Home | About | Donate

With Power to Knee-Cap Bold Demand, Incoming Democratic Tax Committee Chair Says Medicare for All 'Not Realistic'


It’s not enough, KC.

We can do better than hearings. No one cares about hearings. The House can pass a singe-payer bill. It can pass it repeatedy, like the GOP did with the ACA repeal, which helped keep the Republican base focused on it and excited about voting for them again. Hearings don’t do that. White papers don’t do that. Behind-closed-doors politics don’t do that. A CBO analysis sure as heck doesn’t do it.

Pass it, loudly and repeatedly. Pass a minimum wage increase, then pass it again. Pass a Green New Deal over and over. You’re right, nothing is going to get done while the GOP owns the Senate, but the Democrats can demonstrate who they are for the next two years.

My fear is that come April, it will be all hearings and no action, fact-finding meetings and no bills, analyses and no votes.

The old style of doing things just isn’t enough. Do it that way and turn the House over to the GOP in two years.


I usually don’t bother reading your posts but in this case you are just clueless on the topic.


Actually the hearings are the action, imo. A redundant vote is just that and becomes a bore after 70 times of going nowhere.


The votes are propaganda, and propaganda works.


You are right. Advertising works or they wouldn’t spend billions on it. I just forgot for a moment that that shit never did work on me and ever will, but others didn’t know that til now.


Sorry, I disagree. The thing is, there is no bill yet. HR 676 has big holes in it, and I can’t think of a worse thing to do than have a jurisdictional committee in the Senate request a bill analysis for a piece of major legislation that lacks financing measures and transition mechanisms. That’s just a disaster of a headline. Building a successful program is a lot different than repealing one that, initially, was not popular.

The most successful pieces of social legislation we have were actually developed over time. Medicare hearings actually date back to the early 50s, when people like Arthur Altmeyer and Wilbur Cohen (authors of Social Security and Medicare) put together smaller proposals like supplemental indigent care to test financing and program operations. This is the time to do something similar, look at legislative options, financing mechanisms, just as was done then.


There won’t ever be a perfect bill, we both know that. We also know how it’s going to be financed: taxes. Regardless of what the bill says, the headline is going to be: “GOP Says Socialist Heath Plan Will Bankrupt the Nation.”

The minimum wage bill should be a lot easier, after all, it’s not like it’s never been done before. Future headline: “GOP Says Minimum Wage Bill Will Bankrupt Businesses, Hurt Workers”

Green New Deal? “GOP Says Green New Deal Will Bankrupt Nation, Threaten National Security”

In the meantime, those ideas will become mainstream. They’ll be expected. Heck, the GOP has an entire generation thinking that Social Security won’t be there when they retire.

Propaganda and optics are important. Frank Luntz knows this. Isn’t time progressives learned this, too? Since 1980, Democratic hearings have exposed a lot of things (remember Waxman? He had great hearings), but they don’t register. Boldness and loudness register.

It took an abomination like Trump to get people voting. Giving people something to vote for rather than just against is a good idea, I think.


You are speaking like an activist, not a legislator. There’s a big difference between a 2% payroll tax increase and a 15% one and figuring out transition costs, coverage options, and blending financing mechanisms is how you get from one to the other. And propaganda works both ways. The ACA wasn’t repealed, even with a bunch of statement votes, after all.

I’m going to refer you to a great interview with one of the key authors of Medicare. He was interested in passing a good bill that worked, not passing a bad bill for statement’s sake.


I lived in his district for many years. Never once did Richard Neal secure for his district as much money from Washington as it sent there. He traded away his constituents interests to curry favor and career advancement for himself. Yeah, he’s a democrat alright, but the people in MA 1 have no representation in congress.


Tahirah Amatul-Wadud ran a pretty good progressive campaign against Neal in the 2018 primary and got about 30% of the vote. Now that she is known in the district - if Neal does look like a roadblock to single payer - she will be an important person to work for in 2020.



And you are speaking like a DC inside the beltway apparatchik.

It’s fairly straightforward to figure where the costs are being borne now, between businesses, individuals and government spending. We need only take the savings and spread them somewhat proportionately among businesses and individuals by taxing them at a rate that is slightly less than what they pay today.

As for coverage options, that’s fairly straightforward. Everything is covered with no deductibles or copays. Doesn’t need a bunch of pseudo rocket scientists in the form of insurance company and pharma lobbyists polluting the result with their special interests. In fact, they should be forbidden from engaging legislators, as they are anathema to the public interest – especially insurance companies. Having them at the table is only another form of corruption. This is about what is in the public interest, not what is in their interests.

Of course, I’m sure you’ll reply with some argument about “the political realities” but frankly, the public has soured on political realities and is ready for a revolution. You and LRX and some others around here, just don’t seem to get that, to borrow from Rep. Tlaib, YOU don’t know what’s coming.


“Medicare does not pay enough to providers which is why seniors often have trouble accessing health care.”
Oh please. Medicare pays plenty, just not as much as the over paid health industry would like.




Singularity — excellent.


It’s not so much that Medicare underpays, as the healthcare providers have the burden of administrative costs dealing with a constantly changing ever myriad byzantine system of multiple insurance policies and plans that not only under pay, but impose these administrative costs. Eliminate those, and the bureaucracy health care providers are required to staff up to survive and you eliminate those costs, which would make Medicare payments much more rewarding.


Yeah. Good luck Ed.

You made it out. You can watch from the sidelines. Watch us kick a$$ when the time comes.

My money’s on Us.

Not them.

A little tune for you…


“You are speaking like an activist, not a legislator.”

Perhaps, or maybe I draw less of a distinction between the two. After all, I want an activist gov’t.

It seems that many of the issues with Medicare/Medicaid were political rather than technocratic. There was just an article here at CD about single-payer saving two trillion over ten years. We already have a report.

And we already have an example of what to do to our North. We don’t need to re-invent the wheel. Some of your concerns, like coverage options, aren’t an issue to me. Full coverage, free at point of use. Period. Blending financing mechanisms? General fund. Period. I’ve no doubt you’re familiar with the studies that show Americans pay more to get less healthcare than many other nations. That should be a really, really easy sell, and it’s not lack of a bill that is the problem here, it’s politics. Indeed, politics is to blame for lack of a bill RIGHT NOW!

As for the ACA not being repealed, who cited that as a reason for not voting GOP? Exactly, because NO ONE CARED. The base still came out for Republicans, but it took Trump to get people to the polls for Democrats.

It’s about power. It’s always been about power and always will be. Keep doing things the way that lost so many seats across the nation and power isn’t something you’ve got to worry about. There will never be a bill, because those that want one won’t have any power.

Right now, Democrats have a little bit of power. If they spend two years studying things and issuing a committee report that will be propagandized to oblivion, they’ve done nothing but waste that power.


Medicare spends about three and a half cents per dollar spent on healthcare.

Insurance companies spend between 15 and 25 cents. (Those are pre-ACA figures. Without HMOs, it’s probably more like 20% across the board.)

Government is often more efficient that corporations.


The greater the coverage, the greater the transition costs, the greater the taxes. That’s how social insurance systems work. That may be fine for you, but it may not be for millions of others. And this is exactly why hearings matter—to figure out what will work, what can pass, and what will last. It’s why the Canadian system doesn’t include dental or vision and works via point-of-service private providers. It’s why there’s Medicare A, B, C, and D, cost sharing, copayments, and a healthy medi-gap insurance market.

I strongly suggest you read Wilbur Cohen’s interview that I linked to above. He was one of the key authors of Medicare and helped implement Social Security.


The greater the coverage, the lesser the total costs. You’re leaving private spending out of your equation. It’s not about taxes, it’s about total costs. That’s how reality works.

No. It’s politics that account for that. Policy would cover it all.

I did. It misses the point. It’s about politics, not rational policy. Rational policy would cover it all at less cost than we pay today with better health results. What about that do you not understand?