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Medicare for All Will Take a Movement, Not a Politician

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/11/26/medicare-all-will-take-movement-not-politician

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Warren doesn’t support single payer. She supports a public option, then says if the stars align, she will thereafter push for single payer, which would effectively make the push for a public option pointless. Why go through an intense round of negotiations, only to turn around in a couple of years to once again radically change the system? And what to do when the insurance companies offload the sickest people onto the public system? What improvements could be realized if you keep a chaotic multi-payer system in place? Very little. It isn’t a serious plan.

I respect Mr. Barkan’s decision, but I don’t have to pretend it makes logical sense if he wants to see single payer established here. Beyond the problematic ways she wants to achieve single payer, it has never been a priority of hers. Until a few years ago, she opposed it. So, why choose someone that really doesn’t support single payer, who until a few years ago opposed it, and who has other priorities above it?

And yes, single payer will not pass because of a single politician, but as social movements in Latin America in recent decades showed, you cannot have structural changes unless the person you give power to is serious about the changes the social movements want. Warren isn’t serious about single payer, she never has been, and she is also not a movement candidate. She never took part in movements, she is not leading one now, nor does she have the radical inclination needed to use the social movements. Her own staffers have been flying around big money donors recently, she has been cozying up with large donors and the people in charge of that party, and one of the people running her campaign is a huge PAC/corporate friendly Democratic higher up. She gave a spirited defense of Manchin just a few months ago on TYT. Let’s be real here. Again, I respect Mr. Barkan and appreciate the work he has done. I really do, and I have been saddened by his struggles. But, I don’t have to think him supporting Warren makes any sense, if he wants to realize single payer, because it really doesn’t seem to make any logical sense. I can see other arguments (however flawed) that would be better as far as a reason to support her, but those arguments would not be related to single payer, or most other issues I care about for that matter. She had some success, for example, with the CFPB, and is okay on issues related to finance. A stronger argument could be made for someone prioritizing that, although with even that I think she is problematic. But, whatever, like I said, a good portion of the work is social movements, and so on that we can all push and organize.

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A Public option is a bad idea all round. It does not garner any costs savings via lower administration fees as occurs here in Canada (And indeed likely will add even more as the two systems will have redundancies).

Added to that it just becomes a sop to the Health Care provider very much like Food Stamps are a revenue source for Wal Mart. Assume just as example there a Public/private mix and a person needs an MRI and is covered under the Public option. The Government will pay the Costs of the MRI to the private provider rather then the insurance company or having a co-pay. The provider can charge the Government “market rates” for that MRI which on average in the USA is 1800$. (It about half that here in Canada and $98 in Japan. There no mechanism or incentive for the provider to lower that charge.

If the Government demands a more reasonable rate for said MRI , the Private sector will howl that this unfair competition.

I am pretty certain you know all this and I post just to expand on your own post.

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Warren’s does not believe M4A is feasible. Warren supports a public-option, not Single Payer Medicare for All. A public-option has always been used to oppose Single Payer (it is a page directly out of the insurance industry playbook ).

You cannot simultaneously deem M4A not-feasible and claim support (for M4A). It’s dishonest. It is a lie.

Each time Warren claims support for M4A, it’s a lie. Anyone who repeats the lie, is participating in that lie.

We should demand our elected officials be forthright in their views, not hide behind double-speak. We deserve better.

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Certainly it can’t be achieved by executive order.

The only possible reason I can think of is what I said when this story broke on CD last week or so - Ady cares (I’m guessing) about identity politics - he really wants to see a woman as president. Because as you say there is no possible other explanation. I thought I would look at the Nation piece and see if he had another reason besides Warren saying she would use budget reconciliation to pass M4A (which Sanders said in April - I have no idea when Warren first said it), but I never got around to it. If Warren wanted to see M4A come to happen she would have simply endorsed Sanders this time around. Without Ranked Choice Voting, she is absolutely a hindrance to Sanders getting elected.

I firmly believe Warren will be more easily defeated by Trump and I think Sanders is not a sure thing, but likely to win. There is simply no logic to supporting Warren for anyone whose primary issue is Medicare for All. Even Gabbard who has given terrible soundbites at least supports (according to her interview with Jimmy Dore) the idea of starting with a system where everyone pays in significantly unlike Warren. Gabbard may envision much more supplemental insurance than I’m comfortable with and she doesn’t even have her plan ready (which is frankly idiotic), but she may end up being a better friend to the movement than Warren.

The Public Option is absolutely broken for all the reasons that you and most in the movement are screaming out loud. It’s a bummer we got distracted by it last time around. If we do get stuck with Warren as the nominee it is going to be quite difficult to talk some sense into her, but I hope people try and I hope she wins against Trump and proves me wrong. But I’d rather Sanders or even Gabbard and maybe Yang were the nominee over Warren.

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This is the most infuriating, Kumbaya moment, article I’ve ever read. Sanders and Warren are not the same, and, pretending they are, is not going to get us Medicare for All. The writer says, “Our movement has made incredible strides in recent years, and the notion of a single-payer health care system has gone from fringe to the predominant mainstream.” Who, single-handedly, brought single-payer to the forefront? Bernie Sanders, that’s who! If Elizabeth Warren cared about single-payer or cared about the progressive movement, period, she would be supporting Bernie Sanders, not trying to usurp his position as the progressive front runner. Her being in the race is not going to get the authors the better future they are hoping for. Her presence will split the progressive vote and we will end up with a corporate, centrist candidate instead. If Elizabeth Warren cared about anyone but herself, she would drop out of the race (or would never have joined it in the first place) and support Bernie Sanders for president.

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From 2013 but interesting

(snip)
That may sound obvious. But it is, in fact, key to understanding one of the most pressing problems facing our economy. In 2009, Americans spent $7,960 per person on health care. Our neighbors in Canada spent $4,808. The Germans spent $4,218. The French, $3,978. If we had the per-person costs of any of those countries, America’s deficits would vanish. Workers would have much more money in their pockets. Our economy would grow more quickly, as our exports would be more competitive.

The crazy thing is that Businesses could save a huge amount in expenses if we had MFA. Yet they aren’ behind MFA - yet

The conflation of Warren and Sanders by far too many who should know better is dishonest.

Don’t fall for it. You either want to boldly and comprehensively solve our huge healthcare access problems or you want to kick the the can down the road with half measures. There’s no middle ground.

ObamaRomneyCare taught us that.