~ Where the Sun Will Never Set on Our liberty ~
Here comes Bernie!
A leading ObamaCare architect is the latest Democratic figure to get behind the push for single-payer health care, as Sen. Bernie Sanders prepares to unveil his “Medicare for all” bill this week – kicking off a campaign sure to put immense pressure on senior Democrats and 2020 presidential hopefuls to support the costly proposal.
The push for government-funded health care once was relegated to the fringes of the Democratic Party but has made its way into the mainstream. The latest example of this was former Sen. Max Baucus saying last week that lawmakers should start looking at single-payer.
"I just think the time has come," he told NBC News, after making similar remarks at a public event in his home state of Montana.
Baucus led the Senate Finance Committee during ObamaCare talks and acknowledged he opposed single-payer at the time, because it was “branded as socialistic by too many people.”
Times have changed – at least among Democratic lawmakers.
Sanders plans to introduce his bill on Wednesday, along with “Senate co-sponsors.” Sanders recently confirmed one of them – Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I. – and another, California Sen. Kamala Harris, also revealed to constituents she plans to co-sponsor the bill.
Harris is considered a potential 2020 presidential candidate and her early endorsement of Sanders’ plan indicates how the legislation could emerge as a litmus test for other 2020 candidates – demonstrating their alignment with the liberal wing of the party.
In a fundraising email at the beginning of the month, Sanders vowed to “run Medicare for all like a campaign” – pointing to the pressure his supporters will exert on members of Congress.
“We're going to put together a grassroots movement that organizes people in all parts of this country much like we did during the presidential race,” Sanders wrote. “There will be rallies, buttons, bumper stickers, shirts and most importantly people organizing in their communities across the country.”
The proposal, though, is likely to come with enormous taxpayer costs.
Under this European-style health care system, the government is solely responsible for covering health care expenses. Sanders, I-Vt., rolled out an earlier version of his proposal during the Democratic presidential primaries in 2016.
At the time, he initially estimated the plan would cost $13.8 trillion over the first 10 years. But according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Urban Institute, the single-payer system would cost the federal government more like $32 trillion over the first decade, requiring an average annual tax increase of $24,000 per household. (That increase would be offset in part by a big reduction in private health care spending, and state/local government spending.)
A spokesman for Sanders recently told Fox News that the Urban Institute's figure was "not accurate" with respect to the 2017 proposal.
"This bill is substantially different and more detailed than the brief plan released during the campaign," the Sanders spokesman told Fox News.
Democrats do not have the numbers to pass any such legislation right now, but the issue could become a focal point of the party’s efforts to win back one or both chambers in the 2018 midterms. A majority of House Democrats already support “Medicare-for-all” legislation.
Whatever is not enumerated in the Constitution as a federal government responsibility is the responsibility of the states or the people.
According to sanctuary cities, whatever is enumerated in the Constitution as a federal responsibility can be ignored or modified at will by the states or municipalities.
I think this Bernie thing is going to take off. I'm sure they already have all the signs, buttons and bumper stickers printed up and ready to go! Ugh, give me strength!
What's considerably more eye-opening is the shift among more moderate Democrats, from Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan (who challenged Nancy Pelosi from the center), and Montana Senator Jon Tester. Support for a full-blown, VA-style, government-run healthcare system is quickly becoming a litmus test within the party -- and a prominent player in the passage of Obamacare just gave wavering Democrats an ideological permission slip to jump aboard the single-payer express. In a start reversal, former Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus now says it's an idea whose time has arrived:
“I just think the time has come,” Baucus told NBC News Friday, after stunning healthcare observers earlier in the day by seemingly coming around on single-payer at a public forum. “Back in ’09, we were not ready to address it. It would never have passed. Here we are nine years later, I think it’s time to hopefully have a very serious good faith look at it.”… “I started out by saying everything is on the table,” Baucus recalled. “But I did make an exception and that was single-payer. I said, nope, we’re not going to put single-payer on the table. Why? In my judgement, America was just not there … It’s branded as socialistic by too many people.”… Baucus compared the issue’s evolution to that of gay rights. “It’s anathema for a long time, and then suddenly — acceptance,” he said.
The gay marriage analogy works to some extent, in that a deluge of Democratic politicians -- eager to keep pace with their party's base and noticing movement in public polling -- have fairly abruptly "evolved" on the issue. But (setting aside the vindictive program of viewpoint enforcement among some on the Left) a core, successful message of the gay marriage push appealed to Americans' sense of 'live and let live' fairness: Same-sex couples' codified relationships wouldn't affect other people's marriages or lives, so why deny them the government-assigned benefits of marriage? That message resonated, and the resulting progress was bipartisan. People were not persuaded that excluding same-sex couples could continue to be justified by vague impalpable "harms" to society.
Healthcare is a very different story. The vast majority of Americans were statisfied with their healthcare arrangements prior to Obamacare's implementation, which is why Obama and his cronies spent so much time and energy lying about how people would be allowed to maintain their plans and doctors "no matter what." Under a single-payer regime, the employer-provided plans that tens of millions of people have come to reply upon would be threatened in an unprecedented way. Voters would also be asked to pay much, much higher taxes for a system with inferior health outcomes and worse accountability. There are a lot of stakeholders in the current US healthcare constellation who would fight single-payer tooth and nail, likely bolstered by a strong public disinclination towards disrupting the status quo (as well as broad opposition to tax increases on middle- and working-class households). Late last month, Philip Klein argued that Republicans' face-plant on 'repeal and replace' helps illustrate why imposing single-payer would be a very heavy political lift for Democrats:
Viewed one way, the GOP failure to repeal and replace could be seen as evidence of renewed public acceptance of a government role in healthcare, on the flip side, it could be viewed as an affirmation of the power of the status quo bias that has traditionally doomed any major overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system. For decades, Democrats had tried and failed to pass some sort of national healthcare plan, and the biggest obstacle had always been Americans' fears that it would disrupt their current coverage. It was why the Clinton effort went down in flames. It was the central reason why Barack Obama abandoned the idea of single-payer. And it was why he made his infamous promise about people getting to keep their doctors and plans if they liked them. By the time Republicans had the power to do anything, Obamacare had become the new status quo in healthcare and tinkering with it would have implications for the health coverage of millions of Americans. Suddenly, it was Republicans who looked like they were engaging in a radical plan of social engineering...
While, if passed, the Republican bill would have affected millions on Medicaid and on the individual market, any true single-payer bill would have to impact the employer-based healthcare system, which covers 49 percent of the country, or 156 million people, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Any proposal that tries to expand Medicare to all will have the additional task of convincing seniors – a reliable voting block, especially in congressional elections – that it won't affect their care. Creating a Medicaid buy-in would involve trying to figure out how you're going to get doctors and hospitals to accept rock bottom payment rates for tens of millions more people if you want to keep any control over the cost of the program. This doesn't even get into the massive tax increases required to support a single-payer system. An analysis of the Bernie Sanders single-payer plan from the liberal Urban Institute projected that it would cost $32 trillion over a decade.
It's a dreadful, unaffordable, callous idea that was unanimously defeated in the Senate last month. Granted, dozens of Democrats voted "present" to avoid an up-or-down referendum on an idea many of them support in principle, but half a dozen vulnerable Democrats voted against the plan, along with every Republican. Via Allahpundit, I'll leave you with this prescient tweet from Reason's Peter Suderman. If the GOP doesn't pull a rabbit out of a hat in the next few weeks, this disspiriting assessment about the future of healthcare policy battles feels right on target these days:
I hope everyone is ready for universal degree completion programs. It is a RIGHT, don't you know, that everyone who needs a college education to advance in his/her job should be able to pursue that goal without thought or consequence regarding personal monetary contributions. Skilled jobs don't make the grade, so plumbers, air conditioning technicians, metal workers, heavy equipment operators and others who make the economy go must pay their own way. Keeping the educated vs skilled from interacting will assist the strengthening of class in Amerika.
You are absolutely right, JB! I hope everyone is ready for this. It sure doesn't look like congress is going to do a damn thing about anything.
Congress? Oh, yes. That body of elected representatives who represent only themselves, take vacations, exempt themselves from the laws all others must live by, get retirement for life after only one term, receive worship from the media, arrive in office poor and leave rich, and establish programs for themselves worthy of their elite status. Is that the Congress you mean?
Yes! That is exactly the Congress I mean.
Ut Ohhh Bernie!
Ah, 1987. Bon Jovi saw a million faces and rocked them all with Slippery When Wet. A young Rick Moranis made us laugh in Spaceballs. And Bernie Sanders said that a medicaid-for-all type plan would…wait, would bankrupt the country?
That’s right. While Bernie Sanders has Democrats signing a suicide pact by supporting single payer health care (see Elizabeth Warren Tag Teams Bernie Sanders in Senile Healthcare Bill and California Senate Flips Bird to Taxpayers. Passes Single-Payer Heal...), he apparently had a better grasp of math in the 80s.
When Sanders was mayor of Burlington, he filmed a show called “Bernie Speaks with the Community.” During one 1987 episode about the American health care system, he said that giving everyone Medicaid for all would be too much of a financial burden for the United States to bear.
“One of the points that we understand and I think was reinforced when we went to Canada,” Sanders told Dr. Miltion Terris, “Number one, you want to guarantee that all people have access to healthcare as you do in Canada.”
Sanders continued, doubting that America’s system could handle such a change.
“But I think what we understand is that unless we change the funding system and the control mechanism in this country to do that,” he said. “For example, if we expanded Medicaid [to] everybody. Give everybody a Medicaid card – we would be spending such an astronomical sum of money that, you know, we would bankrupt the nation.”
Talk about bad medicine.
(You knew the jokes you were getting before you clicked this)
To be fair though, he was talking about “Medicaid” for all when what he’s pushing now is “Medicare” for all, so that’s like comparing apples to…a different kind of apple. Wait no, apples are delicious. It’s more like comparing dog poop to cat poop. Different? Yes. But still poop.
If anything, I guess America’s budget is greater now than 30+ years ago. But so also is our debt. So I dunno, maybe people should pay for their own selves and government can stay the hell out. These are just ideas, obviously. Wouldn’t want government to get carried away and allow Americans to mind their own beeswax. How scandalous.
Apparently Bernie understood economics before he completely forgot about economics.
This is what will happen if Bernie gets his way.
ObamaCare falsely promised Americans they could keep their health plans, but what Democrats really had in mind is now clear: They want everyone to lose their insurance and take what government gives them instead.
That’s obvious from Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All scheme, rolled out Wednesday with the support of the party’s chief 2020 pre....
ObamaCare kicked some 7 million people off their plans. But Bernie’s bill would outlaw both employer-paid health care and private insurance for individuals.
That is, more than half the country — 180 million people — would have to say good-bye to their current plans (which they’re mostly happy with) and switch to BernieCare. (Most of the other half is already on some form of government health plan.)
Think of it as medical care run by, say, Motor Vehicles. Or the Veterans Administration: Long lines. Dangerously long waits for treatment. Shoddy service. Scarce resources. Fewer choices . . .
And monster bills. Sanders & Co. won’t talk about the costs. But independent estimates put it at $1.4 trillion or more a year.
Nor do they say where that money will come from, though Sanders has floated some ideas: Raise taxes through the roof. (And if that crashes the economy, tough.)
OK, we get it: These Dems don’t like competition or free markets. They believe government should run things. Everything.
It’s why they fight to keep the government monopoly over schools. But competition (from, say, charters) has proven the better model in public education. Lawmakers should be looking for ways to boost competition — not scrap it.
As for Bernie’s offer of “free health care for all”: Why trust that after all the broken promises of ObamaCare?
Bernie got more than he bargained for. Too funny! Be he wished he hadn't invited this doctor.
When Sen. Bernie Sanders invited a Canadian doctor onto his podcast to help him pitch his new “Medicare for All” scheme, he wanted her to give Americans a preview of what they might expect under single-payer health care.
And, as it turns out, she did — just perhaps not the way that Sanders was expecting her to.
Dr. Danielle Martin, an associate professor at the University of Toronto and vice president medical affairs and health system solutions at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, admitted to long wait times and other fun problems with the Canadian system during her appearance on “The Bernie Sanders Show” on Thursday.
“If I have a patient who’s got migraines and I need advice about how to manage it, they might wait several months to see a neurologist for a non-urgent problem like that,” Martin said. “Or non-urgent surgeries, the classic example being a hip or a knee replacement.”
“So how long will it take me in the average?” Sanders asked.
“It depends on where you are in the country. Sometimes it’s a few months, sometimes it’s a year. In some places, it’s sometimes it’s been even longer than that, that people wait for a hip or a knee replacement. And I think that is totally unacceptable. I don’t think that we should stand for it in our system. I think that there’s no reason why people should have to wait.”