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Amid Grassroots Push, Medicare for All Winning Big in Democratic Primaries


#1

Amid Grassroots Push, Medicare for All Winning Big in Democratic Primaries

Jake Johnson, staff writer

With Medicare for All reaching record levels of support among both members of Congress and the American public—where support for single-payer is spreading "like wildfire"—policy platforms demanding that the U.S.


#2

From the article:

“It ain’t gonna be on CBS. It ain’t gonna be on NBC. What astounds me is we already have a pretty good majority of the American people who already believe in universal healthcare, believe that it is the government’s responsibility to make sure that health care is a right,” Sanders said. “And we have reached that stage with media not talking about the issue at all.”

Or, as Gil Scott-Heron prophesied, “The revolution will NOT be televised.”


#3

The MSM is going to talk about Medicare for all just as much as they talk about Climate Change.


#4

There are gradations in Medicare.

Luxembourg has a highly efficient national health system where the doctor does minimal paperwork. She/he/ze simply writes down all procedures done and gets paid immediately for everything on the list. This is a time-efficient use of an expensive doctor’s time. The doctor doesn’t have to hire a bookkeeper or anything. The national health system bills patients for optional procedures and the system pays for all covered procedures.

Medicare part A is 80% insurance, minus a big nick of grandma’s money up front. A real national health insurance wouldn’t demand $176 out of grandma’s pocket before the insurance kicks in. The only purpose for the $176 poll tax on rich and poor alike is to soak the poor a little. A poll tax is where everybody, rich and poor, all have to pay the same amount.

Below this level of care is Medicare parts B and D (for Donut), where people pay for their own poll tax medical insurance for often vastly overpriced medical tests and procedures. A real national health care system wouldn’t torture the poor this way. (Truth in advertising, I’m turning 65, I can’t afford part B and I don’t qualify for Medicaid because I don’t own a house.)

Obamacare might have been 10% better than the old Republican “don’t get sick” plan. In some states the poor got covered. However, under Donald Trump lots of people’s insurance rates have exploded through the roof, especially in red states.


#5

The bottom line is this. Any system that has private insurance compnaies involved in the delivery of Medical care is flawed and will add extra costs. Those Private Insurance companies add layers of bureacracy and due to the profit motives they add extra costs. They have a vested interest in denying care based on legalese because this increases thier profits.

They have NO training in Health Care. They have nothing to do with health care. Their sole purpose is to get a cut and to profit off the fact hat people get sick.

As to the Health Care “industry” itself , such as the Hospitals and drug companies that deliver the care directly or treatments in order to make profit, they have an INCENTIVE to ensuring the population remains unhealthy. The more that USE the system , the higher the profits. Healthy people do not use Hospitals until late in their lives and do not need drugs.

Ultimately , it the profits stupid , and it the system that through profits where the “investor class” gains ever more wealth accumulated generation to generation , while removing compassion and caring and empathy from the equation making it all about the “return on investment” and all about money.


#6

We are frankly blessed to have a politician like Bernie Sanders, who day in and day out, beats the drum of economic justice in this country. No easy task given the snakes that infest the DC beltway. I don’t regret a single dollar I donated to his campaign in 2016 as it continues to pay dividends. We need more “Bernies” in Congress, with an unabashed progressive message.


#7

Or Israel’s crimes of genocide


#8

I agree completely with your points about the healthcare/industrial complex.
The sad part is that the word “government” can be substituted for “insurance company” in every case.

Added layers of bureaucracy, no training in health care and a vested incentive in keeping people sick in order to gain more control of their lives.

As you point out, the more people that are dependent on the system, the greater justification for growing the bureaucratic budget.

To paraphrase, “Ultimately it’s the power, stupid”. No government or government supported industry ever rests in their struggle for more power.

It boggles the mind that people look at a piece of crap like Medicare and then demand more of it.


#9

Well stated, thanks :sunny:


#10

Medicare has been gutted and is in dire need of replacing with a 100% coverage paid with our taxes.


#11

“Together we will successfully move the United States to a Medicare-for-All, single-payer healthcare system and guarantee healthcare to all,” Sanders concluded.

It sounds nice. I am sure it will sheepdog more then a few back into the Democratic Party, but it is in no way grounded in any kind of reality. As long as the Corporate interests control our government on every level you have a better chance of a snowball fight in hell then medicare for all in America. That is the freaking hard truth. It amazes me every single day just how out of touch with reality the average American seems to be. Until you get real campaign finance reform…something absolutely impossible within the existing system, you can forget universal healthcare and everything else enlightened or progressive. This country will implode long before that happens. Just turn off the damn TV and look around you.


#12

Medicare was actually pretty good at one time but it wasn’t finished before they started privatizing it with Part D. Medicaid is what makes it work for more people. Medicare for all does more than just expand Medicare, it de-funds all public health programs. Medicare for All is healthcare rationing and cost reduction, look at the data behind it. It really does little to reduce or regulate healthcare costs.


#13

Exactly. This is necessarily the case. At the institutional level, there are many things that guarantee that private insurance companies will be more wasteful than public institutions. Large profits, massive administrative and accounting overhead, marketing costs, lobbyist costs, huge executive pay, huge social costs too. At the system wide level, when you have thousands of payers will little government direction, you have an insanely complex system. You need to have a huge administrative apparatus and an accounting apparatus to manage that complexity. Single payer not only addresses the inefficiency at the institutional level, it simplifies the system and is more efficient as a result. Even in multi-payer systems that guarantee universal coverage (Germany, Japan, Singapore), the government plays a much more active role in those systems than the state does in ours. If we want universal coverage, much more state involvement is a given. If we want a truly efficient system, then in our country, that would be single payer. It also would allow for the state to use its economies of scale to bargain down the costs of drugs. Now, if we could work on radically changing intellectual property laws and if we got the government to sell life-saving medicines that it had a huge role in creating (through grants, R & D done by the state or with state funding, research done at land grant universities, etc.), we could have a great healthcare system.

One thing though to keep in mind is things like Chapter 11 of NAFTA, similar provisions are found in other deals based on the NAFTA model. Chapter 11 allows corporations to sue for profits lost. So, for example, if the government decides to not sign off on a pipeline that will damage the environment, drinking water, etc., a company could sue the US government for profits lost. When it does that, the case goes to a secret trade tribunal, and those that decide on that are essentially picked by corporations. Private insurance companies will try to use Chapter 11 to pay them for profits lost in the future, which would be massive. We on the left have to prepare for all that those in power will throw at us, and things like this is one thing they will try to utilize.


#14

Unfortunately, Sanders-the-Sheep-Herder, other faux-progressives, and liberals everywhere have co-opted the phrase “Medicare for All” so it becomes a euphemism for “improving” Romney/ObamaCare with long-term phase-ins.

Like Romney/OBCare, Medicare for All is yet another strategic shift on the part of the Dem wing of the Duopoly to fight off TRUE SINGLE PAYER and and an actual public health system.

They deflect the discussion from health care being a HUMAN RIGHT (that is impossible to achieve in a capitalist system) to improving health care as a commodity, controlled by private corporations and the Duopoly pols who they own.


#15

Not really accurate. Medicare cannot use its economies of scale to bargain down the price of drugs. So, the it is true that it is barred from doing so, which would lower the costs to Medicare recipients and the program. The current head of the Democratic Party in California was a lobbyist that was paid to lobby against the state being able to do the same thing. No reason why that is, outside of corruption by those that put that policy in place and refuse to change it. When people talk about “Medicare for all”, they mean traditional Medicare and they make the fact that everyone would be in the same, single payer system. Canada calls their system Medicare too, which is what people calling for “Medicare for All” want (although, unlike Canada, most call for dental to be included). They have said so too. I remember, when Bush pushed for Part D, Republicans were literally handing out checks from insurance and drug companies on the floor to politicians on the fence. The corruption was blatant.


#16

LOL! Single payer systems, and multi-payer systems that achieve universal coverage and necessitate the state doing far more than the state does in this system, cost less on a per capita basis, cost less in regards to the percentage of GDP, have less waste and have far fewer social costs. Study after study shows this, data from institutions like the World Bank and the WHO show this. No bankruptcies, no tens of thousands of people dying from a lack of access to care, no job lock. To think that somehow reduces freedom is absurd, as is most everything you say.

Can you explain exactly what power you are fighting? Is providing cover for parasitic and horribly inefficient private insurance oligopolies and drug companies somehow fighting the power? Fight objective reality, fight basic logic, more accurate.


#17

Your skepticism is warranted. My understanding is that HR676—introduced by Rep. John Conyers in every session of Congress since dirt was invented—is the gold standard, while similar-sounding proposals follow Brand D’s familiar bait-and-switch playbook. As old commercials used to urge us, “Accept no substitutes.”


#18

Good points I would add, Medicare was originally intended to meet the needs of the elderly or retired person or disabled person that had restricted access to healthcare. Medicaid that has fewer protections but is vital to making Medicare viable for many people. There are many ways to expand it, including plans developed in the 1990s. Sander’s plan is better than Improved Medicare for All or HR 676 but I have yet to see a plan I would support.

Edited: By better I mean a fair distribution of costs and risk.


#19

This works great as long as the first thing you do with your free medical is to get yourself spayed or neutered.

Otherwise, not so much since resources are not only finite, but quickly running out or being disrupted.

Funny how quickly people forget the news about climate change and habitat overshoot whenever they see something free.

Medicare for all? Yes! Planned Parenthood required! Yes!


#20

It is not “free”.