Before Forcing the Vote on Medicare for All, We Must Build Power

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    • #406108
      eridani
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      • Total Posts: 8,950

      https://www.thenation.com/article/society/medicare-forcethevote-healthcare/

      With Pelosi’s reelection in January, the best path forward for Medicare for All remains uncertain. While President Joe Biden staunchly opposes it, the razor-thin Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, as well as Democratic supermajorities in several states, could still present opportunities to advance the cause. Even if #ForceTheVote never materialized as initially conceived, many advocates continue to push for a floor vote as soon as possible. But the unfortunate truth is that the Medicare for All movement lacks the power to make such a vote effective.

      More than a year into the coronavirus pandemic, the case for single-payer has never been clearer: Millions of Americans have lost their employer-provided insurance; inadequate access to care has driven up the Covid-19 death count; and hospitals have found themselves underwater without revenue from elective procedures. The pandemic has given us an intimate look at our country’s unequal health outcomes, which Medicare for All would do more to address than any other systemic reform. But moral necessity isn’t enough to win against a $3.8 trillion health care industry that accounts for nearly 20 percent of the US economy and would be fundamentally upended if Medicare for All were to become a reality. With the health care sector already accounting for some of the top political spenders in Washington, there’s virtually no limit to the amount it would expend to topple reforms far more incremental than Medicare for All. Overcoming the ruthless opposition of the health care industry will take a mass movement willing to hit the streets, engage in direct action, and even go on strike to demand single-payer. Until Medicare for All has that kind of movement power behind it, it will easily be defeated by capital—a lesson we’ve learned repeatedly from health care reform battles in the past. And while it has popular support, polling between 40 and 70 percent, the same was true of national health insurance in the 1940s, until a major doctor-and-insurance-backed lobbying effort made the prospect of “socialized medicine” utterly toxic.

      From that perspective, the idea of putting politicians on the record regarding Medicare for All has no obvious value. For one thing, similar insight can already be gleaned from a list of the bill’s House and Senate cosponsors. But more important, given the current power disparity between the Medicare for All movement and the colossus it confronts, the unavoidable fact is that most of the elected officials who say they’re in favor of single-payer health care will never be true ride-or-die supporters until we can generate enough force to make the idea of bending to our will more compelling than bending to Big Health Care’s. That’s going to take a lot more than tweets exposing campaign donations to Democrats from pharmaceutical companies. The Democrats could stop taking those tomorrow, and it still wouldn’t change the fact that hospitals are often the largest employer in a given district or that public pensions are deeply invested in companies whose value will shrink in the wake of more equitable public financing.

      What we’re confronting, then, is the very heart of wealth and resource distribution in the United States—and floor-vote proponents do a grave disservice to Medicare for All advocates by pretending that this can be solved with a strategy that centers calling out public officials. #ForceTheVote has the relationship between electoral politics and capital precisely backward: Bad politicians aren’t why we have a health care system dominated by moneyed interests; the supremacy of moneyed interests over American health and welfare is why we have bad politicians.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

    • #406116
      Ohio Barbarian
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 20,625

      Forcing the vote on M4A is the quickest way to build power through public pressure simply because it puts every single congresscritter on the record and gives future opponents of those who vote against it powerful political ammunition. It also forces the issue front and center, which is the last thing Democrats want.

       

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

    • #406125
      Ohio Barbarian
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 20,625

      Isn’t that a good enough reason for progressives to force a floor vote and make as much noise as possible? Sure it is! But the faux progressives of the Squad refused to do it the one time they had the chance because they’ve sold out their principles for their celebrity status and their careers within the Democratic Party.

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

    • #406134
      Bearian
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      • Total Posts: 759

      The DNC must have bought them out.

    • #406160
      Passionate Progressive
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      • Total Posts: 3,187

      @ohiobarbarian, @bearian

      This is a litmus test if I ever saw one…..And just having read about the woman’s suffrage struggle, powerful interests are invested in not having universal health care – big/little business, the insurance industry, the military, academia, financial institutions +++++++++.  Having universal health care in this country would be in short the beginning of the slippery slope….The political elites don’t want to see a disruption to their gravy train.  So sad to see this coming from The Nation.

      The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.....Martin Luther King '63

    • #406168
      salemcourt
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      • Total Posts: 2,719

      than Redstate on this issue.

    • #406169
      jbnw
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      • Total Posts: 4,514

      Another delaying tactic.

      I have a friend that has worked over 30 years for the state but still can’t retire because of healthcare insurance costs.

    • #406182
      HassleCat
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 6,675

      Two  reasons. First, this is the way successful legislation evolves, by floating it to see who sides with the people, applying pressure, coming back again, electing new people, coming back again, etc. Second, we need to draw certain battle lines now, and this is one of them.

    • #406257
      3fingerbrown
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 3,514

      More McResistance media pandering to the democrat party elites. If not right now then it will never be time for these fucks!

      All governments lie to their citizen's, but only Americans believe theirs.

    • #406385
      eridani
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 8,950

      The fact is that we don’t have enough mass political power to get a real followthrough.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

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