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Kamala tries to split the difference


Sen. Kamala Harris on Monday unveiled a plan to achieve universal coverage by growing Medicare with the help of private insurers, an effort that splits the difference with her chief Democratic presidential rivals and finally equips the California Democrat with her own signature health proposal ahead of this week’s debates.

“Medicare works,” Harris writes in a Medium essay posted Monday morning. “Now, let’s expand it to all Americans and give everyone access to comprehensive health care.”

Under so-called KamalaCare, which establishes a phase-in period of a decade, Harris has at last settled on a way to keep private health insurers in the fold after seesawing on the question since January — and she would do so by leaning on an existing and popular federal program.

Harris’ offering maintains her commitment to universal health coverage — demanded by her party’s base — while lowering the temperature among the guardians of Obamacare who fear that overreaching would wipe out their hard-fought gains. Kathleen Sebelius, who served as Health and Human Services secretary in the Obama administration and was consulted on Harris’ plan, blessed it as “a smart way to get to Medicare for All where all individuals and employers can transition smoothly into a system that covers everyone.”

But Harris’ proposal skimps on myriad details, including the plan’s cost, and will likely still face skepticism from progressives — worried about propping up insurance companies and the slower pace of change — as well as from conservatives and deep-pocketed health care lobbyists staunchly opposed to any form of Medicare expansion.

Harris, a Medicare for All supporter who came out for Sanders’ single-payer health care bill two years ago, has been distancing herself from his $3.2 trillion plan and how he might pay for it. Campaigning on her own signature tax cut for working families and the middle class, Harris recently stressed that her health care vision would not further hike taxes on those Americans, a position some dismissed as unrealistic.

In her Medium post, Harris partially addressed the longstanding funding questions. She praised Sanders’ financing suggestions for his own Medicare for All proposal, saying he’d presented “good options,” particularly making the nation’s highest earners and corporations pay more through more progressive income, payroll and estate taxes.

But she took aim at her rival’s potential tax on households making above $29,000 — saying it “hits the middle class too hard” — and instead called to exempt households making below $100,000 as well as some middle-class families in high-cost areas.

Harris says she would tax stock trades at 0.2 percent, bond trades at 0.1 percent and derivative transactions at 0.002 percent to make up the difference.

“Think of it like this: that’s a $2 fee on a $1,000 trade by investors and big banks,” she writes, to raise $2 trillion over 10 years.



Harris, an early endorser of Sanders’ Medicare for all proposal, keeps many of the same elements of the Vermont senator’s plan. All medically necessary services, such as doctor visits, hospital stays, and vision and dental care, would be included in the plan with no deductibles and strict limits on out-of-pocket costs. The proposal, like Sanders’, would allow the government to negotiate prescription drug prices with pharmaceutical companies in order to curb rising medication costs.

But Harris outlined a longer transition time — 10 years — to implement the new program, gradually incorporating newborns and uninsured people through automatic enrollment and giving others more time to move to the government-run plan.

Biden said the notion of imposing Medicare for all without raising taxes on the middle class is a “fantasy world.” Sanders has also said that higher taxes will be necessary, noting in a CNN interview on Sunday that “obviously, healthcare is not free” and that Americans will pay less overall under his proposal because it would do away with out-of-pocket healthcare expenses.


Anybody who believes that a program that takes TEN YEARS to phase in is going to happen is an idiot. Even if she got elected, she would no longer be in power. And we all know how that works.

This plan is bogus from the git-go.


Harris’ new plan breaks with her rivals who occupy the opposite poles of the debate by effectively proposing “Medicare Advantage for all” — permitting private insurers to continue selling plans, akin to the two-decade-old offshoot of Medicare — in addition to letting Americans immediately buy into the traditional Medicare program and adding new benefits, like more mental health services. As a result, Americans would be able to choose between the public plan or certified private Medicare plans. Harris also says she’ll immediately enroll newborns and the uninsured, an effort to quickly get to universal coverage.

Brothers & Sisters, this is the difference of campaigns when one attends high dollar fundraisers and the other holds one with a minimum of $27. You become beholden to the donors.


Harris isn’t all that bright to start with. And neither is Batty Biden.


she just uses her smarts in the wrong way.




One criticism of Medicare Advantage plans is that the insurance companies that offer them manage to make big profits by luring the younger, healthier segment of the Medicare population and by doing things like requiring prior authorization for certain care to control costs.

Seemingly nodding to the concern that Medicare Advantage plans have earned some insurers fat profits, Ms. Harris said she would be tough on companies that wanted to offer such plans under her system, with stricter consumer protection rules than exist today. She even raised the possibility that insurers would be “reimbursed less than what the Medicare plan will cost to operate, to ensure they are delivering meaningful value and unable to profit off gaming consumers or the government.”

How that would work — and how many insurance companies would agree to be reimbursed less than what their plans cost to operate —
remained unclear.


Current condition of medical care providing in this country has become a jungle, thick with intermediary money-making entities and middle-man companies. All of that will have to be carefully considered, as well as cost of the plan. It can be done, it must be done.

That said, Harris misinforms readers about the Sanders plan when she states that it taxes “households making above $29,000” and the LA Times follows suit with Harris. Unless I’m mistaken, under Sanders’ plan the 4% tax burden would kick in for households whose NET INCOME AFTER DEDUCTIONS is $29,000 or more.

That makes a big, big difference in how many households would be “hit” at all by the Sanders plan.

Harris keeps the hateful Medicare Advantage plans by asserting that a third of seniors have and like them. These plans limit medical access.

But I’m also waiting to hear what the Sanders plans does with such intermediaries.

Happy Monday to TPWer’s!


Even as net income, $29,000 seems pretty low. I was surprised.


I think there’s tinkering to be done here, but Bernie’s in the right direction.


I didn’t trust Kamala before this, now I don’t even like her a bit:

“This isn’t about pursuing an ideology,” Harris wrote in the post. “This is about delivering for the American people.”


“By extending the phase-in period to 10 years, we will decrease the overall cost of the program compared to the Sanders proposal, and we can save additional money by accelerating delivery system reforms and value-based care that rewards meaningful outcomes,” explained Harris

She specifically is slamming Bernie’s plan, the only one with any real meat on it, and also the one she co-sponsored!

And more WTF?! with this:

“accelerating deliver system reforms” what the hell does that mean?


“value-based care” (?) “that rewards meaningful outcomes” (??)

what kind of gobbledygook is that???!




bwagahahaha! you’ll be forking it over to the insurance corpses, but hey, we’ll just say the part about lower taxes than Bernie!



Don midwest
Don midwest

Trump’s lies and racism never end.

While I have been fighting to lift the people of Baltimore and elsewhere out of poverty with good paying jobs, housing and health care, he has been attacking workers and the poor. https://t.co/7N0K4GQgEO

— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) July 29, 2019

question for Benny or anyone else

I was on this Bernie tweet and did a right click and got the HTML code provided by the Twitter these days, but I did not get the screen image above

another trick I use is to get a screen image, but I don’t know how to post it here

maybe that is the image option on the site


before I just used the option from Twitter of copy link and posted it here and all came out just fine


Did you choose the ‘Embed Tweet’ function by any chance?

With the new twitter format I tried that (embedding the tweet), but it didn’t work at all for me, then I noticed that if I chose Embed Tweet then scroll up to the top of the page that pops up you can now see the better link and usually can now copy that link & paste as per before.

Then you have to close out of that separate window. Also an extra step than previous.

I hope that makes sense. If not, I can post a screenshot of my workaround this evening.

Please let me know how it goes!

Don midwest
Don midwest

It worked! I never would have thought about scrolling up the page to find another link!


Showing that I can do it!

Here is a scum bag giving Republicans talking points


Rahmster the mahnster.



Then, I heard about the University of Houston. It was a public four-year college just 40 minutes away and tuition was just $50 a semester — something I could afford on a part-time waitressing salary. I got my degree and went on to become a teacher for students with speech and learning disabilities. I got to live my dream.

My daddy ended up as a janitor, but I got to become a teacher, a law school professor, a United States senator and now a candidate for president because higher education opened a million doors for me. But the chances I got don’t exist anymore.

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