July 31, 2020

Biden's Medicare for More: the slippery slope begins

Wendell Potter of all people is saying Biden’s Medicare for More proposal is “not radical, but feasible.”

I hate that word “feasible” when it comes to Democratic responses, and it’s way TOO SOON to start throwing it around.  

He’s thinking along these lines :
Although a majority of House Democrats back Medicare for All, there is far less support among Senate Democrats. The prospect of raising taxes on the middle class to pay for Medicare for All, even if offset by the elimination of health insurance premiums and co-payments, appears to worry some Democrats in swing states. Also, the issue of constituents being forced to forgo employer-based coverage under a Medicare for All scenario, is seen as a political vulnerability. (From his July 16th post in Tarbell)
But, all that worry and vulnerability he’s talking about is probably less about their fear of raising taxes or forgoing employer-based coverage and much more about the money they know they’ll lose if they come out for Medicare for All.

As Evers-Hilstrom and Piper reported a year ago in Open Secrets:
No Democratic candidate has pulled in more from the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries than Biden, who raised more than $97,000. The former vice president took in more than $11,000 from affiliates of industry giant Blue Cross/Blue Shield, including the maximum $2,800 from Daniel Hilferty, CEO of Independence Blue Cross who sits on the board of a major health insurance trade group that is fighting to defeat Medicare for All healthcare plan.
Calling a lesser proposal “feasible” just masks a corporatist’s true goal (profit) and basic character flaw (greed).  

With Bernie AWOL (and I’ll only accept that extraction if he did it for health reasons), no single-payer advocate – whistleblower, elected official, or man-in-the-street – has the right to retreat one single step. Only consistent pressure from all sides will get these bills passed.


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