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HomeUncategorized10/21 News Roundup – Sanders & Turner Rally for Medicare For All & More
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Benny

Don’t Get Too Excited’ About Medicare for All

And many voters seem confused by the fundamentals. In polling by the Kaiser Family Foundation, about half of Americans said they believed they would be able to keep their current insurance under a single-payer plan, which is not the case.

Optimism without specifics carries risk, as Barack Obama learned after promising that people wouldn’t lose their doctors under the Affordable Care Act. That promise haunted the Obama administration — it was singled out as PolitiFact’s “Lie of the Year” in 2013 and is still mocked by members of the Trump White House.

There’s also the thorny issue of how Medicare for all would affect the thousands of jobs at private insurers. “We have an insurance industry in Omaha, and people say, ‘I worry about those jobs,’” said Kara Eastman, a Democrat running on Medicare for all in Nebraska’s Second District. She suggested people could be retrained, saying there would have to be “repurposing of positions.”

Critics of Medicare for all, on the other hand, tend to exaggerate the costs of single-payer: “Denmark’s top tax bracket is nearly 60 percent!” (True, although that’s largely not because of health care.) “Doctors’ incomes will drop 40 percent!” (True, specialists in private practice would probably see pay cuts, but primary care doctors could well see an increase.)

Canadians generally pay higher taxes than Americans do — specifically a goods and services tax, and higher taxes on the wealthy. In Germany, working people pay 7.5 percent of income as a contribution toward comprehensive insurance.

But many Americans pay far more than that when you count premiums, deductibles, co-payments and out-of-network charges. Estimates of the tax increases required to support a Medicare-for-all or single-payer system are all over the map, depending on how the plan is structured, the prices paid to providers and drug makers, and the generosity of benefits.

I have to confess: I want VA care for all. But the Vets would likely object.

Benny

Should We Be Socialists? A Politicon Panel Discusses.

Benny

You will note who is sitting on the left edge of the panel.

polarbear4
polarbear4

gag.

Benny

polarbear4
polarbear4

We have a feel good bond measure up for “affordable housing” that is basically a huge giveaway to developers–no requirement of a cap on rent, no requirement that the money go to nonprofits, just $$$$$ for developers. But a respected minister who works with the houseless at times came out for it in a big way and it has divided the progressives.

I’m voting No, after attending the OR meeting yesterday, but I fear that it is popular bc on the surface it looks “caring.” Our city is really messing up. They are giving developers millions and millions in tax breaks for building luxury housing around a part of town that is now very much an integrated community. I’m a little shocked, honestly. I guess if i couldn’t still be shocked, i wouldn’t be here.

We also have star voting up–yes on that one! But again, i don’t have the highest of hopes, bc it’s different and likely needs a lot more familiarity, like M4A. Hopefully, this will at least get people looking at it. It’s like runoff voting.

And somehow proposals to restrict abortion rights got on the ballot. Thought we were past that here.

polarbear4
polarbear4

I haven’t watched this debate on socialism v. capitalism yet, but I’m intrigued by this partial description, especially the first paragraph!

I respect Dr. Mitchell for two reasons: First, he was extremely polite and “played fair.” Neither one of us interrupted the other and it did not descend into awkward personal sniping. We both stuck to the ideas. Second, Dr. Mitchell was extremely honest about the implications of his position. He admitted that he was opposed to democracy, that he thought offshore tax havens were good, that he believed workers shouldn’t have any rights beyond their contracts, and that he had no idea how capitalism could possibly avert the climate change crisis. The right often tries to avoid discussing these implications of its philosophy. Dr. Mitchell was quite blunt in saying that democracy is bad and tax avoidance is good. I am grateful to him because, while I find these positions morally objectionable in the extreme, it is helpful when I can point to someone’s actual words rather than having to accuse them of burying their true feelings beneath euphemisms.

The debate we had was very illuminating on the contrasts between the capitalist philosophy and the socialist one. I explained how the premises of laissez-faire, that “voluntary contracts” between people would ensure maximal freedom, were false: In fact, power tends to concentrate in the hands of a few extremely wealthy elites, and because wealth is power, those who have very little wealth have very little power. We are subjected to the “private government” of corporations; while elected officials can be voted out, a company like Facebook can do as it pleases because it has cornered a market, and users have very little say in what happens. The debate was partly about “big tech” and I showed the contrast between the “participatory” governance of Wikipedia and the top-down governance of the large for-profit companies, explaining why socialists thought it so important that ordinary people be allowed to take part in decisions that affect their lives.

polarbear4
polarbear4

I like how he points out that it’s more theater than earnestly convincing people.

There is a very strong prevailing sentiment among leftists that debate is futile, that you do not beat the right politically by besting them in an argument. I have always thought that this misunderstands what a public debate is for: It is not so that you can convince the other person they are wrong, and it is not so you can meticulously list a slew of logical fallacies they have committed. It is a theatrical spectacle, and if you master it, it helps draw people to your cause.

Benny

Glad to see Symone getting out on the trail for someone in the Plains.

Benny

https://www.facebook.com/Scholten4Iowa/videos/254838501899175/

Bernie with JD Scholten this afternoon.

(I almost wrote just JD, but I didn’t want to confuse our JD with the Iowa’s JD!)

Benny