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“Medicare-for-all” Means Something. Don’t Let Moderates Water It Down.


“Medicare-for-all” Means Something. Don’t Let Moderates Water It Down.

Tim Higginbotham, Chris Middleman

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez beat 10-term House Democrat Joe Crowley in New York’s 14th District — the political upset of the year — in part because she championed Medicare-for-all (in addition to free college tuition and a jobs guarantee, among other progressive policies).

Immediately, some pundits began to try their best to explain her victory in a light most favorable to moderate liberals.


It should surprise no one that a massive campaign of distortion and obfuscation is being waged against true Medicare-for-all. Big Insurance is staring at its imminent demise—most richly deserved!—and clutching at straws to preserve itself.

It should also surprise no one that politicians on the take (a thoroughly bipartisan bunch) are trying to keep their gravy train rolling.

HR 676 is the gold standard. Accept no substitutes.


Sanders’ Senate version was released in a press conference supported by many DLC and “moderate” senators. The “centrists” are able to support it because it vague about financing (much of which will come from savings from ending Romney/Obamacare, though it doesn’t state that) and it includes premiums and taxes (in unstated amounts). It does however, offer various options for workers who would lose their jobs in a slow transition period. Also it leaves long-term care in the hands of the states (to placate the nursing home industries, especially in Cali and NY).

Most critically it leaves the details and regulations up to the HHS Secretary to implement – which means, as it is written, it would be in the hands of Trump’s HHS Sec Alex Azar - a former drug company executive to implement. Or imagine any of the Dems’ potential choices since they are on the medical-industrial complex payroll as well.

Because of the weak implementation language it would invariably be tied up in courts, reverting to Obama/Romneycare for millions. It’s an invitation to disaster, but allows Dems to vote for “Medicare for All” while never achieving it.

Because of its financial vagueness and the power it gives to the HHS Sec, it is very much a pig-in-a-poke – unlike true Single Payer which is clear about cost-savings, is paid for by taxes, does not include long phase-ins or voluntary “buy-ins” and “public options.” This is a PR document, not a Single Payer health insurance for all bill.


Exactly. And take a long look at S.1804 before jumping onto that band-wagon. Among other things, S. 1804 includes premiums, buy-ins, a public option, etc.


Clearly the big task at the moment remains saving the ACA from the Republicans. This debate over what Medicare for all means sounds like something academics love and everyone else begins to tune out because of the complexity. It is unlikely the US will have a system where the government pays for all healthcare coverage. Few countries have such a system. Most have some sort of combination of government and something else. Of course in the present political context there is no chance of getting a single payer system anyway. The Republicans are trying to destroy all government bureaucracy and certainly will not support single payer. If they get their libertarian fascist racist country that they seem to want so badly probably only a small percentage of country will have any healthcare coverage. And given the attacks on science the US may not be the best place to find treatment.


You really do just make shit up and post it here, don’t you? Approximately 150 countries have free healthcare paid for by the government through taxes. Your recalcitrance on this issue can only be traced back to the fact that you and fellow corporate Ds are taking massive amounts of money from the insurance and pharma industries.

Once again you have your head in the sand. We can easily implement a single payer, free at point of service, universal healthcare system. We only need elect representatives to do it. This has been one of the core objectives of the newly awakened progressive movement – a movement you continue to be blind to.

There already is a new political context – it’s called the progressive movement and it’s already alive and well, even though you seem blissfully ignorant of its existence. We’re coming for you.


You gotta come for the Supreme Court before you come for Lrx. That’s going to be the ball-and-chain we all have to live with.


Really? Maybe then you two should spend your energy on the Supreme Court instead of wasting it trying to undermine the progressive movement. Maybe you can wrap your Python selves around Kavanaugh and McConnell.


Unless they get impeached.


Reality is a tough thing, right? When you are battling people on your side, it’s easy to forget there are people who don’t like you, Lrx, or any of us and don’t care about lefty degrees of difference. They have the power now, sadly.


LOL now. What people around here don’t accept is your and LRX’s insatiable appetite for undermining the people that would expand your power base and make real change possible. Oh wait, that’s it, isn’t it? It’s the “make real change possible” part that you can’t stomach.


Huh? Real change happened when a bunch of people told me here that the Supreme Court doesn’t matter, “fear voting” did. They got their change.


New name

Same old snake oil


The people wanting to “water Medicare down” are NOT Moderates. They are to the right of Barry Goldwater on policy and Barry Goldwater claimed the Republican Dwight Eisenhower was too “liberal”.


Let’s call it “Improved Medicare for all”. Medicare has problems (I’m on it) - Part B is not comprehensive, it only covers 80%, so a major illness/injury/hospitalization/surgery etc could wipe you out, thus you need to buy “supplemental” insurance, or a “Medicare Advantage” plan, run by the ginormous for-profit insurers who (surprise!) have their own agenda. So it’s expensive and complicated. Oh and you pay for it, it’s deducted from your Social Security check. There is no reason it has to be this way, unless we want to make it a profit center for Megacorporations. It can, could, and should be simple - if you live here, you get cradle-to-grave first-dollar coverage, no “co-pays, co-insurance, deductibles”. The money we’d save in administrative costs would enable everyone in the USA to be covered for what we’re spending now (which is twice the average of other industrialized countries. Don’t believe me? Visit the website of Physicians for a National Health Program.


The root reason why America “can’t afford” to take care of its people is the control by the financial oligarchy. Its center is described in “War Profiteers and Israel’s Bank” at

Since it also controls the mainstream media, obfuscating and distorting, most Americans are unaware of these facts. Thus sites like Common Dreams are essential to rescue democracy from these predators.


That is what HR676 calls it Expanded and Improved Medicare for All. HR 676 is not ambiguous.


Several posts have pointed this out already but in an article that warns of watering down Medicare For All, one should not be equivocating HR676 and S1804. They are NOT the same. S1804 was written for the right wing of the DNC, called moderates. We have seen several of the neolib senators come on board for S1804. They can do so because S1804 will never bring us universal health care because it allows the private sector to remain in the game where they can continue to manipulate and thus control our health care system.


You really do want the GOP to stay in control. What you are proposing is exactly the platform that Clinton ran on. Save the hated ACA and somehow make a complete failure a little bit better. If you will recall that didn’t serve her particularly well and it will not serve any candidate going forward any better than it did her.


No. We don’t need a half assed compromise from the beginning that still lets some get rich off others’ health needs.

We need a truly socialized Health Care system, not just socializing the insurance.

Nationalized Socialized Health Care.

No one gets rich, not only from selling insurance but from selling drugs, selling medical devices, owning hospitals, or charging enormous amounts for a string of patients to come in, see them for five minutes, and be rushed out the door so they can then go play golf.

Push the Overton Window to the Left.

Nationalized Socialized Health Care.