still win his 307 electors.

we saw in '16 that a 'next worst democrap nom ever' will suppress the votes on the left, especially in key states and key demographics (15 million fewer blacks voted in '16 compared to '12). If you look at those key states' D primaries, you can infer that Bernie would NOT have suppressed the left as much (particularly the youth vote) and would have easily won 2 or 3 of them -- enough to win the EC.

If the DNC chooses biden, that will suppress the left enough to make the general numbers about what $hillbillary saw, and an EC loss.
If it's pete, the suppression will be about the same in the battleground states but maybe a little less in CA and NY making the general numbers a little bigger but not having any effect on the EC.

All those white men who cannot stand the idea of the usa being the least bit compassionate to brown, poor, young, old and sick americans are already going to be voting for trump and the Nazis.

At 3:23 AM, Anonymous said...

So, it is yourown vision. I don't agree with some aspects, but ok. We all know from the past 40 years that lefty voters NEVER insist on anything. Time will show.


Post a Comment

<< Home