Making it easy for the clean up woman

I’m not much for “heightening the contradictions”. There’s an old saying, that when someone says “minor surgery” means someone else is getting operated on. Well, I think when someone says “heighten the contradictions”, it means someone else’s life is being destroyed by awful government policy.

So I think we should fight like hell to save ACA. That said, how on earth can the Republicans not think that their latest shitcare proposal is a one-way ticket to single payer within ten years? If 30 million people lose their health care by 2020 because of a shitty Republican bill, it’s not going to be that hard for President Gillibrand or President Harris (or maybe President Brown) to get a single payer bill through Congress in 2021.






144 replies
  1. 1
    Elizabelle says:

    This is what Nancy Pelosi was talking about, with shoring up Obamacare. She’d heard what depravities the GOP was up to.

    Fuck Wilmer for clouding the issue.

    And I am so tired of this. It motivates me to study my Spanish so I can move out of this fucking country. I have had it.

  2. 2
    Fair Economist says:

    It won’t be single-payer because the politics and economics of canceling every employer plan don’t change. What it will be is Medicaid for all not covered by employers (even though it will be called Medicare). Which is to say – Hillarycare from 1993.

    She had the right plan a quarter century ago.

  3. 3
    The Dangerman says:

    ….it’s not going to be that hard … to get a single payer bill through Congress in 2021.

    Say what?

  4. 4
    dmsilev says:

    I’m less optimistic about that. After the collapse of the mid-nineties health care effort, it took nearly twenty years for Democrats to give it another try, and they were rewarded for their efforts by an electoral shellacking. I don’t know how eager people will be to have another go at it, even if it desperately needs to be done.

  5. 5
    MattF says:

    “Worse is better” is an elementary blunder– the correct response is “No, worse is worse”.

  6. 6
    SFAW says:

    That said, how on earth can the Republicans not think that their latest shitcare proposal is a one-way ticket to single payer within ten years?

    For some reason, they seem to think that their base would be OK with having Grandma put out on a chunk of ice (figuratively speaking) in the middle of the Pacific, as long as the coloreds didn’t get low-cost healthcare. Seeing as how their base keeps turning out in off-year elections, it’s not as if they need to get a ton more votes.

    Of course, I have no idea why I would think this, because the electorate has always been rational during the last 15-20 years

  7. 7
    Doug! says:

    @dmsilev:

    But there wasn’t a sudden shock to the system in the early 90s just a growing belief that something needed to be done. 30 million people losing coverage in two years will be a shock to the system.

  8. 8
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Elizabelle: Make sure you study Catalan and not Castilian.

  9. 9
    SFAW says:

    @Fair Economist:

    She had the right plan a quarter century ago.

    Except it was on her private server which was extensively hacked by the Russkies. Or was it that it was actually Vince Foster’s plan, which is why she killed him? I can never keep my Hatelary memes straight.

  10. 10
    Tilda Swintons Bald Cap says:

    OP shouldn’t do bong hits before posting. : )

  11. 11
    SFAW says:

    @Doug!:

    But there wasn’t a sudden shock to the system in the early 90s just a growing belief that something needed to be done. 30 million people losing coverage in two years will be a shock to the system.

    I hope your assessment would be correct, but history has not always comported with that assessment. To paraphrase Mencken: No one has lost money overestimating the viciousness that Americans will visit on their “fellow man.”

  12. 12
    West of the Cascades says:

    @Elizabelle: What I don’t understand (except, I guess, “ego!”) is why Berns couldn’t wait until October 1st to announce his bill.

  13. 13
    rikyrah says:

    WHY do we need to go off into these Single Payer fantasies?

    STOP IT.

    Do you know how long it took..HOW MANY PRESIDENTS IT TOOK

    just to get to OBAMACARE?

    This is some pony and unicorn mess–Single Payer.

    Do you live in America?

    Come on, now.

  14. 14
    rikyrah says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Fuck Wilmer for clouding the issue.

    Amen.

  15. 15

    it’s not going to be that hard for President Gillibrand or President Harris (or maybe President Brown) to get a single payer bill through Congress in 2021.

    I just don’t understand this at all. First of all you’re assuming it’s one of them and not presidents cuomo or booker. Second, I mean, we’re always going to have somebody to play Joe Lieberman in the caucus. Third, nobody in congress has produced a functional single payer bill as even a pipe dream yet so I’m going to wait until that happens to think such legislation has even the slightest chance.

    Agree that we’d end up with Hillarycare. Even when there’s a massive shock to the system, the fix rarely brings us back even to where we were before what broke it happened, cf. 2008 crash and subsequent re-regulations.

  16. 16
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Elizabelle:
    @Gin & Tonic:
    And don’t forget to support C. de F. Barcelona. Fuck Real Madrid.

  17. 17
    Elizabelle says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Yeah, really.

    @rikyrah: Wholeheartedly agree.

    FWIW, these Senators like to eat in nice restaurants, and go to cultural events. I think we should follow them around and shout “for shame.”

  18. 18
    cleek says:

    counting chickens before the eggs they will hatch from have even been laid…

  19. 19
    Tilda Swintons Bald Cap says:

    @rikyrah: Yep. Who’s gonna go in front of the cameras and tell the millions of Americans on employee based health care insurance that that’s going away to be replaced by gubmint something. You think the Democrats took a hit (as Kay is always reminding us) with Ocare, wait till the vast right wing conspiracy gets hold of “single payer”. Not to mention good luck getting Dems elected with Russian pwned voting systems in 2018 and 2020.

  20. 20
    Doug! says:

    @cleek:

    As I said, I want to save ACA. I’m making calls and raising money. I just think that the stupidity of the Republican plan here is immense.

  21. 21
    Waspuppet says:

    Republican voters can always – ALWAYS – be convinced that the problem is Big Gubmint. And other than killing people (quickly or slowly), the other goal of the GOP is to make sure no one else can vote.

  22. 22
    the Conster, la Citoyenne says:

    I would have agreed that taking away insurance from people that currently have it will not work out for Republicans, but then I remember that Kentuckians voted for the guy that promised to take away their health care because “those people” got it too, and I think that’s all that matters anymore in a country in thrall to white supremacy.

  23. 23

    @rikyrah: Many BJ FPers are sympathetic to BS and his flights of fancy. For them T is not as much an existential crisis as it is for many of us.

  24. 24
    randy khan says:

    Given how hard it was to get the ACA, I don’t make any assumptions about what Dems might be able to do (even with majorities in both houses of Congress plus the Presidency) in 2021 or at any other time. Still, the most important reason to fight the latest bill is that it would be bad for millions of people in whatever interval there might be between its passage and the next time Dems get a shot to fix the problem.

  25. 25
    Betty Cracker says:

    I don’t think it will ever be easy to pass a single payer plan, but I agree with Doug that if the GOP succeeds in tearing down the ACA, it will blow up in their faces.

  26. 26
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Elizabelle:

    It motivates me to study my Spanish so I can move out of this fucking country.

    We had a primer on Spanish here a couple of weeks ago, but it was limited to obscenities. Still useful, though!

  27. 27
    Tilda Swintons Bald Cap says:

    @Betty Cracker: I hope you’re right, BUT we’ve seen them pay NO price for any of the bad stuff so far….

  28. 28
    the Conster, la Citoyenne says:

    @rikyrah:

    It really is such bullshit. Look what happened to the Medicaid provision of the ACA. We’re not dealing with rational actors here – we’re dealing with ugly mean hateful racist misanthropes at the state and federal level, but yes, let’s all clap for Wilmer’s unicorn.

  29. 29
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Many BJ FPers are sympathetic to BS and his flights of fancy.

    I’d change the tense on that. I’d say we’re down to one, the others eventually saw through all the shouty, sanctimonious histrionics. Though I will say it took some people bloody long enough….

    also, if I could wave a magic wand, I would make the conflation of “single payer” and “universal health coverage” disappear forever, as in “Every other industrialized country has Single Payer!”

  30. 30
    Mark B says:

    I’ve been hearing the ‘heightening the contradictions’ BS ever since Reagan ran in 1980. He was a terrible president, but image trumped facts and all of his failures (burgeoning debt, massive structural unemployment, etc.) are seen as triumphs now by his fans. I have no doubt that 20 years from now there will be Trump groupies on the right who celebrate the man who brought us Soylent Green and Russian control of our finances.

  31. 31
    Kay says:

    Jimmy Kimmell is right though. All other countries figure this out and the US is still stumped 100 years later. We’re unique all right- uniquely incompetent. The HOURS that have been spent debating just “over state lines” – OMFG enough. Republicans will natter on about this FOREVER. My entire adult life.

  32. 32
    rikyrah says:

    Trump Appoints Unqualified HBCU Chief … Then Skips Town

    Michael Harriot
    Yesterday 2:40pm

    White America’s president furthered his anti-black agenda Monday when Donald Trump selected an untrained, ill-equipped executive director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities and then skipped town before HBCU presidents could ask him what the hell he was doing.

    Continuing the Trumpster Fire regime’s policy of selecting appointees to positions for which they have no experience or education, Safety-Vest Stalin selected Johnathan Holifield to lead the HBCU initiative, even though Holifield has never attended an HBCU. He has no formal training in higher education; nor has he ever been employed by an HBCU … or any college or university, for that matter.

    NBC reports that Holifield, a former NFL and tech entrepreneur, will start the job Oct. 2 and will be introduced to HBCU presidents at a White House event that Trump will not attend, because some HBCU presidents have announced they will boycott the summit, while others plan to air their grievances with the president. And also because he’s Donald Trump.

    Holifield’s only qualification seems to be that he’s black, which is akin to appointing Betsy DeVos as secretary of education even though she has no experience in education (except destroying public schools in Michigan), choosing Rick Perry to head the Department of Energy (even though he said he wanted to eliminate the department), and having Ben Carson lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development. To be fair, Carson has actually lived in a house. Plus, he’s black, which apparently fills the “urban” requirement

  33. 33
    SFAW says:

    @the Conster, la Citoyenne:

    Ya know, I’ve kinda missed your Bernie-hate of late. Glad to see you’re back. [No, I’m not snarking.] The only thing I would hope for is that The New Messiah would stop being such a “target-rich” asshole.

  34. 34
    Elizabelle says:

    @Kay: Yeah. Seeing how far we are behind “Old Europe.” No wonder Republicans don’t want to fund public schools adequately.

    Thinking this may be my last election cycle in Virginia. Gonna move to a blue state, in preparation for just plain leaving. I don’t have it in me to listen to 10 more years of idiocy, and hope, hope, hope.

  35. 35
    the Conster, la Citoyenne says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I would make the conflation of “single payer” and “universal health coverage” disappear forever, as in “Every other industrialized country has Single Payer!”

    Co-sign. The stupidity of the idiots on the unicorn left is appalling. The hard reality these morons don’t acknowledge, apart from how UHC is works, is that those industrialized countries do not have 50 chief executives and 50 legislatures, more than half of which are still fighting the civil war and believe in nullification. Now we have a SCOTUS that puts the thumb on the scale on their behalf.

  36. 36
    Elizabelle says:

    @West of the Cascades: He’s a dick.

    Any further word on Al Giordano and other efforts to retire the shouting senator from Vermont? He can go live in England with The Guardian editors.

  37. 37
    Kay says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Just pick another country’s model and put it in. NOTHING could be worse than this endless, dumb “debate” – you can tell Cassiddy has no idea what that bill does. He is wasting our time.

  38. 38
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Gin & Tonic:
    @Elizabelle:
    Seriously, Elizabelle, even if you plan never to set foot outside Catalonia (rather unlikely), study both. They’re not that much different.

  39. 39
    Another Scott says:

    @dmsilev: I’m sure people will argue about why the Democrats lost in 2010 for the next 50 years, but I personally think it had much more to do with the very slow pace of the economic recovery than screaming about Obamacare.

    Economic growth makes lots of politics much easier.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  40. 40

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Check the blog when Single Payer was introduced last week.

  41. 41
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Elizabelle: My kiddo talks about emigrating elsewhere sometimes. My response is that it’s better to stay here and fight the reactionary bastards — we can win this thing, and it’s a fight worth having. But I really wouldn’t blame her if she left. If I were her age, I’d seriously consider it myself. Le sigh.

  42. 42
    satby says:

    @Elizabelle: pretty close to with you on that.

  43. 43
    Elizabelle says:

    @the Conster, la Citoyenne: I don’t know why EVERY single response by those in favor of the ACA does not include a “every single other advanced democracy has universal healthcare. It’s cheaper and better.” And then back to the specific point.

    Say it, over and over and over again. Sheer repetition is how the rightwing beat “Obamacare is a failure” into Americans’ heads.

    Why don’t we have something that every single other advanced democracy has? (And am I correct that they do?)

  44. 44
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Another Scott: and Reaganite rhetoric– maybe even pre-Reagan, I don’t know– convinced a whole lot of people that these things called “government spending’ and “deficits” are a drag on economic growth.

  45. 45
    Tilda Swintons Bald Cap says:

    @Kay: Yeah, but they’ve been working over 80 years to do something about Social Security, so yeah I’ll be long dead and this shit debate will still be raging. Failed state !

  46. 46
    clay says:

    @dmsilev:

    After the collapse of the mid-nineties health care effort, it took nearly twenty years for Democrats to give it another try, and they were rewarded for their efforts by an electoral shellacking.

    To be fair, they weren’t in any position to give it another try until 2009. I imagine the next time the Dems have unified government, we’ll see some significant action on health care. Maybe not ‘single payer’, but something.

  47. 47
    hitless says:

    UHC would still fail to pass in 2021 because rich people don’t want it.

  48. 48
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @schrodingers_cat: if it’s a post by the now infrequent FP-er who got his tie-dye down from the attic back when Obama sent his dronze to warrentlessly wiretap his metadata (Worse than Nixon!) and never took it off again, that’s who I meant by “down to one”

  49. 49
    NCSteve says:

    @the Conster, la Citoyenne: In fairness to Kentuckians, most of their resentment is directed at sorry white welfare cheat meth and/or opiod addicts s gettin’ stuff only hard-working white people should be allowed to get. It’s not because they aren’t racist, but, rather, because Kentucky’s black population is fairly small, mostly concentrated in the city and almost zero in the mountains. White meth-heads and opiod addicts are thus the most relatable stereotypical objects of resentment for most rural Kentuckians. They don’t want black people getting anything from the government it either, of course, but their real anger is directed at the chronically unemployed, whose condition is attributed to (the ultimate Kentucky insult) “sorryness” rather than the fact that most rural Kentucky counties, particularly in the mountains, have more people than jobs.

  50. 50
    Kay says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    My eldest wants to get out. It’s the complications that get him- the endless bullshit. He doesn’t know why we have like 11 pass-throughs for healthcare payment. He WANTS them to take it out of his check. He travels internationally for work and he asked me “what if we’re getting a bad deal? What if the truth is we pay way too much taxes for the measly services we get?”

    I had never thought of that- that a 60% tax rate might actually be a better deal than 15% as far as bang for buck.

  51. 51
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Fuck Wilmer for clouding the issue.

    Yep. He decided that the best time to start an intra-party fight was right before the Republicans announced their most noxious plan yet. Funny how he always seems to time his divisive shit right before the Democrats will need to pull together to defeat the Republicans, innit? 🤔😠

  52. 52
    magurakurin says:

    @Elizabelle:

    It motivates me to study my Spanish so I can move out of this fucking country.

    just a heads up…if you were thinking of moving to Barcelona, you should brush up on your Catalan instead of Spanish.

    ed. I should have read the thread first…but things are getting wild and wooly in Catalonia right now. The Guardia Civil is raiding offices looking for anything related to the October 1st independence vote which the Spanish court declared illegal.

  53. 53
    the Conster, la Citoyenne says:

    @Elizabelle:

    The Medicaid provision was the key component to insuring the poorest, and it’s dumbfounding at how Republicans get away with saying that Obamacare is a failure, after working so hard to kneecap it. I really think that most of them don’t know how it works and neither does anyone in the media. That’s the appeal of saying single payer, even though it’s rare and no one knows how it would work either, and fuck that asshole Bernie for grandstanding on it without – typically – doing any of the heavy lifting.

  54. 54
    Elizabelle says:

    @Kay: Your son is on to something. Europeans get a LOT more for their taxes. A lot. Better quality of life, and not the level of despair we see here.

    Europe, to my knowledge, has neither a meth crisis or an opioids crisis.

  55. 55
    Roger Moore says:

    @West of the Cascades:

    What I don’t understand (except, I guess, “ego!”) is why Berns couldn’t wait until October 1st to announce his bill.

    He wants to sabotage ACA to heighten the contradictions and make single payer more likely in the future.

  56. 56
    NCSteve says:

    Between this and the fact that they are apparently seriously thinking about eliminating the mortgage interest and state and local tax deductions to pay for corporate tax cuts, I honestly don’t know whether they are so utterly blinded by Randian dogma and servile fealty to the oligarch class that they truly don’t see these policies as the political equivalent of diving head first into a wood-chipper, or whether they have some reason for thinking that it just don’t think it is still possible for them to lose an election anymore no matter what they do.

  57. 57
    the Conster, la Citoyenne says:

    @SFAW:

    LOL. Yeah, I’ve still got a burning white hot ball of contempt for that fraud. I do a daily prayer that the FBI has Manafort and Devine on record for conspiracy, and that Crooked Jane is up to her grifting neck in it all.

  58. 58
    Elizabelle says:

    @magurakurin: Yeah. The referendum is October 1, isn’t it?

    Anyway, I’d like to know both Catalan and Castilian. Barcelona (and other cities, I am sure) provides free entry level Catalan language training.

    I am impressed by the many Pakistanis I met there. They speak their native language, English, Spanish, and I’d imagine at least a smattering of Catalan too. Lovely people, to a person. Not the snooty or entitled “English only” types you find here.

    Am quite sure that learning languages (and new cultures) does a lot for brain development. Maybe empathy development too.

  59. 59
    clay says:

    @Another Scott:

    I’m sure people will argue about why the Democrats lost in 2010 for the next 50 years, but I personally think it had much more to do with the very slow pace of the economic recovery than screaming about Obamacare.

    I don’t think the two issues could be neatly separated. 2010 was a time when people really DID have economic anxiety, and the Republicans could point to people’s fears about the ACA and say “SEE? He’s making things worse!!”

  60. 60
    satby says:

    @Kay: he’s right. Other countries, especially in Europe, have better healthcare, better worker and consumer protections, better work-life balance, longer vacations. What we get for our tax dollars is Republicans willingly wasting billions in anti-ACA repeals, tossing trillions at an overstuffed war machine while stiffing the veterans who served, and constantly attempting to gut the small safety net in place to give oligarchs more money.
    It’s fucking crazy.

  61. 61
    BlueDWarrior says:

    @NCSteve: Because they have been insufficently punished by the voters for all the malfeasance earlier.

    As far as they are concerned, being a Republican makes you completely immune to political backlash, because now the ‘public’ has been trained to go “Democrats Bad” like zombies.

  62. 62
    Kay says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I never thought of it as comparing value. The comparisons are only price. It might be interesting to see if our 15% is a worse value than their 60%. Do we get 1/4 of the value they do? Or are we getting 5% of value for 15?

  63. 63
    Elizabelle says:

    @magurakurin: Yeah.

    And I don’t think the votes are there for a secession vote. Brexit has given folks a lot of pause on unintended consequences. I don’t know; the young folks I met were for secession. But I’m not sure about Catalans as a whole.

  64. 64
    gene108 says:

    I what I really want, more than single-payer, is a Constitutional Amendment that states clearly healthcare is an inalienable right for everybody in this country. And another couple of more Amendments on voting being an inalienable right (there are only 4 out of 27 Amendments on voting rights, which doesn’t seem to be enough).

  65. 65
    frosty says:

    @cleek: Nice one, I’ll have to remember it

  66. 66
    frosty says:

    @cleek: Nice one, I’ll have to remember it.

  67. 67
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    We had a primer on Spanish here a couple of weeks ago, but it was limited to obscenities. Still useful, though!

    My all-time fave:

    Me cago en los ventiquatro cojones de los apostoles de Jesus Cristo!

    Coprology, scatology & blasphemy in one convenient package – arriba!

  68. 68
    Roger Moore says:

    @NCSteve:
    There’s often a trade-off in politics between trying to get the policy you really want and maximizing your chances at reelection. The Republicans may well have decided that now is their best shot at getting the policies they really want, even if it comes at a the price of reducing their chances of reelection.

  69. 69
    satby says:

    @the Conster, la Citoyenne: come sit by me. I’m hoping St. Wilmer gets rolled up in the Russian connection his own grifty self, his wife can go to the slammer for fraud.

  70. 70
    Elizabelle says:

    @Kay: In last night’s gubernatorial candidates’ debate, Republican Ed Gillespie was promising his voters an extra $700 in tax cuts, in a few years.

    It is to laugh. They would do better with having more public services, and not stripmining our schools and colleges.

  71. 71
    satby says:

    @Roger Moore: word is the Kochs are promising $400 million only if Republicans pass tax reform and kill the ACA; and $400 million buys a lot of misleading ads.

  72. 72
    gene108 says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Say it, over and over and over again. Sheer repetition is how the rightwing beat “Obamacare is a failure” into Americans’ heads.

    Right-wingers own the media. Their whispers get to more ears than our loudest screams. The Women’s March was the largest single day demonstration in our history and we needed to have that sort of turn out to rival the attention a middlingly attended Tax Enough Already national protest got on April 15, 2009.

    Why don’t we have something that every single other advanced democracy has? (And am I correct that they do?)

    America is the greatest best country God has ever given man on the face of the Earth (believe it’s a Sean Hannity quote from a few years back).

    Therefore all other countries are inferior. Everything other countries do is inferior. We are the apex of human civilization or would be, if not for those damn dirty liberals.

    I’m not sure how we get over this mindset, but it is widely held by a lot of people in this country.

    Pointing to other countries as doing something better than us, just tunes people out.

  73. 73
    Felonius Monk says:

    @NCSteve:

    or whether they have some reason for thinking that it just don’t think it is still possible for them to lose an election anymore no matter what they do.

    Well, you may be on to something there. Combining voter suppression with electoral interference from their Russian paymasters might just make them electorally bulletproof.

  74. 74
    satby says:

    @Elizabelle: yeah, $700 won’t even pay an ER visit.

  75. 75
    Jeffro says:

    @rikyrah: You left out the next best part!

    (In a separate, untelevised event, the following Trump-administration officials also received awards for their incompetence: former Exxon CEO Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Treasury Secretary and IndyMac Bank bankrupter Steve Mnuchin, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions—who wouldn’t know justice if it showed up at his door wearing a name tag that said, “Hello, my name is Justice.”)

    You have to laugh or you’ll cry. Or at least, I have to, anyway…

  76. 76
    Another Scott says:

    @Elizabelle: Gilmore won on eliminating (but not really eliminating) the hated Car Tax, which wrecked the state budget for years. I would hope that voters know enough not to fall for it again, but we can’t take anything for granted.

    We have to keep fighting.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  77. 77
  78. 78

    Not only did Bernie pick the wrong time to introduce his bill, he’s doubling down by doing things like scheduling single-payer rallies in San Francisco this week instead of staying in DC and helping.

  79. 79
    fuckwit says:

    the rethug hate of the federal gummint is more civil war retrograde bullshit.

    they hate the federal gummint because the federal gummint won the civil war and freed all their slaves.

    scratch a gummint hater, find a racist underneath

  80. 80

    @Major Major Major Major: Incredibly self centered and stupid, lives in dream land. Or if you are more cynical, an R stooge.

  81. 81
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Europe, to my knowledge, has neither a meth crisis or an opioids crisis.

    That may be true, but compared to ours their plumbing sucks.

  82. 82
    sherparick says:

    I hate to disagree with DougJ, but its quite the contrary: the Destruction of the ACA and Medicaid will make less likely for the U.S. to enact single payer.

    A President does not enact laws. He can propose and suggest laws, try to persuade enough Senators and Congressmen to vote to pass a bill that becomes a statute, and then a President can sign it and it becomes the law of the land. For how hard it is for a Democratic President to enact a large health care law, a good start is this article in Mother Jones about how it took Kennedy and Johnson administrations three years and a landslide election in 1964 to create Medicare. http://www.motherjones.com/pol.....-happened/

    It took President Obama 15 months with large majorities in the Senate and House to enact the ACA, and then the margin was so thin a Republican running on anti-ACA platform winning the Massachusetts Senate seat in a special election almost upended it! Single payer would be opposed by every doctor’s group, hospital group, and insurance company in the country, all of whom have employees who would be told they would lose jobs, or at least income, if single payer was past. A 154 million people getting their health insurance through employer based plans would be told the Democrats are taking away this benefit and replacing it with higher taxes. One just have to look at the elections that follow every effort at expanding health care and insurance from the Government, that this issue is toxic for Democrats. They passed Medicare in 1965, and are punished in the 1966 elections losing 47 house seats (Vietnam hurt, structural R seats reverting to R after 1964 D landslide yes, but enacting Medicare was certainly not rewarded); in the 1994 election, after proposing a single payer system that was called Hillary Care, which failed to get through Congress, the Democrats lost 54 seats and the majority they held since 1955 (Clinton’s chaotic first two years did not help, NAFTA and the health care failure depressed Democratic turn out, but the voters motivated by fear of change system did come out and voted for the party against health care reform); and of course the 2010 mid-terms after Obama and Congress enacted the ACA saw massive Republican gains – 63 seats in the House, 6 seats in the Senate, and a lock on state houses across the country (again, reaction to having a Black President (with right wing media portraying the ACA as “reparations”), on-going deep recession and housing crisis which Tim Geithner’s Treasury and antipathy to Fiscal stimulus and friendliness to bankers policy did not help depressed Democratic turn out, so did left criticism of the ACA, a reminder that any bill coming out of the sausage factory that is Congress will be a disappointment to the purity left who can enact perfect laws in their heads).

    The political incentives right now are for Democrats to say the are for single payor to get the base support in the election and avoid having the bernie bots plot against them in primaries, but once a general election held, if Democrats win narrow majorities in the Senate and House and the Presidency (big ifs if the economy keeps growing steadily and Trump does not blunder into an intractable war) in 2020, the best they will be able to do is restore parts of the ACA, and Medicaid and create a voluntary buy-in program for Medicare and Medicaid for all starting at 55.

  83. 83

    @Steve in the ATL: ISTR that rural Germany has some big public health crises.

    ETA and a non-trivial number of Nazis.

  84. 84
    Elizabelle says:

    @satby: OT, but I am so glad you are going to be looking for greener pastures, jobwise. You know someone will be happy to have you!

    Was thinking of you while I was dunes-walking it up near Lake Michigan last week. As in, one of these days, I would REALLY like to go visit Satby. And I’ve got a cousin who teaches at St. Mary’s. (Aren’t you in or near South Bend?)

    I know Indiana’s politics can be crazy, but I find driving around its rural areas so soothing. Really a beautiful state, and the lake effect clouds cast such a wonderful glow or shadow on the landscape. Must learn to be a better photographer.

  85. 85

    @sherparick: You’re also smoking crack if you think employers would increase wages after a single-payer scheme meant they could get rid of the (invisible) insurance benefit. (Not you personally.)

  86. 86
    ksmiami says:

    Not to be a spoil sport in this, but the recent weeks have made me despondent that the American system is somehow useful or good in this era of hyper technological change and internationalism. We are too decentralized and too polarized (and too racist/stupid) to deal with the challenges ahead and our system of government isn’t designed to move quickly or with Citizens United to even make things better for the citizenry. We might squeeze out a few years here and there but the whiplash is too destabilizing. It’s sad but we need to reinvent Constitutional Government in a way that stops rewarding backward states before they crush the country

  87. 87

    @ksmiami: when I’m pessimistic, Snow Crash seems like a likely future.

  88. 88
    Elizabelle says:

    @ksmiami: Trump and his supporters and the Republicans in DC are tearing the country apart.

  89. 89
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Tilda Swintons Bald Cap: I just read this article the other day, and it really resonated with me as I was reviewing the fatuity and uselessness of trying to argue with my leftier-than-thou friends who are convinced that it’s not the GOP that’s the real enemy, it’s the Democrats who won’t sign on to WilmerCare:

    http://www.thepeoplesview.net/.....f-idealism

    Now I’m always going to see myself as Sancho Panza, trailing my quixotic acquaintances trying to make sure they don’t fall of their horses, get their lances stuck in a windmill vane, and remember to eat something whilst they careen around tilting at imaginary monsters and ignoring the real ones. : /

  90. 90
    Alain the site fixer says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Not I! t-rump is an existential threat to me, my loved ones, and something I value tremendously – order in the world.

  91. 91
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Major Major Major Major: seems like rural life everywhere is getting more difficult. There aren’t enough people in rural areas anywhere in the developed world to justify the infrastructure and support spending.

  92. 92
    Davebo says:

    Just used resistbot to fax my senators. Because yes, I’m lazy.

  93. 93
    Davebo says:

    One of them has a busy fax line which I guess is a good sign.

  94. 94
    Aardvark Cheeselog says:

    how on earth can the Republicans not think that their latest shitcare proposal is a one-way ticket to single payer within ten years?

    Because modern Republican majorities always act as though they will never lose there will never be another election. Maybe this time their confidence is justified.

  95. 95
    Jeffro says:

    @Elizabelle: He can promise them tax cuts and $700 checks all he wants, but he’ll still get dragged down by the combination of VA’s RWNJ legislature, Trumpov, and Ed’s own inability to keep that moderate mask on for too long.

    Plus, Northam is genuinely appealing in parts of the state where a McAuliffe clone would have more difficulty.

    PLUS, the NoVA Dems’ GOTV machine is truly incredible and motivated beyond a doubt. Can’t vote out Trumpov? That’s ok…we’ll beat on Gillespie for this cycle!! ;)

  96. 96
    Jack the Second says:

    @Elizabelle: If you are at any restaurant, event, or airport and a member of the Republican caucus voting to repeal healthcare (but I repeat myself) walks in, get up and leave. Tell anyone you can on the way out you’d rather not be in the same room as someone who’d kill millions of Americans for a tax break.

    Make ’em social pariahs. Make restaurants loathe to take their reservations, lest they lose a night of business only to be stiffed on the tip.

  97. 97
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    Hopefully he’ll die soon. Sorry for the ghoulishness, but single-payer, as David says, is only one mechanism to achieve UHC. Very few nations have a single-payer system

  98. 98
    Shana says:

    @Another Scott: Oh, that car tax that didn’t actually go away? The one I pay every year still? AIR, it only passed with a clause that said if the economy of the Commonwealth didn’t meet a certain level the reductions were frozen, which they still are, what, 20 years later.

    I remember reading stories in the press when the next tax bills were due after that election with morons saying that Gilmore got elected so now they didn’t have to pay it. Absolutely no understanding that first a bill has to be passed, etc. Fecking idiots.

  99. 99
    J R in WV says:

    @Tilda Swintons Bald Cap:

    Hi, T.S.B. Cap, haven’t seen you around lately. Things OK with you?

    Always enjoy your sharply opinionated opinions!! ;-) Well written, also, too.

  100. 100
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    Who’s President Brown? Is there some young up-and-comer I can’t recall, or are we assuming, possibly correctly, that Jerry Brown will live forever and just keep running for President every 40 years until he wins?

  101. 101
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Like I said, it’s kind of amazing how the guy always manages to pick the exact wrong time to fight with Democrats. And how the times he chooses always work out best for Republicans. Funny, that.

  102. 102
    Mnemosyne says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:

    As I have mentioned many times before, I have two film degrees (i.e. not a scientist or mathematician) and I’m a writer working as a secretary. When PPACA was being debated, I did a pretty minimal amount of reading and discovered that “universal healthcare” comes in many, many forms around the world, and single payer isn’t even the most common. The United Kingdom’s NHS is actually four systems that work together: England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Etc.

    I emphasize that I am not an expert in this and that I didn’t study up very hard because it was pretty easy for me to find out that “single payer” is a nice slogan, but doesn’t fit reality, and I get VERY impatient with the people who can’t be arsed to find out the facts for themselves and just keep repeating slogans that other people tell them about.
    /soapbox

  103. 103
    efgoldman says:

    @Tilda Swintons Bald Cap:

    we’ve seen them pay NO price for any of the bad stuff so far….

    OK then, let's just give up

  104. 104
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Comrade Colette Collaboratrice:

    Yeah, Jerry’s close to 80, so he ain’t never gonna be president.

    If we’re going to fantasize about liberals living forever, I want to see President John Lewis, personally.

  105. 105
    Tilda Swintons Bald Cap says:

    @J R in WV: Thanks, some health issues, but mostly OK.

  106. 106
    J R in WV says:

    @satby:

    In France even tiny rural villages have quiet efficient train service until quite late at night. No sudden out of pocket costs for health care or pharma expenses. Education is mostly free, if you make the grades to get admitted. It’s clean everywhere. Spain too, what we’ve seen of it.

    Italy as well, although their ancient cities have what I would call horrific traffic problems, you can get a cab in Firenze / Florence in 3 minutes. But health care, support for seniors, beautiful clean countryside, buses picking people up in the countryside to get to services in town. Yes, the taxes are high, but the services are provided to everyone.

    Not so much here. If I thought I could learn French or Spanish, I would be out of here so fast!

  107. 107

    @Mnemosyne: He is bad news for the Democratic party. Perez and his stupid Unity Tour was a bad idea. BS supporters were booing speakers at the DNC. BS and his followers weaponized the attacks against HRC which T used.

  108. 108
    Xenos says:

    @Major Major Major Major: yes…the people left out of the growth and wealth in Germany are bitter and troubled.

  109. 109
    Yutsano says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I don’t know why EVERY single response by those in favor of the ACA does not include a “every single other advanced democracy has universal healthcare. It’s cheaper and better.”

    Hell, fucking Thailand and Costa Rica have universal health care. We’re getting beaten by those we consider third world.

  110. 110
    Tilda Swintons Bald Cap says:

    @efgoldman: Ha, believe me I’m thinking about completely giving up.

  111. 111
    Felonius Monk says:

    @Comrade Colette Collaboratrice:

    Who’s President Brown?

    Some people consider Sen. Sherrod Brown (OH) a viable presidential candidate.

  112. 112
    Tilda Swintons Bald Cap says:

    @Felonius Monk: The Mercers have started a PAC to target Brown and Warren and the other possible contenders.

  113. 113
    ksmiami says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Disease or an out of control technological bug/ AI that destroys humanity.

  114. 114
    ksmiami says:

    @Mnemosyne: Fuck Bernie’s egotistical ass and his choad supporters. They don’t care about people getting hurt or dying. Worse than Nader at this point

  115. 115
    LaNonna says:

    Tax rates in Italy start at 18%, go up to 23% and 35% pretty quickly, and upwards from there, at the 100,000 eu level it’s about 55%, and increases to 65%. Yes, people complain about tax rates here, but medical bankruptcy is unknown, and most people are really happy with the universal medical coverage, it’s a literal lifesaver. No need to worry about being one accident or illness from homelessness and destitution. If chaotic Italy can figure it, anyone can.

  116. 116
    satby says:

    @Elizabelle: oh, you were so close to me too! I realized last week that I hadn’t gotten to the beach at all this year for a sunset, which I intend to correct tonight.

    Yes, I currently live in South Bend and about 10 minutes away from St.Mary’s! Let me know when you’re heading back this way so we can meet up. I’m not looking for another job when I leave this one; I have had a hard time keeping up with my neglected Etsy store between the job and the farmer’s market, and the farmer’s market provides more income. I’m ready to drop from 6 days a week to three and still make about the same return.

  117. 117
    Simon Taverner says:

    How do negative ramifications in 2020 affect how much money they’ll raise from their base this quarter? None. On the other hand, how does claiming they repealed Obamacare affect fundraising this quarter? It makes it go up.

    That’s all they care about.

  118. 118
    NR says:

    Americans support single-payer by a 49-35 margin. Democrats support it 67-18.

    And yet here you all are, in lockstep with the Republicans in opposition to it.

    Interesting.

  119. 119
    Betty Cracker says:

    @NR: You’re misrepresenting the consensus here AND telling a flat-out lie by claiming that anyone is in lockstep with Republicans. Interesting.

  120. 120
    NR says:

    @Roger Moore: This is pure, unadulterated, 100% bullshit. Bernie Sanders’ efforts to save the ACA have been well-documented in many places, including this very blog.

    Your lies are transparent and pathetic.

  121. 121
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Felonius Monk: I love Sherrod Brown, but I’d be surprised if he ran for president.

  122. 122
    NR says:

    @Betty Cracker: On single-payer, many of the commenters here are far closer to the Republican position than the Democratic position (at least, the position held by Democratic voters). That’s a simple fact backed up by polling data.

  123. 123
    SFAW says:

    @NR:
    Can you even fucking read? Because that’s not what’s going on here, tovarishch.

    But thanks for providing us with the Daily Dose of Native Russian lies.

  124. 124
    Elizabelle says:

    NR is

    Not Rational.

    Nastily Repetitious.

    Naturally Russian.

    And here to divide us.

    I am glad to see us not engaging with him, her, or it.

  125. 125
    SFAW says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I am glad to see us not engaging with him, her, or it.

    Oops

  126. 126
    NR says:

    @SFAW: Oh, so people here haven’t called single-payer a “fantasy,” a “unicorn,” and said it “doesn’t fit reality” here in this very thread?

  127. 127
    Elizabelle says:

    Don’t engage.

  128. 128
    TenguPhule says:

    That said, how on earth can the Republicans not think that their latest shitcare proposal is a one-way ticket to single payer within ten years?

    They seem to assume A)They’ll still be in control or B)We all won’t survive that long.

  129. 129
    Betty Cracker says:

    @NR: Everyone here is in favor of universal coverage, some via single payer, and others by different mechanisms. The Republicans favor throwing us back to the tender mercies of the insurance companies. To claim, as you have, that people who support universal coverage are closer to the Republican position than the Democratic consensus is bullshit — I don’t care what distortions you dress it up in; it’s slander. I’m one of about two people who comment here who aren’t 100% convinced you’re a troll, and tbh, you’re losing me with this line of bullshit.

  130. 130
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    No matter how many times you try and explain to NR that the majority of the healthcare systems he calls “single payer” are not, in fact, single payer systems, he will refuse to understand plain English.

    That’s because “single payer” is an article of faith to him, not a policy position. It’s like trying to explain to a forced birther that increased contraception access reduces the number of abortions.

  131. 131
    ruemara says:

    I hate this framing because you’re presuming that they believe in holding elections in good faith. They’re doing it because they plan to prevent a loss for as long as possible for the foreseeable future and then some. That’s why they’re tossing folks off the voting rolls, providing compromised machines and crafting barriers to voting. They want their constitutional convention so they can “fix” who’s a citizen, who’s not, who gets to vote and how our laws are set up. This idea that they want the pendulum to swing as usual is… bizarre.

  132. 132
    NR says:

    @Betty Cracker: I shouldn’t have said “you all” in my first comment, since there are people here who have spoken supportively of single-payer. That was my mistake and I’ll own up to that.

    But I have to say it’s really disheartening to see people here trashing single-payer when many other countries have single-payer systems and get better health care for a lower cost than we do. Yes, universal coverage is a laudable goal, but how you get there matters, and if we continue to have private insurance compaines taking 20% of our health care money for profit while adding no value, our system is going to continue to have problems.

    A supermajority of Democratic voters and a plurality of voters overall support single-payer. The tide is turning on this issue. Which is why it’s disappointing to see it getting trashed from our side.

  133. 133
    TenguPhule says:

    @NR:

    A supermajority of Democratic voters and a plurality of voters overall support single-payer.

    Meanwhile, in Congress the Republicans are trying to destroy the ACA.

    Discussions about single payer or universal coverage can wait for when we have a legislative majority.

    Otherwise its not helping for the threat that faces us right now.

  134. 134
    SFAW says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Discussions about single payer or universal coverage can wait for when we have a legislative majority.

    You’re responding to SFB/NR as if it is sincere in its desire to advance the state of healthcare coverage.

    It’s not.

    If it were, it would not be deliberately misreading the comments, and their intent(s). Since those comments, and the intent(s), do not line up with whatever it has been programmed to puke up, it responds with “y’all are trashing it, you fucking quasi-Republicans.” An intellectually honest person would read the comments here, and draw one or more conclusion(s) vastly different from what SFB/NR is spouting.

  135. 135
    NR says:

    @TenguPhule: One of those things does not preclude the other.

  136. 136
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Betty Cracker: I’ve never gotten the impression Sherrod Brown is interested in the White House, either.

    It behooves all of us to do what we can to help him keep his Senate seat next year. There will be tons of out-of-state money thrown at his opponent. And as we must admit, too many of my fellow buckeyes are gullible idiots who will fall for the ads purchased by that money.

  137. 137

    @SFAW: Hey SFAW, tried to respond to you a few threads back but got caught up in moderation hell. The answer to your question to me is 8-15 27th Avenue, Long Island City.

  138. 138
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @NR: A supermajority of Democratic voters and a plurality of voters overall support single-payer.

    That’s true. They just don’t support the tax increases necessary to pay for it. Which is why Wilmer never talks about them

    Slogans are easy, legislation is hard. Which is why Bernie has no legislation he can brag about. Just slogans and sanctimony.

  139. 139
    SFAW says:

    @Ben Cisco (onboard the Defiant):

    Hey Captain –
    Thanks. Yes, I saw it, and I actually responded — a day later. One of things I said was that, for some reason, when I think of LIC, I think of Con Ed. I never spent a lot of time there, but certainly drove through it more than a couple of times, and have been over the Triboro more times than I can count.

    I moved to Mass almost 40 years ago, but still go back at least once a year

    Thanks again!

  140. 140
    TenguPhule says:

    @NR:

    One of those things does not preclude the other.

    What does that even mean?

    Broad Democratic support is going to translate into new votes in the House and Senate right now? Really?

  141. 141
    TenguPhule says:

    @SFAW: Hope springs eternal. I’ve only had to pie one person and that was only after they went well above and beyond the levels of trolling to outright fuckwittery.

  142. 142
    NR says:

    @TenguPhule: It means that talking about single-payer does not stop us from trying to prevent the Republicans from replacing the ACA with something worse.

  143. 143
    TenguPhule says:

    @NR:

    It means that talking about single-payer does not stop us from trying to prevent the Republicans from replacing the ACA with something worse.

    But it does make doing so a lot harder when the proponents of single payer insist that we should have the discussion RIGHT NOW and divides attention that needs to be focused on the Republican saboteurs and their attempt to kill us all.

  144. 144
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @satby:

    $700 won’t even pay an ER visit.

    Just FTR, after my recent mugging, the ER bill for stitching up my slashed elbow ran to ~$2,000 – 90% covered by Medicare, dankseigott. (Unfortunately the arm still hurts & I can’t lift much with it. I hope the fucker OD’d on whatever he bought with the green pieces of paper he took from my wallet.)

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