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As Medicare for All becomes a more popular political demand, this right-wing talking point on waits for Canadian health care grows ever more shrill. Even some good liberals fret about the long waits our northern brethren suffer. They’re not completely wrong, but the problem isn’t nearly as salient as people think it is. Christopher Hayes — not the MSNBC host, but the medical director of St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, who has studied wait times in both countries — told Shanoor Servai of the Commonwealth Fund last year,

“So if you are in a hospital and you need surgery, you don’t wait. It gets done in — if it needs to be done in thirty minutes, it will be done in thirty minutes. If you need an MRI for care provided in a hospital you will get it whenever — depending on where you are because not every hospital has an MRI, but you will be prioritized and that will happen probably as quickly as it can be done anywhere.”

In the Canadian health care system, if you have cancer and need surgery to remove it, it will be provided right away, because cancer gets worse if left unaddressed. Similarly, I took a kid with a concussion to a Montreal hospital once, and he was seen immediately (also, I never got a bill, and the pediatric nurse was terribly knowledgeable about concussions, because hockey). Canadians do face long waits for cataracts and hip replacements and other nonemergency procedures. Sometimes rich people complain about these because they feel their money should entitle them to get attention more quickly than other people, but socialized medicine doesn’t work that way, and of course, it shouldn’t.

Canadian wait times for doctor appointments, after-hours care, emergency room care, and specialists are also higher than those in other countries. But this isn’t intrinsic to equitable and accessible medicine, as the Fraser Institute’s copious yearly data show. France has the lowest emergency room wait times. The Netherlands has the shortest wait for after-hours care. Wait times aren’t even intrinsic to a single-payer system; after all, in the United States, Medicare is a single-payer system and recipients don’t face long wait times for hip replacements. As the (hardly socialist) AARP points out, the way to fix wait times is to “spend more money,” and Canada hasn’t done that.

Even in the United States — where people are dying because they can’t get insulin — I’m not the only person waiting around. Within the profession, doctors are told to make patients wait, as a marketing ploy; it teaches patients that the doctor’s time is more important than theirs. More seriously, patients here wait an average of twenty-four days to get an appointment with a doctor, even in large urban areas with plenty of doctors, according to a 2017 study, and that represents an increase of 30 percent from 2014.

Every time I’ve been to the emergency room (always with an elderly person or a child), we have waited for hours. A ProPublica study found emergency rooms at a breaking point from overcrowding, with patients leaving without even being seen. Once I took a baby with an alarmingly high fever to the emergency room; we waited so long that the baby got better just sitting there. Many aren’t so fortunate. In fact, this problem is killing people: a study of California emergency rooms found that patients who went to a very crowded emergency room had a 5 percent greater chance of dying.


The NY Times turns its concern trolling attention on Warren now that she’s doing well.


Yet few candidates also inspire as much worry among these voters as Ms. Warren does.

Even as she demonstrates why she is a leading candidate for the party’s nomination, Ms. Warren is facing persistent questions and doubts about whether she would be able to defeat President Trump in the general election. The concerns, including from her admirers, reflect the head-versus-heart debate shaping a Democratic contest increasingly being fought over the meaning of electability and how to take on Mr. Trump.

Interviews with more than three dozen Democratic voters and activists in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina this summer, at events for Ms. Warren as well as other 2020 hopefuls, yield a similar array of concerns about her candidacy.

These Democrats worry that her uncompromising liberalism would alienate moderates in battleground states who are otherwise willing to oppose the president. Many fear Ms. Warren’s past claims of Native American ancestry would allow Mr. Trump to drown out her policy message with his attacks and slurs against her. They cite her professorial style and Harvard background to argue that she might struggle to connect with voters from more modest circumstances than hers, even though she grew up in a financially strained home in Oklahoma.

And there are Democrats who, chastened by Hillary Clinton’s defeat in 2016, believe that a woman cannot win in 2020.


These Democrats worry that her uncompromising liberalism
“uncompromising liberalism”? Liz Warren, ex-GOPukelican 20 years ago? NYT has really sunk to new lows.


Good advice in WaPo. This would be helpful for gaining traction in Bernie’s worst demo.


When Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) spoke about Medicare-for-all at the July 30 Democratic presidential debate, he talked about how it would improve coverage for people currently receiving it. “For senior citizens, it will finally include dental care, hearing aids and eyeglasses,” he said.

But Sanders forgot to mention it would also help senior citizens pay for long-term care, something Medicare doesn’t do now.

Sanders should not forget that again. Indeed, he should make long-term care the first thing he mentions when talking about how Medicare-for-all would help senior citizens. Add that it’s especially helpful for women. There’s likely no better way to counter scare talk designed to convince the elderly that adopting a significant Medicare expansion would result in less care — I’m looking at you, Joe Biden — than by pointing out how his plan would improve on the thing that seniors likely fear the most.

Alex Lawson, the executive director of Social Security Works, told me he believes Sanders is less likely to bring up long-term health care because it wasn’t included in previous Medicare-for-all bills. It’s not as though Sanders doesn’t speak about long-term care at all. He mentioned it, for instance, at AARP’s presidential forum in Iowa last month — after dental care, hearing aids and vision coverage, things that are currently covered by many Medicare Advantage plans.

But he should talk about it more. Seniors support Medicare-for-all at slightly lower rates than most other age cohorts. It’s possible greater awareness of how it would help them with long-term care could sway some of them. It could also give Sanders a needed assist with middle-aged and older female voters. Women are more likely to need long-term care in old age, and daughters provide twice as much help to elderly parents as sons do. In fact, women are responsible for the majority of all unpaid eldercare assistance and suffer no small amount of damage to their professional prospects and earnings as a result.

It’s not as though Sanders’s proposal on long-term care is perfect. It could be better — the companion Medicare-for-all bill in the House, sponsored by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), also offers coverage for nursing home care, something Sanders’s bill lacks. But it’s still much more than the current status quo. So step up, candidates. Start talking about what you can do to help all of us with long-term care. It’s personal. This middle-aged daughter is waiting.


i’ve been hoping that they get a cadre of people to go out to the nursing homes and senior centers, and places where healthy seniors congregate—any place that will let them talk and let them know these things. I agree, it’s extremely important that they go after this vote like they are going after the youth vote.


That is an excellent point!

Don midwest
Don midwest

Matt Stoller on the dem party

a series of tweets yesterday that I put in a document and paste here

Thread Conversation Matt Stoller @matthewstoller
1. Starting 2006 or so, I’ve become somewhat disillusioned with the Democratic Party. I’m going to explain why. It has to do with the relationship most Democrats have with corporate power, or really, power. Now first, to explain, I’m a liberal Democrat.
4:10 PM · Aug 14, 2019·Twitter Web App

2. What I saw in 2006 was the allegiance Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton had to lobbying power. They both backed Joe Lieberman against a Democrat. Obama then lied about NAFTA in 2008, and retroactive immunity for telecoms. He lied about a lot in 2008. Dems didn’t notice or care.

3. In 2009, I began working in Congress for a member of the financial services committee. Tim Geithner sought a foreclosure wave and to help the banks. Rahm Emanuel Larry Summers ran around protecting monopolies. My friends at Moveon, etc didn’t notice, cheerleading Obamacare.

4. T day Obamacare passed, a friend sitting was sitting on my couch. He was tearing up with joy, and I’ve never felt so much contempt. We got calls from people with cancer. When do I get my free Obamacare? Try explaining to someone with cancer they get it in four years.

5. People in the Obama White House would scoff and laugh behind the scenes at who they perceived as deadbeats in foreclosure. Meanwhile we took calls from people desperately trying to show they paid the bank what they owed but were losing their home anyway.

6. I was reminded of the stupidity and venality of the Obama administration day after day
by their actions, big and small. They were mean, petty, dumb, greedy, and dishonest. And Democratic voters refused to believe their own leaders were doing what they were doing.

7. Obama snuck in a provision to the stimulus mandating that AIG execs would get their bonuses. Obama then blamed that provision on Chris Dodd and held a press conference on how he would do everything he could to get those bonuses back, after they had already gone out.

8. Obama’s first FCC Chairman, Julius Janikowski, was a buddy from law school. He refused to actually do net neutrality. He’s now at the Carlyle Group in private equity. Tim Geithner is also in private equity. Obama takes massive speaking fees from powerful financiers. Rancid.

9. The thing is, Obama didn’t do any of this without permission. He got permission from every single Democratic voter who supported and loved him. Every time his people threatened members with primary challenges (and he did), he was doing it with Democratic voters’ endorsement.

10. No one was honest. Not the centrists or the left. Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, (link: http://350.org) 350.org and various spinoff movements refused to admit that Obama was hostile to their values. And gradually I realized it’s because they just don’t see power.

11. Most Dems think injustice is what lives in the heart. It isn’t. It’s what lives in our institutions. Corporate power is autocracy, but to know the autocracy, you have to learn about trade, finance, law. Liberal democracy is all about equality.

12. Our political order is oriented around legitimizing only those who can claim some form of victimization. It’s why the woke stuff/white supremacy is so powerful. It’s a fundamentally anti-enlightenment model of politics.

13. You can see how the Chinese government, which is a truly fascist power, uses illiberal arguments to advance its agenda. The idea that Chinese people’s feelings are hurt, the claims to racial grievance, attacks on liberal democratic forms of government, the CIA in Hong Kong.

14. Tim Geithner was not a racist. But Tim Geithner did this. “According to a 2013 study of TARP investments, black-owned banks were ten times less likely to receive bailout money than nonminority-owned banks.”
The Decline of Black Business And what it means for American democracy.

15. Democrats do not see corporate power where racism and autocracy is institutionalized, because it conflicts with the left-libertarian narrative that only victims have a right to be heard.

16. It’s improving, rapidly. @BernieSanders in 2016 gave voice to frustrated Democrats, and in 2020, the last debate was basically a rejection of Obama. But even so. We have a lot of work to do. Here’s an example. National security.

17. A lot of the energy on the left is focused on sustainability, resiliency, localism. Good. Yay! And a lot of the energy on the right is focused on nationalism, making things in the U.S., protecting our supply chains. Hey everyone, this is the same thing.

18. At any rate, we have very serious problems. We can’t make anything. That knowledge and experience was ripped out by Bill Clinton and it never came back. How are we going to do a Green New Deal? Who is going to do it? We can’t build high speed rail in California.

19. Most of our think tanks are corrupted by Chinese and Wall Street money. Our elite class has been trained to be a bunch of useless McKinsey-trained fools.

20. We need a social movement to fix our corporate structures. A real movement. A movement of engineers and farmers and business people and bankers and programmers and students who hate corruption and love liberal democracy.

21. None of us have ever seen liberal democracy work the way it should. This is an accident of history. It’s just weird we turned away from liberal democracy in the late 1970s. So we’ll have to take it on faith and on archival evidence that it can work.

22. And the Republicans are in worse shape. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were our cult of personality leaders who corrupted us. But Reagan, Bush, Trump is yours. You will have to dig yourselves out, the way us Democrats are slowly doing it. It’s possible. It’s necessary.


22…. You will have to dig yourselves out, the way us Democrats are slowly doing it. It’s possible. It’s necessary.
If you have kids, grandkids, great-grandkids, the digging out/repair work is. imperative. T and R, LD and humphrey!!


That is a great thread, I bookmarked it myself. But your compilation is a more accessible resource. Thank-you for assembling it!


Thank you Don!

I was blinded at first, but it didn’t take long before me and Mr. Mags began to see worrying signs.

Geithner was definitely one of those worrying signs, never trusted him.

I tried so hard to defend ACA from its critics, I even read the whole damn bill. I’d bet that I knew its fine print better than some MOC. But soon enough I became severely disillusioned, and ACA has done nothing for me. If it helped anyone great! But it’s done zero for me.

I’m glad Matt brought up McKinsey. I think you know why.


An excellent video.



A donor with deep ties to Ukraine loaned Joe Biden’s younger brother half-a-million dollars at the same time the then-vice president oversaw U.S. policy toward the country, according to public records reviewed by POLITICO.

The 2015 loan came as Biden’s brother faced financial difficulties related to his acquisition of a multimillion-dollar vacation home, nicknamed “the Biden Bungalow,” in South Florida.

There is no indication that the loan influenced Joe Biden’s official actions, but it furthers a decades-long pattern, detailed in a POLITICO investigation earlier this month, by which relatives of the former vice president have leaned on his political allies for money and otherwise benefited financially from the Biden name.