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Months After GOP Approved $1.5T Giveaway to Rich, Ocasio-Cortez Shreds Those Questioning How to Pay for Bold Proposals Like Medicare for All


#61

We ARE hopeless. So you should go buzz around another sandbox. No one here appreciates you.


#62

Thx for the posting. This ain’t my long suit, so I’m learning from you.


#63

Joan:

  1. There is a difference between “government spending” which is not automatically inflationary, and “government printing money”, which is what I referred to, and is, de facto inflationary. Respond to what is written, not what you want to read.

  2. I have not even discussed the question of single payer healthcare, therefore, as is often the case, you’re bringing in tangential issues that are not relevant to the immediate discussion.

  3. In Wiemar Germany, what happened? Goods were in short supply, and the government ran the printing presses. That as an extreme example, like Venezuela, or on a slightly lesser extent, Argentina. You need to learn the difference between “government spending” and “running the printing presses”.

As for your final comment, remove the mote from your own eye.


#64

Well hush my puppies, here’s a Guardian report that slams the NHS for waiting times…like 18 weeks for knee surgery…then canceling it.

I will read your link after all


#65

“There is a difference between “government spending” which is not automatically inflationary, and “government printing money”, which is what I referred to, and is, de facto inflationary. Respond to what is written, not what you want to read.”
You don’t understand any of this. One last time, when the government “prints” money (often, when the state creates money, it is not physical money) it is not necessarily inflationary. If there is one good in the economy, and one dollar, the good costs one dollar. If the state were to create one more dollar, but the economy couldn’t produce another good, then the cost of the good and the overall price level has doubled. If the government creates another dollar and throws it into the economy but the economy produces another good, inflation has not increased at all. Each good costs one dollar. Take a fucking economics course. If the government was taking in exactly the same amount that it is spending, then the government wouldn’t be injecting money into the economy, it wouldn’t be “printing money” to use your term, which is what we are talking about, the net increase in money in the system due to government spending more than it is taking in. If that money left the economy, say by a trade deficit, it would decrease the amount of money domestically, and to the extent that the money was given to rich people and it just sat in a tax shelter, was used to buy up shares or sloshed around financial markets, it wouldn’t impact inflation. If that money is used to buy US bonds, that too would take money out of the economy.

Beyond that, to talk about Germany during the hyperinflation is absurd. You brought up hyperinflation and the government printing too much money to pay for programs like a publicly funded college education system, and I am trying to explain to you that with many of the things that the left wants, we would collectively spend LESS money. How is that not relevant to the point you are trying to make? Whether or not you get the relevance doesn’t mean it isn’t relevant. Even if the government increasing the amount of money in the economy necessarily led to inflation (which isn’t the case), with things like single payer, it would decrease the amount of money in the system, all other things being equal. Instead of us individually paying for health insurance, the state would (so the government would “print” money more than it does in the present system), but the total expenditures within the healthcare system would decline. All other things being equal, that would be deflationary. Again, you not getting the relevance doesn’t mean it isn’t relevant. Germany was a country that was utterly destroyed by WWI, WWI reparations, and the reasons why the hyperinflation happened have nothing to do with our situation at all. In fact, as I said, the central bank then was entirely private, it was given “independence” by the state, about half of the money created was created by private interests too. Try dealing with that and holding on to a free market, or some silly ideas about the gold standard, or whatever the hell your overall argument is.


#66

My fucking god. Beyond what I will say below, please, give me the argument as to how this system of ours, not even single payer, would do better at dealing with the UK’s aging population? Give me some data showing that this system would cost less and would have less waste? You cannot. You really don’t have a good argument. One last time, there is a huge spending gap in the NHS systems. The UK spends a lower percentage of its GDP on healthcare than many other countries in Europe (much less than us, but who doesn’t?), and it is increasing spending on the NHS about 3% below what is needed. The Brits have an aging population, and so whether they had our rotten system, single payer or the NHS, expenditures would have to increase. Period. But they haven’t to the extent needed. It is a fact that a system like ours has more waste and costs more, so if your argument is that this system would do a better job, it is absurd on its face. And it is clear too that you just read things that tell you what you want to hear. I can link study after study for you not just looking at the NHS’s struggles in Britain but comparing our system to theirs (so also looking at the horrible impact of our system, which is much worse across the board), but you will not do that.

Regarding the spending squeeze:

_Financial pressures are growing, with large numbers of hospitals now in deficit. At the same time, NHS performance is beginning to slip, with A&E waiting times at their highest level at this time of year for a decade and target waits for hospital treatment, diagnostic tests and cancer treatment being breached on a regular basis. Looking further ahead, pressure to spend more will grow as the costs of treatment rise, public expectations increase and the population continues to age. _

_Why is this happening? Since 2010, the NHS has had an unprecedented funding squeeze. Over the period between 2010/11 and 2015/16, the NHS budget will have increased by £6 billion in real terms – an average of 0.9 per cent a year. This is significantly lower than the long-term average increase in NHS spending which is 4 per cent. _

At the same time demand for services is rising – the number of referrals, admissions and outpatient attendances have been rising steadily over the last few years, adding significantly to the pressures on hospitals. This growth now appears to be accelerating, placing further pressure on the system. The tragic events at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust have also meant that, faced with a choice between safeguarding quality of care and balancing the books, acute hospitals are choosing the former and recruiting extra staff.

The NHS five year forward view, published in October 2014, set out different scenarios to estimate how much funding the NHS would need by 2020/21. Based on current trends in demand, with just enough money to cover rising pay and prices and no productivity improvements, it estimated that a funding gap of £30 billion would emerge by the end of this period. Its most optimistic scenario estimated that productivity improvements of 2-3 per cent a year (significantly higher than the 0.8 per cent the NHS currently averages) could reduce this gap by £22 billion, leaving an additional funding requirement of £8 billion a year by 2020/21.

So, let me translate this for your simple mind. They have an aging population and demand is growing in the system. The current expenditures are about 3% below the historic average, at a time when services and funding are more in demand because of the aging population, and the NHS system has not invested enough in recent years to make more beds available, and to hire more doctors and nurses. This is similar to the VA in the US.

You do not, you refuse, to do a comparison to our system. You could be logical, and say, okay, what are the social costs of our system versus theirs? What are the costs and waste in this system versus theirs? And how would a system like ours be better to deal with an aging population like theirs? And if you did agree with the Tories that some services could be farmed out to the private economy, do you acknowledge that that would simply be moving not to a system like ours (no one there wants that) but single payer any damn way? I am done with you. You don’t allow yourself to read links that will challenge your beliefs or that will do a logical comparison of our system with others.

I do commend you on reading up on this stuff. At least you will be a little more informed.


#67

Rumsfeld himself said that Trillions was missing from the Pentagon just before 9/11.
The situation since then has not improved with the Pentagon and military still losing
track of trillions. What does our corrupt congress and Senate do-- they give the Pentagon
and MIC trillions more. No wonder we cannot have nice things.


#68

The predictable increase in health problems that will result from the current American diet and lifestyle will soon increase the costs of healthcare beyond the savings that can be obtained by switching to a single payer healthcare system. We have hoped that these savings would be used to make the system adequate, affordable, and fair. In the USA the poor are unfairly and increasingly seeing their healthcare rationed, how much will single payer be able to change this? The current long-term trend is a worsening of American health as a result of the food consumed, our lifestyle, and the environment that we are exposed to. Without making the changes needed to improve the health of Americans the savings from a single payer system will not long be sufficient to finance adequate healthcare for all without some combination of raising the already high premiums and increasing the rationing of care. Single payer is not enough if we want adequate, affordable, and fair healthcare for all — the issues of the American diet, lifestyle and environment need addressing.

The alternative to rationing healthcare and to overly expensive healthcare is to take action to improve the diet and lifestyle of Americans. However improving the diet and lifestyle and environment of Americans would be bad for many interests in the economy. It would be especially bad for industries such as the meat, dairy, junk food, processed foods, sugar, soft drink, pharmaceutical, and the corporate agriculture industry which would see their profits drop. The medical industry would see future profits drop if we became more healthy. Corporate America does not have much reason to care about our health other than to profit off it. They do not need nearly as many healthy bodies as before because of automation and moving the jobs and factories elsewhere, and when and if they cannot find enough healthy Americans for their needs they will use immigration to get the healthy bodies. In other words getting single payer will be a limited and somewhat Pyrrhic victory unless it also leads to serious actions to improve the health of Americans. Doing so will require taking on vested interests far larger than the insurance industry.

A major advantage of single payer healthcare is that it would force us, as the payers of single payer healthcare, to see the costs of healthcare and to look for savings. It quickly becomes apparent how much our neighbors having better health reduces the costs of our healthcare system. If we want to finance adequate healthcare we will need to constrain the industries which to various extents are parasitically feeding themselves at the expense of our health. We need single payer healthcare, and with it as a society we need to choose to improve our health. To be able to afford to pay for a bold proposal like Medicare for all we need to take actions to improve the health of Americans so that adequate and fair healthcare is possible.


#69

We are not paying $3trillion, and here’s why:

Jone and Chunique both get in motorcycle accidents. Both have the same injury both get taken to the same trauma unit. Both get release at the same time. Chunique has insurance and they cover his costs. Joe does not, and gets charged the chargemaster price, usually about 7-8 times the negotiated insurance rate. Joe never pays. The hospital reports $100k for Chunique and $700k for Joe.

So i can see a point where everyone had insurance then the per capita would be less. Also, be aware that the hospital prolly made a profit on Chunique that covered most of the loss from Joe.


#70

So many people have believed the lies over and over again. There is always unlimited money for military, prisons or other things they want. When it comes time to really help the people - the pull out their bag of lies and play poor. It is a tired game.


#71

The cost of health care will not be solved by single payer. People should be skeptical of anyone making that claim. And with boomers aging the cost of healthcare is sure to surge in the near term regardless of any measures that are taken. Much of the cost of heathcare is for extraordinary end of life care. As long as people want that healthcare will be extremely costly. The most important thing about single payer is everyone will be covered. But I think this is largely an academic discussion since it has zero chance of becoming law. A more important discussion is how to save the present system from being weakened further by the Republicans. If Kavanaugh is appointed to the Supreme Court there is a good chance people with pre-existing conditions will no longer be able to get heath insurance. It would be a mistake to get too caught up with single payer which will not happen and forget about efforts to save the present system which does provide coverage for 90% of the population, and with regard to specialty care is the best healthcare system in the world.


#72

Yes, that is the point that I was making in my post, (although single payer will be a positive step in the right direction). The point that I was making is that to solve the healthcare crisis we need to make some serious changes in this country to improve the health of Americans. It is far more humane to pursue measures that will be effective in keeping us healthy so as to reduce our need for care than it is to treat the unnecessary health problems that could have been avoided. There is room and potential for some rather dramatic improvements to be made in the health of Americans. We need serious and reliable political support for this, political support that will take on the many interests that profit at the expense of our health.

Lrx, why will single payer not happen?

Are you telling me that a Democratic Party seriously committed to passing single payer healthcare would be stopped by the Republicans from getting enough power to do just that? Are you saying that if the Democratic Party asked us, the people, for the support needed to implement single payer healthcare that we would not give it to you? or possibly you are concerned by the depth of our distrust of the Democratic Party?

OK, Bill Gates and his family and friends have access to the best specialty care in the world. Just because people in my class mostly do not have that I suppose that I should not be little and begrudge the better off that blessing. Fortunately I am not in the 10% of the population that is without coverage. Providing coverage for only 90% of the population is extremely shameful.

We can do better.


#73

Then some interim financing of healthcare will be needed. Ending the unnecessary and expensive wars would free some capital for the surge in healthcare costs.


#74

Nobody in this comment section is talking about the US military budget, which is over $1.3 trillion a year counting the intel agencies, veterans benefits and interest on the debt for foreign wars. That is essentially equal to the total $1.5 trillion in federal taxes the government collects each year from individuals and corporations. Think about that for a minute…

Nearly 60% of discretionary spending – that’s spending that Congress can increase or decrease as it sees fit, which is not pledged money, like Social Security and Medicare, which are funded by dedicated taxes (the FICA and Medicare taxes taken out of your paycheck and matched by your employer, or paid entirely by you if you are self-employed). Congress cuts Food Stamps, cuts funding for the National Endowments for Arts and Humanities, cuts funding for the National Institutes of Medicine, cuts funding for environmental protection, etc. and it can equally easily cut spending for the military, but that doesn’t happen. Why? Because the arms merchants spent lavishly on lobbyists and pay legal bribes to virtually everyone in Congress, also putting military bases and elements of every major weapons program’s construction in every state and Congressional District. Even Bernie Sanders won’t call for military budget cuts because his state has a base for the $1.5-trillion F-35 flying boondoggle.

Other countries have national health care at a fraction of the cost of our healthcare “system” becase other countries don’t spend a fraction of what the US spends on the military – more than what the next ten countries in military spending spend altogether (That list includes Russia, China, France Great Britain etc.). Don’t get into nickel-and-dime questions about the cost of Medicare for All. It’s a giant diversion. The issue is cutting US imperial military spending. Even former Rep Barney Frank, no radical, was calling for a 25% cut in US military spending before he left office. I’d say go fo 50% or 75% pull all the troops home from the illegal wars we’ve started and the 800 places they’re based, cut our nuclear arms arsenal by 95% and then start negotiating to get rid of the rest on a mutual basis with Russia and China, and scrap the 15 aircraft carrier battle troops, which are just for empire maintenance and US global terror operations (that’s us as the terrorists).

Then let’s really defend Americans by establishing national health care, well-funded European-style Social Security, and a crash program to combat climate change.

Dave Lindorff
founding editor of ThisCantBeHappening!


#75

Time for all the tax cuts to be paid back.
Look, I don’t know how it is where yoi live, nut if you borrow to have your “ends meet” then you eventually have debt to repay.

You don’t get someone else to pay off your debts when you’re rich and solvent! Time for trickle down to come home to roost!

We need a new campaign: Rich? Great, Then Pay Your Own Bills! Tax.
75% over $750k until the deficit is gone and debt = losses due to inflation. As soon as we get there, this rate gets cut back first.
How’s that for a fix?

We’ve talked about military budget cuts on this site till we’re blue (or Green) in the face! Yes, but that’s the only current state welfare program. It would help pay down the trillions sooner.


#76

That is incorrect. Sorry. Single payer systems cost less, they have less waste. Within our country, traditional Medicare has about 3% overhead, even with the ACA, most private insurance companies are at least around 20%. All the data and all studies show this. The question is, given a particular problem, what type of system can address that problem best, with the least waste and the lowest cost? A multi-payer system like ours is simply going to cost more and have more waste within any given context that we can imagine. There are reasons at the institutional level and system wide. If the argument is that we have an aging population, and therefore this invalidates single payer, sorry, it makes no sense. If it invalidates single-payer, a cheaper system, then it certainly invalidates this rotten system. If we do have an aging population, then that will raise the cost in every system. Given that ours is so inefficient and costly to begin with, that would make the system even more expensive, and we already spend more per capita and as a percentage of our GDP towards healthcare than any country on the planet. This system, despite being bad in an of itself, is a horrible weight on domestic business and the domestic economy. If you or anyone else wants to dispute this and claim that this system will better deal with an aging population, put forward a logical explanation and provide some studies showing this.

What you are arguing, whether you realize it or not, is that we don’t have the literal resources, physical resources, to afford universal access. Again, if this is your claim, and at root, it is, it has to be given the data on the costs of this system relative to single payer, then prove it.

“But I think this is largely an academic discussion since it has zero chance of becoming law.”

Well, people like you and the rest of your friends on the right hope that is so, but this system is an inefficient nightmare of a system, and the country wants single payer according to polls, and neither party, the media or people like you have been in favor of it, so the public is supportive of that despite absolute and one sided propaganda in the opposite direction. People like you have something missing, you aren’t wired in the same way people with actual empathy are.


#77

I really do not want to spend space discussing government managing society and the economy ‘for the good of all of us’. I rather like the sentiment of this article, 7-19-2011:

The phrase in the article “let the bankers take their lumps.” can be restated as Greece repudiates the debt ‘owed’ to vultures in Germany, London and New York City, and the vultures eat the loss.

If socialism is so great then it should work better in smaller countries than in great countries where there is more temptation for a grifter and their company of grifters to seize power and divert the ‘surplus value’ to themselves.

I haven’t read it yet, but the following article also looks interesting.

… Perhaps by the end of reading the ‘noteworthy’ comments I will have a comment about tax cuts ‘for the rich’ vs. national spending on healthcare for all that Ms. Ocasio-Cortez advocates.


#78

To tell and present facts that ‘Single Payer’ collectivized healthcare doesn’t cost as little as claimed, or deliver as much as claimed, is like giving a speech into the wind, or to a crowd of UC Berkeley students intent on shouting down whatever is said.

Much the same for the proposal that we can pay for it all by increasing taxes on the rich, to some % > 50%. (70%?, 90%?, when the nation prospered under Eisenhower…)

As for the military, that is intimately tied to what role America wants in the world. Several years ago China suggested to the US that we split the Pacific, with China getting everything west of the Intl. Date Line. That Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Australia, etc. fall under Chinese hegemony, and Taiwan is entirely absorbed into China. That business about ‘self-determination’ doesn’t apply in the near neighborhood of China.

So I won’t bother, not on this forum. I hope you succeed in getting socialism and single-payer health care adopted in a small left wing place like Vermont, or Puerto Rico. With the proviso that WashDC and the rest of us won’t bail the place out in the (unlikely) event it doesn’t work.

I do want to remark that this whole article is an exercise in (socialist) morality. That it is immoral for anyone like Trump, or John Kerry, or the Kennedy-s to enjoy such surplus earnings as to be able to buy a big yacht. Instead, the moral thing (says socialists) is to gladly pay their workers much higher wages, gladly pay big taxes, work so that none of the tax money is unwarranted skimmed from the top by the bureaucracy, and that it goes to lift up the condition of the poor among us.

Surely Trump has a lot of spare rooms in his suite in Trump Tower; it is time to fill them with the homeless. Ditto for all the others, like Tom Steyer and Barbra Streisand, who are also that rich. And I can go on. I can also ask: how many of you have taken in a homeless person?

Similarly, in recent news, there is a mountainous quantity of cheese in government storage. If fashioned as a single wheel it would be larger than the U.S. Capitol building. The results of wrong incentives causing dairy farmers to produce more cheese, and bad ‘supply chain’ that means it doesn’t go to feed the hungry. And wouldn’t the hungry be better off with quinoa anyway?
– This is what happens when government fashions collectivist food (or other public benefit) policies, instead of us doing it ourselves.