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Why Medicare for Libby and Medicaid for Flint?


Why Medicare for Libby and Medicaid for Flint?

Donna Smith

When we learned that the people of Flint, MI, were being sickened by lead in their drinking water, we were outraged. It's bad enough when adults confront environmental toxins and suffer health consequences, but finding out that the children of Flint were being poisoned was almost unbelievable.


We live in a sea of contaminants. Medicare for all would give the government a real motive to see that pollution ebb. The privateers have had their day and need to be run out of town.


Thank you, Donna, for another informative and insightful news feature on CD.

Bernie inspires when he preaches, “Medicare for All!” Hillary depresses when she declares, “We will save Obamacare!”

On January 1, 2016, our local insurer increased our premiums by $204 per month, for a lousy insurance, thanks to Obamacare. The wealthiest professionals in Dubuque exploiting some of the lowest for financial gain.

With Obama’s visit to Cuba, he should inquire how a 3rd world country delivers 1st world health care to its citizens. In 2006, Michael Moore took a boatload of NYC First Responders to Havana, and they wept for joy with their health improvements in the documentary movie Sicko.


Perhaps then Senator Max Baucus’ (D-Montana) role as Obama’s lead gunner against Medicare expansion (and ACA promoter) influenced this decision ?


Listening to Obama’s speech in Havana this morning, Obama gushed about Cuban baseball players, boxers, education system, while completely ignoring health care, indicating that he knows at least as much as we do about Cuban health care.


Meanwhile it’s deep pockets like the Koch Brothers that fund the politicians who are all too ready to cut health care access to the public while these same entities argue their “right” to poison water tables.

Thank you, Donna, for the information on Libby and its comparisons with Flint. I had no idea about Libby; and Ray Del Camino is right on–that this same Baucus was the individual who pushed through a plan that rewarded Insurance Companies as its primary goal.


Base of support is different for the political class of the two states. As corrupt as Baucus was (is), MTs electoral base is still working class white, and any politician planning a career there has to seem to take care of them. Had Libby’s mining families and such been abandoned, it would’ve likely cut short Baucus’ career. Someone would’ve run on it.
In Michigan, Snyder’s base is affluent white suburbanites. True, they’re mostly racist when it comes to Michigan politics. But they’re generally disinterested in any working class issues of justice (see, autoworkers) regardless of race.

So I don’t think race was that big of a factor here in explaning the difference. It’s just a really different political reality between the 2 places.


Great work, Donna!
I can’t remember seeing any of this in the coverage I’ve seen on the Flint water crisis.
As the evidence of contaminated water supplies continues to emerge nationwide, the need for nonprofit universal healthcare becomes more urgent.

Thanks for all your great work.


That’s the beauty of Medicare For All proposal of Bernie Sanders. Everybody is covered, regardless of the politics of the individual states.


Would be nice, that’s for sure.


Healthcare in USA is rationed by insurance and pharma profitability by race and class. Great article in exposing the inherent racism.


Also, the health impacts are apples and oranges. The water situation in Flint is still new and its impacts are still being assessed. And while I don’t want to depreciate lead poisoning, it nothing compared to the 100 percent fatal Mesothelioma and crippling and life shortening Asbestosis that killed hundreds and crippled thousands - whole families were killed in Libby - and others continue to die. The impacts in Flint will be short term - mostly being a increase in learning disabled children for which well funded special education programs - not medical assistance, will be needed.


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