Home | About | Donate

The Cynical Opposition of Some Democrats to Universal Health Care


The Cynical Opposition of Some Democrats to Universal Health Care

Joshua Cho

After strong opposition from Americans concerned with the potential repeal of the Affordable Care Act and opposition from Senate Republicans forced Mitch McConnell to delay the Senate vote on the American Health Care Act, and growing support across the country for a single-payer health care system, the time is ripe for a push to


Oh yeah, we all want universal healthcare .... while the Rethugricans are busy destroying what healthcare we have.
Can I please move to a planet inhabited by sane people?


The headlline and article do not match (by far from the first time). The article is about single payer healthcare and the title refers to universal healthcare. Those are not the same thing. Single payer is a specific type of universal health care. I believe all Democrats support universal healthcare. I can't think of one Democratic politician who does not. During the last election Bernie Sanders campaigned for universal healthcare when he was supporting Hillary Clinton. At that time he abandoned campaigning for single payer. I think it true that many Democrats do not support single payer. I believe the main reason they do not is that they believe it has no chance of ever being passed by Congress so they would rather support some other path to universal healthcare. Hillary Clinton developed a plan for universal healthcare in the early 1990s but the Democrats were unable to get it passed. I think the main function of the call for single payer healthcare is to define the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Although there does not seem to be any chance it would be passed in Congress it does help give the progressive wing of the Democratic Party an issue for attacking the center left wing. The same could be said of the $15 minimum wage. It also has not chance of becoming federal law but it gives the progressive wing an issue against the center left.


There is such a thing???



When you say universal healthcare do you mean a person can get healthcare no matter how little their income? Or do you mean healthcare that guarantees profits for the insurance companies?


I know it is hard for Americans to believe such a thing exists (Universal health care) but at least 15 or so other countries have it and yes like it,


The UK has Universal health Care and are a pretty good example. Google it.


You've really nailed it. When your center-right, your right. And, your Hillary Healthcare promotion, along with an early morning baloney sandwich on the $15 an hour wage, puts that last nail in the debate.
As the the Big Ds ( Booker, Obama, Lewis, et al ) keep obfuscating about the inability to really make healthcare affordable, living wages an actuality ( the two are linked ) it is, despite what you might think or read, comforting to see the deadenders expose the reasons why the Democratic Party is finishing itself off. With no help from the Republican right, needed. They exist in the DNC, already, pushing the triangulations which mostly fail: ( the Obama & Clinton economic programs )
at every turn, except for cutting off dissent.
The Progressive wing will just link up with other outside groups, using iniatives and other tactics, to end gatekeepers subverting popular issues that are also life and death issues, too.
The Democratic Party loses voter support when it is as risk averse as it is, currently. That's just the cold, hard truth of the matter.


Rep. John Lewis (GA), ah yes the same John Lewis that questioned Sanders involvement and support of civil rights in the 60s. "Well, to be very frank, I’m going to cut you off, but I never saw him, I never met him[Bernie Sanders],” Lewis said. “I’m a chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee for three years, from 1963 to 1966. ... But I met Hillary Clinton. I met President Clinton.”"

Next up Al (sure wish we could, but... )Franken: "single-payer system would be the most effective in terms of reducing administrative costs, and I would be thrilled to support such a system. But **I believe that today’s political environment requires a creative and flexible approach to covering every American. ... Each individual state would be free to offer a variety of options, as long as they add up to universal coverage, giving us 51 laboratories (if you count DC) to figure out which system works best."** (So how's that workin' out in Cali?) IOWs expand the ACA and Big Insurance is your friend and they want to get you the best deal at the lowest possible price--right. This is just more mealy-mouthed excuses to promote the ACA and piecemeal, unequal, overly expensive, ever increasing cost of health care for those that simply cannot afford the bill. Al Franken should know better but he's been housebroken over the several years he's been in Congress, he only barks now when he is commanded to do so.

Good piece on universal health care: https://theintercept.com/2017/06/30/california-single-payer-organizers-are-deceiving-their-supporters-its-time-to-stop/


Al Franken is just telling the truth. Even if progressives take the House and Senate by huge majorities, you've got president Trump in the White House and 5-member Supreme Court vote against anything we want to do. To get the ACA, the liberals on the Court had to go along with Robert's trim of the ACA's Medicaid expansion via federalism. His federalist reasoning was almost complete BS, but it's what happened. If you think single payer wouldn't fall prey to the same nonsense, I've got a bridge to sell you.

It may be the best bet is altering the ACA to give more states flexibility to use federal funds to specifically start universal coverage programs whether single payer or something like the German system. The waiver process is in there, but maybe there's a way to do it easier? This is especially the case since we've got a vote on the Court to the right of Scalia in Gorsuch now.


This is where Franken stands, it predates Trump. So what was his excuse while Obama was in office?

Al Franken supported single payer in 2004, now he's all about saving Big Insurance, Big Pharma and the ACA. Funny thing is this is how many act once they get elected no matter how progressive they profess to be while collecting votes.

One would have to be completely callous to not support universal healthcare. I mean, who really thinks some people do not deserve to live, have health care, receive treatment for cancer or whatever, seriously?


This is so misinformed I don't know where to start. Obama didn't run on single payer. He ran on something very similar to what we got in the ACA. Franken wanted to expand coverage, but he knew guys like Ben Nelson weren't going to nationalize health insurance. So, like Bernie, he worked via the legislation that had the broadest support in his caucus. This is what you do if you want to accomplish things.


Only if you're a neoliberal.

If you think the cowards in Congress will put any limitations on Big Insurance and Pharma you are seriously misguided. They own Congress. Exhibit A: Obamacare. Dayen is correct. This will only change if the public (w/Sanders help) forces change.


Agree on the public sentiment.


BS. The self-professed "one we've all been waiting for" promised just about everything, including change. What'd we get: more of the same and worse.

Obama ran on universal health care including a public option. He gifted the country with the Republican solution: no-care. Obamacare/Romneycare aka ACA is anything but. The premiums, deductibles and co-pays are too high. So what we have is a system by which the government is funneling tax dollars into the coffers of Big Insurance in the form of subsidized premiums for insurance that THE INSURED CANNOT AFFORD TO USE. Free money, right on the heels of the biggest bank bailout in history (where of course under Obama no one was held to account). Doesn't get any better than that for everyone but the insured (and taxpayers footing the bill).

Thanks Big O! After Passing Stress Tests, Wall Street Banks to Spend Like a Drunken Sailor – on their Own Stock Buybacks http://wallstreetonparade.com/2017/06/after-passing-stress-tests-wall-street-banks-to-spend-like-a-drunken-sailor-on-their-own-stock-buybacks/


Yes, it is extremely popular. It is fully paid by the government (taxpayers) so that each UK citizen (and visitors) are provided the care they need. It is both universal and single payer (which is why most people seem to confuse the two). Some countries with universal health care still have insurance in the mix but it is highly regulated by the government. We all know that will not work here since all the big players in providing health care own our government.

NHS means British healthcare rated top out of 11 western countries, with US coming last


Obama ran on the ACA with a public option. Let's just make that clear. That was the plan he won on too, by a large margin, not single payer.

Did you know a public option was in the bill that passed the House (HR 3962)? Did you know that's what Obama hoped to get from the Senate and that the vast majority of the Democratic caucus favored it? Did you know it was Senator Lieberman, threatening to caucus with Republicans after a Medicare buy-in proposal was agreed to as a compromise, that led to the ACA without even that option? And are you aware that every state would have expanded Medicaid if not for John Roberts on the Supreme Court?


I think it is a misnomer to refer to NHS in the UK as having a Single Payer attribute. It's true that the government is the single payer (since it employs the doctors), but what most people mean by Single Payer (Canada, Taiwan, and I'm not sure how many other places) is that the government is the single "insurer" and the only one paying hospital and doctor bills, but that those entities remain private.

I'd actually prefer an NHS solution to Single Payer in the US, but THAT is not going to happen (outside of the VA anyway) - I don't think we have to give up on Single Payer though, that really could happen in the US - all the pieces just haven't come together yet.

(It was weird on the Intercept podcast recently to hear the host complain about the name Single Payer or Medicare for All, but he liked the NHS name - he made no suggestion for what we should call a Canadian type solution here though and I'm not sure another name in the mix is going to help at this point)


You are so ugly. Your endless pandering to the worst corporate ownership of the Democratic Party is repugnant. Vomit-inducing.

At long last, HAVE YOU NO SHAME?


Yes you are correct, in the UK the government owns the hospitals, employs/pays doctors, etc so that it is truly a socialized system -- much like the Veterans Administration here. (We don't hear much talk about "socialized medicine" in the US anymore--ruffles too many feathers.)

This is but a small difference to those receiving care. If they don't have to hand over any money at point of service, pay a premium and/or deductible I doubt they really care. But yes there is a difference and the more private (for-profit or even "non-profit") enterprises in the mix the higher the cost will be so a truly socialized system is by far the best.

I like Taiwan's system. Each citizen is issued a card, like a credit or bank card. They can see the doctor anytime they wish, their card is scanned (has their medical records) and the doctor is paid (by the government) right then and there. No on-site billing departments or a mishmash of insurance policies that drs offices have to work their way through to get paid. It is far more efficient than a mishmash of health insurers, one day you're in--next day you're out, health care we seem to be wedded to in the US.