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Warren's Medicare for All Moment Was Critical

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/06/27/warrens-medicare-all-moment-was-critical

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She gave a strong show at the debate. Her answers seemed clear and straight forward. She displayed strength and character. She is definitely in the running.


Good, but on the other hand,
Ajamu Baraka ‏Verified account @ ajamubaraka

The good thing about Warren’s warmed-over reform liberalism is that it will force Sanders left. If he doesn’t Warren’s technocratic, capitalism with a human face fraud will gain traction with public & support from corporate sector, despite her “anti-corporate” rhetoric.


I will not be getting on the DNC’s latest “Anyone but Bernie” train! I liked Warren when she was pushing real Wall Street reform around 2009 before Obama caved, created the CFPB, patted her on the head and gave the top spot to someone else. I believe she has submitted to the power cliques and, if elected, will be another Obama. I don’t think she would beat Trump though, unless he starts a war with Iran and then he might not even be allowed to run in 2020


Since Warren has been equivocating on Medicare for All ever since she signed on to Bernie’s bill, I’m unconvinced by her “outstretched hand” last night. Just more of the same political opportunism from Warren, as far as I’m concerned, and based on her past performance, she will grandstand, and then she will fold. No, thanks.


Trump is the big promise breaker. “I will bring the best people, Mexico will pay for the wall, everyone will have healthcare and it, along with drugs will be a lot cheaper, I will reel in the wars,” etc.

Trump, all alone, has turned a country separated by liberals and conservatives, into highly partisan republicans and democrats.
I wonder how much trump lied to his parents when he was young. Maybe that’s why he was sent off to military school. They likely couldn’t stomach his narcissism and lying any more than we can.

I haven’t seen the debate yet - why in the world did Tulsi’s hand not go up? I can’t support her anymore if she isn’t all in for Medicare for All. @LibWingofLibWing did you see it yet? Do you have a take?

That was disappointing. Since she and Booker have been co-sponsors of Medicare for All bills the moderators followed up with them about why they didn’t raise their hands. Tulsi Gabbard said she supported Medicare for All - but then said that the way other countries do single payer almost always involves some form of private options.

I do think that Warren’s equivocations on Medicare for All have been somewhat overblown here by CD commentators - though I do not believe she is as strong as she appeared last night on the issue (much less as strong as Sanders or the people supporting the House bill).

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I don’t buy it for 3 major reasons:

  1. Why adopt virtually all of Bernie’s agenda while running against him?
  2. If she cared for these issues to survive, she would know that dividing the Medicare For All vote between Bernie and Warren guarantees that Joe Biden wins the nomination and Medicare for All dies again.
  3. If she cared about Medicare for All, why did she not endorse Bernie Sanders in 2016? Medicare for All has been discussed and debated since the 1990s with Bill Clinton, then Ralph Nader, Howard Dean, Dennis Kucinich, Bernie Sanders and Barack Obama. How could she not understand how it works in 2016 with so many folks providing details and talking points.

Medicare for All got thrown under the bus after election by Bill and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and it will again under a Liz Warren presidency.


Every relatively low income young family I have talked to has no insurance at all and they hope and pray they won’t need it. Senseless.

Well said. thanks

I keep having to write this over and over. In some ways I wish that Tulsi was willing to lie a little bit about what the Medicare for All bills that she’s sponsored are about with the same hyperbole that Sanders used at a town hall. But Tulsi is a truth teller and she knows that none of the Single Payer bills legally eliminate private insurance. So she tells the truth.

Here, Fiorella explains it better than I can.


Many people are saying incorrect things so I’m here to fix that for you all.

Why didn’t Tulsi raise her hand when they asked “would you give up all private insurance for gov run healthcare”?

Answer: Tulsi co-sponsored Bernie’s & Jayapal’s #MedicareForAll plan which does not include cosmetic surgery, which would be covered under “private insurance.” She did not lie.

Warren also co-sponsored Bernie’s plan but then made her OWN plan. This plan is worse than anything Bernie, Jayapal, or Tulsi support.

“But Warren raised her hand.”

Yes and that makes this worse. Bc not only is she omitting that under her plan private insurance would still exist, due to cosmetic surgery. But also that her plan isn’t as inclusive. Here’s why:

Warren’s non-single payer plan, introduced Apr. 2019, is market-based reform that keeps private insurance in business for profits, does not provide universal coverage, retains restrictive networks, and will not lower costs. The very first line of the bill states “To provide health insurance reform, and for other purposes”.
Link to S. 1213, the Consumer Health Insurance Protection Act of 2019, Warren’s healthcare plan: https://bit.ly/2RBLTRR

So before y’all come at me I’m not biased. I wish we would eliminate everything all together. But cosmetic surgery and elective procedures are not a thing tax payers will pay for yet and I’m good with that. France has a similar system to Bernie/Tulsi/Jayapal’s plan. I’ll link the site. But Warren, though she “raised her hand” has a worse plan bc she’s not really committed to M4ALL maybe bc she will take money in the general as she plans. She still does not have it on her site.

Now that you have all the facts remember to look at policy and legislative actions over the pretty words politicians tell you on TV. The camera has a way to make non-camera comfortable people act differently.

Note the reference that Fiorella linked to that shows how Warren’s plan is much less than Medicare for All. Warren is a liar. What she means is that she sees there are ‘many paths’ to ‘universal coverage’ with ‘affordable acces to everyone’ and Medicare for All is one path, and she is mistaken and thinks it will legally abolish private insurance when it doesnt. Since she supports that as one path, then she puts her hand up. But the real deal is that isn’t her preferred ‘path’ and the moment she came up with her preferred ‘path’ that isn’t really Medicare for All, the corporate media decided she was their darling and lots of NeoLiberals, like Hillary Goddamn Clinton’s right hand woman, Neera Tanden of the NeoLiberal Think Tank, “Center for American Progress,” suddenly started pumping her as the latest way to stop Sanders.

Here’s more evidence she is not really for Medicare for All despite what she says:

The simple fact that she is getting lots of air time on the corporate propaganda channels should be all the evidence anyone needs that she is in no way a peoples candidate.

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Two points on your explanation:

  1. first the question the candidates were asked to raise their hand to was “Many people watching at home have health insurance coverage through their employer. Who here would abolish their private health insurance in favor of a government run plan?” (i.e. it was tied specifically to employer-based private insurance) and

  2. If she she did not raise her hand for that reason, then she could have said so when asked. It would not be that hard to just say something like: I see a small role for private insurance in areas like cosmetic surgery that won’t be covered by an improved Medicare for All system.

I don’t think her actual response (reprinted below) was particularly bad but it was definitely not talking about stuff like domestic surgery that wouldn’t be covered:

“I think we’re talking about this in the wrong way. You’re talking about one bill over another bill. Really, what we’re talking about is our objective, making sure that every single American in this country is able to get the health care that they need. I believe Medicare for All is the way to do that. I also think that employers recognize how much money will be saved by supporting a Medicare for All program, a program that will reduce the administrative costs, reduce the bureaucratic costs, and make sure that everyone gets that quality healthcare that they need. I also think If you look at other countries in the world who have universal healthcare, every one of them has some form of a role of—of private insurance. I think that’s what we’ve got to look at, taking the best of these ideas, but making sure unequivocally that no sick American goes without getting the care that they need regardless of how much or little money they have in their pocket.”

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I’m travelling so now I’m behind on both debates - thanks to you and @LibWingofLibWing for some details. Do you know what percentage of payments could possibly be left for private insurance if H.R. 1384 were implemented? I can’t see how it could be more than 1%. I’ve never had any service even remotely cosmetic and how many would buy insurance for such a purpose? Ok that isn’t technically eliminating private insurance but it is close enough to answer yes to these types of questions and add a brief qualifier…

I would never move from Gabbard to Warren based on this one answer but I’ll be looking more closely and she may lose me to Sanders.

For most people it’s zero as H.R. 1384 is quite comprehensive.

I don’t think there’s any doubt that Tulsi Gabbard is far more worthy of progressive support than Elizabeth Warren. The signature issue of her campaign is a focus on a peace oriented foreign policy and that should be important - but how you might weight that compared to say climate change, income inequality, and health care is something that progressive people will disagree on.

Her campaign websites have no real details about her positions - but her House website does (https://gabbard.house.gov) - though it is out of date. Weirdly, her campaign’s facebook page shows an image of her with Bernie Sanders like she’s running to be his V.P.

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She explained later but as usual she didn’t have enough time. I thought of more things not covered- dental whitening and cosmetic caps. I could see studios taking out supples in those.

I don’t think she is.

But she is telling us two things.

  1. In 2016 I had the courage to resist the rigged DNC, call them out, quit, and support Bernie. Warren didn’t.

  2. If I am not over a majority of delegates on the first ballot and Bernie isn’t either but he’s close you can trust me I will support Bernie. You can’t trust Warren. I am not running against Bernie.


I’m sorry, but I have to disagree with you here. First and foremost, Warren was one of only two democratic candidates identified by Wall Street elites as “no deal” candidates (the other being Sanders). Second, I’ve been following David Dayen for over 10 years (ever since he was part of a little known blog called “calitics”) and I like and respect his analysis. He has been extremely critical of Kamala Harris and doesn’t buy her “progressive cred” one bit. He was (and probably still is) a Sanders supporter in 2016. If he says Warren is firmly in the M4A camp, I believe him.

Look, I’m still voting for Sanders in the primaries. Warren is a Capitalist and has gone on record as saying as much. But she’s likely a center-left Capitalist in the European sense (“socialist” countries like Denmark and Sweden self identified as being Capitalist). I don’t believe for a second that she’s another Obama. More like another FDR (and, for the record, FDR’s New Deal had more to do with the elites of the era wanting to prevent a socialist uprising than FDR’s commitment to progressive values, that came later). Warren makes me wish we had ranked choice voting so that I can put her down as my number two candidate. She likely appeals to a number of progressives who are still attached to Capitalism and are uncomfortable with the “socialist” label and even moderates who like universal programs and like the idea of attacking banks and Wall Street. She and Sanders have correctly prioritized taking on Wall Street as job 1 before doing anything else. Because, let’s face it, without bringing those guys down, there is not one single progressive policy that will go anywhere. Like I said, I’m still a Sanders voter, but If she is the nominee, I will vote for her next November. If anyone other than Sanders, Warren, or Gabbard are the nominee next November, forget it. I’ll write my name in like I did in 2016.