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Dying Healthcare Activist Ady Barkan to Testify at Congress's First-Ever Medicare for All Hearing

Wait. Are you talking to me about the time I realized the Senate Appropriations Chair was probably trying to run for statewide office because of the way his bill looked to be passing the Senate (no finance report, no funding options, hardly a valid committee report)? I called it in real-time and you refused to tell me I called it right? And now the same guy is the statewide insurance commissioner.

Lara used progressives on a post-Sanders kick as did his contract-negotiating at-the-time nursing union friends wanting to get special bargaining provisions in the (weak-ass) bill. Where’s the new bill Lara’s Office is pushing? Where’s his advocacy now under the new governor? He’s the statewide insurance commissioner and could be pushing legislation now, after all.

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Why did “SHE” blind side Sanders at their invite. AM JOY this morning whining that Sanders didn’t grovel enough for her taste then blatantly lying. The audience was clearly a set up . Can’t blacks get beyond their favorite MEMES? Somebody tell them it is tiring and counter productive.

KC, you denied at the time that corruption played a part and you pretended that Rendon and Democrats like you supported single payer. People want single payer (your “soft polling” bullshit talking point is ridiculous). As I said, if that bill was oh so flawed, forget that pulling the bill stopped any process that could have improved it, then a far better bill by the serious thinkers like you in that corrupt mess of a party would have been put forward. Because Rendon and people like you really want single payer. Right? So, where is the less flawed bill from the people that stopped that process? You claim that they supported single payer, so wouldn’t they put forward a bill of their own? But, they haven’t. Cause they don’t support single payer, and neither do you. And this damn hearing is a farce.

I asked you questions about Rendon. Is he still pretending to be a supporter of single payer? How about Bauman, how is he doing? You defended that rotten asshole then. The superdelagates in your corrupt party installed him over the will of the rank and file, how did that turn out? What do you think about what Dore’s videos showed? Got any spin or talking points to let us know it is really no big deal?

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Sanders has good days and bad days, right? His answers were choppy at that forum, though not all bad. He clearly isn’t always comfortable when he has to step away from his stump speech and it sort of showed. If questions have to be culled specifically for his issue set for him to answer well, that could be a problematic, right? You can’t manage every venue a candidate appears in for questions they want to answer. He’s not the only candidate to have a not-so-great showing either. The benefit is these things can make a candidate stronger if they learn from them.

Allow me to pile on and finish that sentence…

" they made bad choices and, it’s none of my business and not my problem. Now, die quickly"

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That you think soft polling is ridiculous just shows me you can’t look at things honestly. I feel zero need to acknowledge your hyper-biased, stilted viewpoint, especially if you are going to impute things on me—I don’t know who Bauman is even—and mischaracterize what I thought happened with Lara’s bill.

What happened is exactly what I predicted in real-time—Lara ran for statewide office. It became obvious to me something was awry when the Senate Appropriations Chair, whose responsibility is figuring out how to finance measures, didn’t even attempt to act on his jurisdictional responsibilities. I said so at the time, that it made no sense except for him seeking higher office, then he did as I said—ran for statewide office. You saw this in real-time because I showed you. And now Lara hasn’t pushed a bill since. Progressives got used by Lara and a union looking for a candidate to support them during contract negotiations—that’s what happened.

This could be a good talking point when someone asks how are we going to pay for Medicare for All. Your response could be “How are we going to pay for not having Medicare for All? With thousands of lives, that’s how. Are you willing to pay that price?”

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We have bodies and THEY know it. THEY are the ones who capitalize on human sickness, and THEY know THEY have everyone over a barrel, stuck between a rock and a hard place, up to the point of desperate ultimately losing everything including their homes health and sanity, with some committing suicide over it.

But can “we afford it?” is their clucking rhetorical refrain as they noodle their clucking iPhones in expensive DC restaurants while kids agonize in stressed out households.

Meanwhile Socialism in the form of tax payer funded matrix of power and benefit, including lots of direct subsides is alive and well for Boeing, GE, Lockheed Martin, and the list goes on.

Fuck off to THEM.

I think I’m becoming sufficiently “radicalized”. The clucking tables will turn on these jerks.


Pure projection. You are deluded if you think you don’t have a strong bias.

No, I think your framing is bullshit. I have explained this to you countless times. When polls are done on single payer, does support go down when some facts are presented? Yes. You know, Fox News presents facts about Democrats. Those facts are often true, in isolation. the problem is that they cherry pick facts, or use some small amount of facts to frame an argument in a way that isn’t accurate. So, does support go down, for instance, when taxes are brought up? Sure. How often is the actual reality brought up though? Like, not would you support single payer if it raised taxes, but would you support single payer if you paid more in taxes, but you saved a larger amount in out of pocket expenses? That is never asked, and that is a far more accurate way of asking the question. In fact, technically, no taxes have to be raised to pay for single payer if it is done by the federal government. We assume taxes because people want to do it in a largely revenue neutral way. Or, do polls ask something like, in the US, up to 45,000 people die every years because they don’t have healthcare. This doesn’t happen in single payer systems. Would you be more likely to support single payer if it saved 45,000 of your fellow Americans? Do they ask something like, every single study shows that single payer would save trillions of dollars. Every single payer system is cheaper and has less waste (it could be explained to those taking polls why that is the case). Would you be more likely to support single payer if it could save the country trillions of dollars every year? Again, asking these questions would clearly increase support for single payer, but they aren’t asked, now are they? Or, people are asked about losing their private healthcare. But that is, again, a manipulative way of framing it. People aren’t concerned about losing their private insurance, they are concerned about losing access to care that they need and their doctors. They could ask, would you be less likely to support single payer if your private insurance was replaced with a public program, but you could still keep your doctor and would actually have more comprehensive care? And you yourself do have a connection to Kaiser, don’t you? Another poster mentioned that you had been working with Kaiser in some capacity. Kaiser opposes single payer, and you often cite their polls. To claim you have no bias is absurd.

I do have a bias though. I have a bias towards single payer. It would save trillions, tens of thousands of lives every year, it would eliminate job lock, bankruptcies, would be far more efficient and it would empower working people. It would also do a hell of a lot in addressing structural racism and poverty. You defend the very people here all the time that oppose single payer, what they offer is inferior. Right now, single payer is partially not possible because of the people you provide cover for here all the time.

You are focusing on that one person on the single payer side, which is comical. How many people, how many activists were involved in that bill? And again, the very people that stopped it, you pretended that they did so because the bill was flawed and that they otherwise supported single payer, knowing damn well it isn’t true. Rendon has admitted that he doesn’t support it, neither did Brown. I asked about Bauman, and the videos that I linked about Jimmy Dore. What do you think about that KC? What is your opinion on Wendell Primus? Think he’s a swell guy?

However, given his ties to the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries, it’s not surprising that Speaker Rendon shut down the bill. In an election swung by fraudulent votes, his senior adviser, Eric Bauman was recently elected by party insiders to chair the California Democratic Party Chair. Bauman received over $100,000 in 2016 lobbying for the pharmaceutical industry against Prop 61, which would have capped prescription drug prices in California.

In 2015, the Sacramento Bee reported that Rendon received over $36,000 from drug makers. In April 2017, IBTimes reported that House Speaker Anthony Rendon, Senate President Kevin De Leon and Gov. Jerry Brown—all Democrats—have received a combined $370,000 from groups opposing single-payer health care legislation. Since 2010, these lawmakers have received [$3.4 million] in campaign donations from the health insurance industry. While California voters and progressive groups demand single-payer health care in the state, the Democratic establishment in California has been bought and paid for by the pharmaceutical and health care industries to prevent it from becoming a reality.

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I’m focusing on that one person because he authored the bill. He was Appropriations Chair in the Senate, not some back-bencher. He used progressives to get his name out there for a statewide run and hasn’t done a single damn thing for single payer since gaining office. You can talk about Rendon all you want, but all Lara did was create a platform for himself (with the help of his friends). Your own side played you for a sucker, however shitty Rendon may be. Progressives can be political opportunists too, right?

“When are we going to make it a bad choice to screw with American’s retirement, unions, environment, and politics and policies that hurt the average person?”
When we reject capitalism as an economic system. “Moneyism” is money always being the number one concern. Socialism, or “Peopleism” is when people are the number one concern. The first three words of the Constitution are “We the People,” NOT “We the corporations,” and the preamble mentions the rarely used phrase, “Promote the general welfare,” which brings the welfare of We the People front and center. Corporate rule has us on the brink of planetary destruction because their only concern is profit and NEVER people, and since both parties are corporately owned and operated, We the People have to fight their greed and lust for power at every turn. Amerika has become a giant racketeering operation in every aspect. The Big Ag racket takes billions of tax dollars to make as many people sick as it can so the Big Pharma racket can sell as much snake oil as it can. The Drug War on Americans racket steals tax dollars for weapons and prison cells, as does the immigration racket. Regime change invasions cost more than half our tax dollars so corporations can rob the planet blind in the name of saving it. Capitalism is a racket, and as long as it rules, We the People are screwed every step of the way.

“Why is it we never ask how we are going to pay for endless wars supported by the GOP and corporate Democrats?”
Because both parties are war whores that make trillions on blowing people to bits in other lands. The US drops a bomb every 12 minutes. It spends THIRTY TWO MILLION DOLLARS AN HOUR ON WAR. It has over 800 military bases around the world, not including the thousands of special ops. The Pentagon loses more money annually than a real single payer health care system would cost. We have plenty of money, but things will only change when We the People rise up and demand our tax dollars be spent on building people up instead of blowing people up. Like I always say, regime change begins at home. :slight_smile:

I’m not sure what you mean here. The fact that Ricardo Lara was running for insurance commissioner was already known at that point. He had expressed a desire for the office just before he started the parliamentary maneuvering with the single payer bill and had even formally announced in mid March by the time we were discussing this here on CD.

Those that espouse capitalism are people at the top, wanting to get to the top, and those that just gravel for money in any way they can.
If people gave to the needy and shared their wealth they would relinquish their position on the ladder. These people have absolutely no ambition to be of the people. They have a need to be above the people.
Capitalism suits them fine. And it helps sustain our poorest and most in need.

One way to lessen the chance for war, if we were in fact a peaceful country at that moment, would be to drill baby drill.
As we deplete our natural resources including fresh water reserves, why would anyone want to attack us. Use it all up fast so we give other countries a reason to leave us alone. It works for many other peaceful countries. Not nearly my best idea this century.

We were talking about it a lot, as soon as it was introduced. I wasn’t aware of his formal announcement, though I was aware of the rumors he planned to run. What made me skeptical was the lack of a finance report from a committee with jurisdiction. Lara heard the bill in his committee but never produced a finance report (a minimum) nor did he request formal analysis from relevant agencies, at least that I saw (I have a colleagues in the Health Department). The analysis he did produce was fairly light (which isn’t uncommon). He could have called on the LAO’s Office, my former employer, the California Research Bureau, etc. to investigate his legislation, but he didn’t. That’s when things seemed awry to me and it felt more like messaging legislation than a serious undertaking. We call these bills “showboat” or “messaging” bills and they are common. I said all this in real-time.

If Lara was serious, he employed a terrible legislative strategy. Progressives should be just as angry at him and his friends as they are Rendon.

To put it in perspective, I just finished analyzing a major bill (SB 526) as did representatives from MPOs across the state. The sponsored greenhouse gas legislation will make substantial changes in the way the locals operate under SCSs. It’s serious legislation, and its author is doing serious footwork with colleagues, agencies, and local governments to make it a success. I saw no such effort with Lara’s bill, aside from vocalizations in the press.

I wrote something similar at Operation Take Down Bernie. I’m starting to think this issue with education and polling on the topic of Medicare for All is the single issue a whole bunch of people need to focus on. Is anyone constructing the type of poll questions you suggest? If not, somebody should be and then when that poll shows (as I hope and assume it will), that support for the current Medicare for All bills is much higher than indicated by the Kaiser polls, we can hopefully shame those polls into oblivion.

This sounds like looking for the answer you want. Historically, single payer may be popular, but has died on the financing and details hill. Single payer started with a plurality in favor in California in 1994, then went on to get smashed in the election due mainly to its cost. It started even in Colorado, but got killed there as well, cost being a big factor. In Vermont, it’s governor was elected by huge margins, then nearly lost re-election after finding single payer was too expensive and dropping it.

I just think a lot of people get nervous when you start talking taxes and transitioning to a new system. Providers get nervous when you start talking about controlling provider side costs. People want “free” healthcare, but get skittish in the details. It’s a long-standing challenge and it’s one opponents with lots of money who do their own polls are well aware of. That’s also why I am happy the House is holding hearings—you have to start somewhere.

Not to me. And to be clear, I’m not saying a poll would use exactly @JoanRobinson 's wording but the points she listed need to be made and understood by the respondent before an answer is given. In my opinion, there is too much misinformation out there to get polling that matters if you don’t provide information first. And of course any progressive’s view is that we want to get the word out on the bills, and on economic assessments of the bills. So we care more about how it polls to an educated public as that is what we hope to achieve.

I propose instead of arguing as we do on this topic (I’m more or less aligned with Joan), we come up with a set of informative facts that we all think should be understood before polling. Certainly it should include how it impacts them financially, how it will address the uninsured which unsurprisingly have a higher death rate than if they were insured. It should make it obvious that there is MORE choice in doctors, not less if anyone is under that misconception.

I’ll give it some thought and come up with my key points.

Joan, care to rephrase your top informative facts?

@dpearl, care to add anything? (especially on the math of polling)

To KC’s other points:

  1. I don’t want to take about state efforts as evidence about anything on the federal effort, it has zero relevance for me. Unfortunately the state effort has a different set of impediments which I think are actually worse. I’d never went to depend on the state effort as the only path to get the federal bill passed. (Not that I begrudge anyone for trying - I’ll be pleasantly surprised if a state makes it in the next 4 years).

  2. Fewer people are skittish in the details if you give them accurate info that pertains to them - I’ve said it many times, we need whatever set of tax plans that are offered as funding options (Bernie provided one recently) turned into an easy web based form that lets you get an idea what happens to your take home income.

My point is that there are many facts that could be given to people taking polls that would be entirely factually accurate and those facts would not result in a drop in support for single payer. In fact, we would likely see an increase in support for single payer. But, those facts are never given, and those facts are not implied in any questions. KC continuously cites Kaiser polls, without mentioning that they are opposed to single payer and ask questions in ways that will necessarily lead to a drop in support for single payer.

An obvious one is on taxes. Is it accurate with the way we seem to be want to implement single payer (that it is largely revenue neutral) that taxes would have to increase? Of course. But, as everyone knows, that is only one side of the impact. The other side, unmentioned by those polls, is that there will be an elimination in out of pocket expenditures. We also know that with most people, the difference will be a net gain (i.e., the increase in the public tax will be more than offset by a reduction in the private tax they now pay to the private insurance companies). So, a more accurate question is to ask whether people would support single payer if it raised taxes but the tax increases are more than offset by a reduction in out of pocket expenditures? In other words, would you support having more comprehensive coverage that would cost less, would eliminate bankruptcies and having to rely on employers for healthcare?

The thing is, KC knows this. She is smart, she knows the issue. It isn’t like me saying this is news to her. I don’t post this stuff for her benefit, I hope that others read my comment and don’t get misled by her propaganda.