Yves here. It’s refreshing to see Sanders taking no nonsense from Trump nominee Tom Price, who is trying to put a pretty face on the Republican plans to cut health care coverage. Even worse, Price has incoherent views on what to do, and as a former member of one of the looting classes of doctors (orthopedic surgeons, who I have found based on extensive personal experience as well as observation, are way too eager to operate) is fiercely opposed to sound and not hugely intrusive cost containment measures.
As Lambert and I have discussed, one of the depressing things the runup to the inauguration has revealed is that Sanders is virtually alone among opposition leaders in being willing to talk about policy. Democrats are so unwilling to abandon their failed strategy of identity politics that they really seem to believe that Russia-related hysteria will lead to a Trump impeachment. The elections already disproved the thesis that moderate Republicans would ally with Democrats against Trump. Republicans know that an impeachment would damage their party enormously, and if Trump wanted to fight, he could do so very effectively by holding rallies in the districts of Republican turncoats. Trump would be vulnerable if the Republicans take big losses in the 2018 midterms. And the public is not going to stay in Trump freakout for more than two years, no matter how hard the media keeps hitting hot buttons.
By Alexandra Rosenmann, an AlterNet associate editor. Follow her @alexpreditor. Originally published at Alternet`
Since his stunning election night victory, Donald Trump and the greater Republican Party have been noncommittal at best about the former’s vow to preserve the country’s Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security benefits. So during Wednesday’s confirmation hearing, Sen. Bernie Sanders decided to put the president-elect’s pick to lead the Department of Health and Human Services on the spot.
“Is the President-elect, Mr. Trump, going to keep his word to the American people and not cut social security, Medicare and Medicaid, or did he lie to the American people?”
Tom Price, an orthopedic surgeon staunchly opposed to government spending on healthcare, answered meekly that he had “no reason to believe” that Trump has changed his position on the matter.
But the fireworks were only just beginning.
“The United States of America is the only major country on Earth that does not guarantee healthcare to all people as a right,” Sanders continued. “Canada does it, every major country in Europe does it. Do you believe that healthcare is a right of all Americans, whether they’re rich or they’re poor? Should people, because they are Americans be able to go to the doctor when they need, to be able to go into a hospital because there are Americans?”
“We are a compassionate society,” began Price.
“No we’re not a compassionate society,” Sanders shot back. “In terms of our relationship to poor and working people, our record is worse than virtually any other country of any other major country on Earth and we have the highest rate of childhood poverty of any other major country on Earth and half of our senior older workers have nothing set aside for retirement, so I don’t think compared to other countries we are particularly compassionate.”
Watch the tense exchange: