Warren’s Medicare-for-All Dodge Is Wearing Thin

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  • #191052

    • Total Posts: 4,420


    It’s been a running gag throughout the debate cycle: The moderators enjoin an argument over the candidates’ various health care plans, giving the field’s Medicare for All opponents the opportunity to ask but how will you pay for it. Warren, called to account for how she’ll prevent middle-class taxes from rising, shifts the topic from taxation to health-care costs. Tuesday night, when pressured, she retreated time and again to a simple set of talking points: “Costs will go up for the wealthy. They will go up for big corporations. For middle class families, they will go down. I will not sign a bill into law that does not lower costs for middle class families.”

    As rejoinders go, it’s simple enough, but it nevertheless resonates poorly in the room. Her constant repetition of this thesis is one of the few occasions in which she sounds like a conventional politician, enunciating the same sentence in a Marco Rubio-esque ostinato. It’s especially glaring in contrast to Bernie Sanders, the proverbial author of “the damn bill,” who is forthright on this point: Middle class taxes would go up.

    It’s not impossible for a reasonable person to grasp what Warren is saying about health-care costs. Medicare for All purports to eliminate a slew of household expenses. Routine health care costs—from premiums and co-pays and deductibles, to pharmaceutical mark-ups and coverage gaps, to the surprise costs that can be incurred from emergency care or out-of-network providers—would either be zeroed out or drastically reduced. When these savings are laid against the increased taxes needed to cover single-payer government health care, middle class Americans come out ahead on their balance sheet.

    Warren is also missing a golden opportunity to make an important point about the various costs that the health care industry imposes on the middle class. These costs are taxes, broadly defined. They may not be the literal taxation that the Internal Revenue Service levies on an annual basis, but this is a distinction without a difference. Just as American society imposes a series of taxes to build a world of public goods and services—from roads to schools to an unbridled war machine that operates without any accountability—the health care industry makes similar extractions as individuals travel its labyrinthine architecture.

    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

  • #191254

    • Total Posts: 539

    I sometimes wonder if the USA is composed entirely of idiots, with a tiny few struggling while drowning, alone.

    Universal health care is paid for, gladly, by all countries that adopt it, and that includes countries that the USA bombed into smithereens and left for dead, like Libya.  Just consider: from


    “After coming to power, the RCC (Gaddafi) government initiated a process of directing funds toward providing education, health care and housing for all. Public education in the country became free and primary education compulsory for both sexes. Medical care became available to the public at no cost, but providing housing for all was a task the RCC government was not able to complete.   Under Gaddafi, per capita income in the country rose to more than US $11,000, the fifth highest in Africa.  The increase in prosperity was accompanied by a controversial foreign policy, and there was increased domestic political repression.

    Now there’s open slavery in the marketplace.  Thanks to the “US coalition” of asshole zombies with zero attention span, zero care for anything but themselves, and a void ready to fill with CT, xenophobia and hate.


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