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Medicare for All Is 'Not Just Pie in the Sky': Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Medicare for All Is 'Not Just Pie in the Sky': Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Andrea Germanos, staff writer

New York congressional candidate and democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defended a key (and widely supported) pillar of her progressive platform—Medicare for All—on Sunday, saying such systems are "not just pie in the sky" but have been proven in other Western democracies and would be "good for our future."

Just because certain practices are considered acceptable in Canada and Europe doesn’t mean they are right for the U.S. Next thing you know, this woman is going to defend policies such as banning torture or not allowing police officers to murder people. Do you know how much money it would cost to train cops not to murder people? Those are our tax dollars!

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I watched that interview live and CNN kept that stupid $40 trillion banner blazed across the screen for much of the time. Keep in mind that a large proportion of the audience only see these kinds of interviews on the screen as they eat dinner or sit at an airport or visit at a neighbors house with TV screens showing but without audio. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s thoughtful responses are never heard - and the false impression on costs is relayed.

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I watched interview. This is constant refrain of CNN whose advertising revenues come mainly from Big Pharma. While I love Alexandria, she needs to be prepared with facts and figures. She could have cited recent Koch brothers study that found 2 trillion in savings though adoption of single payer. She doesn’t even say how much $$ we are spending on military budget= to next ten countries combined including Russia and China. Before she goes on to one of these programs she needs to be better prepared. I would have challenged his 40 trillion figure right off the bat.

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The reason it will never come to be, any of it…is…our “rulers” do not what a healthy population, an educated population or a debt free population. I’m kinda old at 67 but I can remember when this wasn’t so. In the 80’s the wife and I had our first child, I had insurance through my employment. My child’s birth didn’t cost me a dime. In the 60’s my oldest brother went to ASU tuition free because we lived in AZ, out of state students paid tuition. It wasn’t that long ago that there were no credit cards and employers paid a living wage. Wake up peoples, you are a hamster on a wheel endlessly spinning, going nowhere real fast.

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It’s worse than that when you consider the banner is a smokescreen-it has nothing to do with the reason they oppose MFA. Remember, it was Hillary who was so vocally opposed to it in her presidential campaign, and it was she who started in on the scare tactics with the imaginary price tag, not the people who put together the Koch study. The same Hillary who was so gung-ho about universal health care in the mid-90s. She studied it so much she obviously knew the cost would have been less, not more.

Wait, didn’t she also say that a politician has to tell one thing to the corporations and another thing to the voters? Hmm. . .but then again, we’re now supposed to believe that because the Russians were somehow involved in releasing that tidbit that it must be fake news, and she didn’t actually say that.

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Let’s break down the various positions on Medicare for All:

Voter who is for it: This would be great, it will save money across the board and help people get the medical attention they need.
Voter who is skeptical: Hey, wait, this isn’t the same as single-payer. This seems like the same type of watering down when they gave us ACA. Pretty soon they will be (some already are) championing “universal health care” which might mean nothing more than anyone is allowed to buy insurance.
Right-leaning voter opposed to it: There was a banner with a large number on it! Those are our tax dollars!
Left-leaning voter (or somewhat wealthy right-leaning voter) opposed to it: Hey, if everyone has access to medical care, I’ll have to wait a little longer for a doctor’s visit.
Even wealthier person (blurred distinction between left and right): MY dividends! MY capital gains!

But how effective is this bullshit propaganda anymore? I mean, 25 years ago, before there was the internet, this type of propaganda would be devastating. But it is wall to wall on places like CNN, and it has no impact on popular opinion. One party is entirely against it, the other largely against it at the national level (the leadership that is), the corporate media is entirely against it, and single payer continues to grow in popularity. Now, why is that? Because people have become increasingly aware reality, objective reality, not he bubble the horrible people that Tapper and the like live in. They have come to realize that we are the only developed country that lets 45,000 people die from not having access to needed healthcare. They know how expensive the system is, and many people that are glued in to politics (with guidance of from people like Sanders) seem to have researched how much this system costs versus single payer systems. Single payer systems cost less as a percentage of GDP, on a per capita basis, they have less overhead, less social costs, no job lock, no bankruptcies, and they won’t see 400,000 people in their countries die because they lack access to healthcare over the next decade. And in this country, what is happening? This current system, the most expensive system in the fucking world, is getting even worse. People are being thrown off of Medicaid, the costs of healthcare are not only continuing to outpace wage growth (which they have for decades now), the rate of healthcare costs are increasing too.

Look at the polls on the media and how people see the media. People don’t trust the media, regardless as to where they are ideologically, they know that the media is biased, and I don’t think this hurts the case for single payer. The propaganda like this, including Tapper’s horrific “fact check” on single payer a few weeks ago, doesn’t help what so ever.

I do wish though that Sanders would go on Tappers show and confront him about this bullshit. Tapper has had him on a number of times, and I see nothing from Sanders pushing to go on his show. Sanders does know the issue, the data and can articulate a counter to Tapper’s bullshit. In fact, it would be really easy to embarrass Tapper for how he frames the discussion. It is illogical (if the goal is to have an informed discussion on the issue that is) to throw out the projected cost of single payer without comparing that to projections on the costs of the present system. It is indefensible to not put up data on single payer systems versus this one, same with the countless respected studies on the issue that all show societal savings. The actual debate is over how much it would save us and how many lives we can save in the process.

People like Tapper though have no souls, they wouldn’t have jobs at CNN if they did. He is defending a horribly inefficient system that kills tens of thousands of his countrymen and countrywomen and he doesn’t give a fuck because HE is okay and has healthcare. He isn’t wired like moral people with a conscious. His job is to make sure that the conversation cannot move forward based on objective reality, which is that single payer systems cost less and are more efficient. His job is to make sure we have a debate as to whether or not the system would save money and lives, when there is no debate. It is similar to what the media does with global warming, where they have people on to debate something that no longer is debatable. If we constantly stay at this stage of the discussion, we can never move on. And that is where empty people like Tapper and his bosses there at CNN want things.

Having said all of that, I don’t think she did horrible, but it also wasn’t her best segment either.

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I think those tactics started long before Hillary. Medicare for All has faced lots of headwinds - but happily its public support continues to grow. This is a signature issue for the progressive movement and I am very optimistic that we will soon reach a positive tipping point.

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How is it irreverent? It is the entirely of the argument against single payer. Single payer can not only save money and lives, it can expose the intellectual bankruptcy of those in power, their worldview and their arguments about things like the inefficiency of government. Look at what the right wing is doing in regards to healthcare. Without single payer, what exactly is the alternative? A return to the ACA?

All the data in the world shows that single payer costs less, is less wasteful and would save lives. So, how does this issue, of such fundamental importance to most Americans, not be a focal point in trying to generate a revolutionary environment? What other issue, other than maybe the environmental crisis, better illustrates that this system is dying and cannot be reformed?

We don’t get single payer without taking on and defeating insurance companies and big pharma. There is no better route to radicalize people than this issue, and by radicalize, I mean to get people to see that structural changes are the only real solutions.

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How did you read my post and conclude that I didn’t respond to your post? I did respond to your fucking post. Saying it won’t happen until a revolution happens is stupid. And saying that the costs of single payer versus this system is irreverent is stupid too. A revolution wasn’t needed in any other context to get single payer. There were struggles in Canada when it came to enacting it at the local level and then nationally, but there wasn’t a revolution. People just needed to be convinced that the system that preceded it couldn’t be fixed, that a better alternative existed in theory and they needed to see that it could work in practice. It did work in a single province, and it spread. And now Canadians across the ideological spectrum support Medicare. It took organizing, leaders like Tommy Douglas and mass education campaigns, like it does here. How is stating an obvious truism like “you can’t have it because you don’t have the power to enact it” worthy of typing? True of any policy, good or bad, you could imagine. Water is wet too. The country now solidly supports single payer, and it is a means to get people to understand that structural, and not superficial, changes are needed.

“How effective is this bullshit propaganda anymore?”
On a large segment of the population, it’s very effective.
Think about the millions who voted for Trump, even though there was plenty of info. showing why not to vote for him, then think about you’re question.

People who voted for Trump did so because he convinced them that “info.” is on his long and ever growing list of enemies, along with facts, evidence, and all the people who base their actions on those things. Goebbels would be green with envy but proud to see how Trump and the GOP have refined his pioneering propaganda work.

While Trump voters despise, dislike and ignore "info., they love the way he blames everything on everybody except himself…precisely the way those voters live their lives.

The data doesn’t back up your argument. Polls show that an overwhelming majority of the public supports single payer now. A recent poll said that a majority of Republicans do. Reality is finally starting to win over propaganda. Things have gotten that bad. Yeah, Trump got millions of votes, but he got support from less than a quarter of the voting age population. What exactly does that say? Turnout was the lowest it has been for a presidential election in decades, and he lost a low turnout election by three million votes. So, it isn’t like he came into office in a wave of support. He ran against the most unpopular Democratic candidate in history and still lost the popular vote. His policies have been largely deeply unpopular and disastrous, and so are his poll numbers. Historically bad. He only has a chance to win again because it is people like Pelosi, Schumer and Perez running the show in the other party.

Agree on all points, but one small quibble: Pelosi and Schumer aren’t running the party. Leadership in Congress is a reflection of the caucus and the votes they can corral. If the caucus gets more progressive, the leadership will change. Just look at John Boehner. His caucus grew too conservative for him. As conservative as he was, he was a deal-maker and that was ultimately anathema to new generation tea-hadists.

The idea of a never-changing party is just not born by history. If that were the case, the Democratic Party would still be run by segregationists. Progressives need to do what civil rights crusaders did, and as they have finally been doing: get involved in the party, run primary candidates, and grow their influence.

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“He is a real nowhere man…making all his nowhere plans… for nobody.” Beatles.

Oh I like that :-))) Well done!

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Healthcare reform soundbites just confuse a public that doesn’t take the time to understand the issue. It will raise your taxes is a powerful and scary soundbite. The kind republicans live off of.

Bernie just saying insurance companies are to blame is also insufficient.
This topic needs to speak to most of the pros and cons in a way the 99% can understand, and then champion. G

I live a very happy, fulfilled life! Why just because I voted for Trump, you automatically assume I’m an idiot, with no true grasp on current events?? Contrary to your thinking of Trump supporters having no desire to try and gather facts, and UNBIASED info, I do so very very much!! Indeed I’ll admit, I don’t agree with everything Trump has done/doing, but for the most part, in my eyes, he’s done an amazing job, mainly, because, I think about where this country was 4-5 years ago… How bad jobs were, unemployment rate at record highs, housing market, auto market, my medical insurance I had thru my employer, which I had in myself, my wife, and 2 kids, went up by double!! In just 2.5 years, Trump has completely turned things around (mainly economy/jobs).

Does he still need to do more?!? Absolutely!! What’s so bad??