Trump says his healthcare “plan”– he has no plan, just more gas-lighting– is to give Americans “really great stuff” for really low prices. What he says and what Republicans have done and continue to do is exactly the opposite.
This morning I was going back and forth with Alan Grayson on the best way forward for the American healthcare system. At one point he said that “We have to get past this whole misconception that you get only the healthcare you can afford. This is what keeps our life expectancy two years less than Canada’s, and four years less than Japan’s. Germany had what amounts to ‘Medicare for All’ back in 1883. In a sense, the greatest inequality in America is the fact that the rich live a decade longer than the poor. Being poor is bad enough; it shouldn’t be a death sentence.”
While tone deaf Democratic congressional leaders Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer have announced that their priority after the midterms is a conservative PAYGO system– that was abandoned by the Republicans as a self-inflicted electoral death sentence– Democratic voters are clamoring for Medicare-For-All. I’m sure you’re familiar with these polling results by now:
More than half the Democrats in Congress– yes, a majority— have already signed on as co-sponsors of H.R. 676– PAYGO would be a nearly insurmountable roadblock to moving forward on this. Today Blue America is activating a new ActBlue page specifically for progressive candidates who are campaigning on Medicare-For-All and plan to sign onto to Medicare-For-All legislation in January after they are sworn in. If you click on the link above, you’ll see the page and the candidates who have asked to be part of this thing.
Our old friend, Congressman Matt Cartwright, is the only incumbent on the M4A page. His northeast Pennsylvania district was redrawn and he’s in real jeopardy. He’s also a co-sponsor of John Conyers’ Medical-for-All bill. “The reason,” he told us, “goes beyond compassion, and a desire to strengthen our nation by eliminating the healthcare insecurity of our citizens. It’s also about a practical concern for efficiency and effectiveness. Everyone knows why Medicare has the lowest administrative expenses in the business. Medicare doesn’t advertise on television. Medicare doesn’t sponsor professional golf tournaments. Medicare doesn’t waste money on legions of insurance executives with bloated salaries. So when someone tells you about the ten-year tax bill for Medicare for All, ask them what the collective ten year insurance premium bill is for all the for-profit health insurance companies in the country. And, more importantly, ask them why, when we spend far more money per capita on healthcare than any other nation in the world, we have far less in healthcare outcomes to show for it. Let’s try a better way.”
Dayna Steele is running in a tough Texas district east of Houston. She reminded us that “it will cost $43 trillion over the next ten years to fund Medicare and Medicaid as it is– which does not cover everyone. It will cost $36 trillion over the next ten years to fund Medicare For All– which does cover everyone. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist– [which her husband happens to be]– to do the math here. Healthy is cheaper than sick. Healthy people work, create opportunities for other healthy people, pay taxes, fund the infrastructure, and give back to their communities. We have a plan. A good plan. It’s called Medicare-For-All and I’m ready to get to work on it!”
Mike Siegel‘s district (TX-10) starts on the other side of Houston and meanders all the way to Austin. Like Dayna, he’s running against a reactionary anti-healthcare Republican. “Medicare for All is a moral imperative,” he told us. “Here in Texas, 15% of the population is uninsured, including over 600,000 children. No American should live on the brink of economic ruin for lack of care. As one of the wealthiest nations in the world, we can afford to guarantee care, and we must. Not only will universal health care save lives, but it will boost our economy and innovation, our families and our peace of mind. We have a great opportunity to advance opportunity for all with a Democratic Congress in 2019, and it begins with health care.”
Katie Porter is up against one of Trump’s worst robot rubber-stamps in Congress, Mimi Walters, “her opponent, she told us “voted for Donald Trump’s health care bill that would have gutted protections for pre-existing conditions, while allowing insurance companies to charge older Californians up to five times more. I will take on the big insurance companies and fight for a Medicare for All system that ensures every American has high-quality, affordable health care.”
Please take a look at our new Medicare-for-All ActBlue page and see if there are any candidates on it who you’d like to help get into Congress. It’s a mighty fine list of candidates and I’m sure they’ll all do us proud starting in January when they get sworn in– and sign on as co-sponsors to a single payer bill that will extend healthcare to all Americans.