Fed Up With Democrats, Thousands March to Demand Medicare for All

Yves here. Despite the complete media blackout on the March for Medicare for All, the event looks to have gotten some traction. And struggles for increases in rights are almost always long, drawn-out affairs, so momentum matters.

Nevertheless, it’s disappointing to see the bar for broader medical care being set as low as Medicare. It is a complex, significantly privatized program with lots of holes. And Medicare (or more accurately, the Federal government, which has huge buying power between Medicare, Medicaid, and the VA) does squat to bludgeon Big Pharma into accepting lower drug prices. Canada and Australia, among other, are very successful in negotiating cheaper prices. What’s our excuse? The drug industry grifting is clearly a feature, not a bug.

By Sonali Kolhatkar, the founder, host and executive producer of “Rising Up With Sonali,” a television and radio show that airs on Free Speech TV and Pacifica stations. She is a writing fellow for the Economy for All project at the Independent Media Institute. Produced by Economy for All, a project of the Independent Media Institute

Activists in more than 50 cities across the United States marched and rallied on July 24 to demand a Medicare for All or single-payer health care system. With Congress and the White House more focused on passing an infrastructure bill, conducting an investigation into the January 6 Capitol riot, and reforming our immigrationsystem, the issue of health care has once more been relegated to the back burner. There is nary a peep from most lawmakers on the fact that, even as the pandemic rages on, nearly 30 million Americans remain uninsured (as per the latest available data), and millions more are underinsured.

To be fair, President Joe Biden has done what he promised to do during his campaign, which is to preserve and strengthen the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and effectively expand private health insurance coverage via subsidies. The ACA is not designed to cover all people with the best and most affordable health care. Biden’s major legislative achievement thus far, the American Rescue Plan, included more government subsidies for private health insurance plans to cover unemployed Americans while leaving millions more out of the equation. Neither the ACA nor the American Rescue Plan’s health care provisions ensure that all Americans have good-quality free health care.

The only assurance is that private insurance company profits remain healthy. Earlier this summer, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) launched a campaign to encourage Americans to sign up for private insurance through HealthCare.gov (perhaps a more appropriate address for the website would be HealthInsurance.gov). The Biden administration celebrated the fact that 2 million more Americans were able to purchase low-cost or no-cost private health insurance plans or sign up under expanded Medicaid programs. The insurance industry front group Partnership for America’s Health Care Future echoed that number as an achievement to celebrate. But neither made mention of the tens of millions who remain uninsured and underinsured. There is even less acknowledgment of the fact that tax dollars are subsidizing corporate profits for what is often mediocre health care coverage.

This is not surprising given that the federal government treats the health care needs of ordinary Americans as an optional luxury item that can be supplied by the market. For example, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) refers to those needing health care (i.e., all human beings) as “consumers” whom the government agency advises ought to “maximize the savings on their Marketplace coverage” when shopping for ACA plans. In a press release lauding the American Rescue Plan, CMS uses the word “consumers” nearly a dozen times. Rethinking health care as an essential need like education or emergency services will require a major cultural shift among public servants.

Proponents of Medicare for All are constantly told it would be far too expensive to extend a government program intended for those 65 and older to everyone else. But a fact that has received little attention is that nearly half of all Americans are already getting health care through some form of government programs or subsidy. An analysis published on Quartz found that 161 million Americans are now receiving health care through Medicare, Medicaid, the Veterans Health Administration, or CHIP, the Child Health Insurance Program.

Those who do not qualify for these programs are forced to acquire private health insurance through employment and pay varying amounts out of pocket for hefty premiums, deductibles and copayments, poor prescription drug coverage, lifetime limits on coverage, etc. Such a patchwork system does little more than ensure large profits for private health insurance companies. Worse, it ties millions of people to jobs they may dislike, or forces them to settle for poor coverage that may not even be adequate for the care they need.

For those who are left out of the system entirely, there is no government answer other than to ‘sink or swim.’ A recent Wall Street Journal analysis found that hospitals engage in serious price gouging of the uninsured, charging them far higher prices than they would charge an insurance company for a patient who was covered.

Dr. Paul Song, a board-certified radiation oncologist and president of the California Chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program, was a featured speaker at the Los Angeles rally and march for Medicare for All on July 24. He explained to me after the event that “people are frustrated” about the fact that “we’ve had so many people succumb to COVID in the United States, and it has really illustrated how broken our health care system is.” The march organizers and attendees wanted to send a message that “we’re not going away; we demand better,” he said.

One of the few reports on the Medicare for All marches published by a major corporate-media outlet was this one by David Weigel of the Washington Post who wrote that six months into the Biden administration, “the movement to replace American health care with a cheaper single-payer system has vanished from daily political debate.” He’s right. After Biden emerged as a centrist alternative to Senator Bernie Sanders—one of the most stalwart proponents of single-payer—during last year’s presidential primaries, the next best hope for organizers lay in the appointment of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to lead the HHS. Becerra’s support of single-payer health care offered the promise of federal waivers for states looking to expand government-run health care. So far, even that has not transpired.

Weigel noted that Sanders’ 2016 campaign for president “inarguably pushed single-payer health care into the Democratic Party mainstream,” and as a result, “most of the senators who would run for president in 2020 endorsed it.” Arguments over whether a single-payer system was better than the current patchwork of private-public health care “dominated months of primary debates,” he wrote. Polls showed this was an issue deeply important to Democratic voters, and yet once Democrats assumed power in the White House, Senate, and House of Representatives, the only focus on health care was to entrench and safeguard the ACA while ignoring the health care crisis affecting millions of uninsured and underinsured.

The contradictions are starker in California, where Democrats have a far more comfortable margin of power than their federal counterparts in D.C. “You hear crickets right now,” said Song, referring to California Democrats who were vocal about supporting single-payer health care under Republican governors whose veto they could count on, but who are reliably silent when they have the votes to pass a bill. California’s Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom sailed into power on a platform of supporting Medicare for All and said during his campaign in 2017, “There’s no reason to wait around on universal health care and single-payer in California… you have my firm and absolute commitment as your next governor that I will lead the effort to get it done.” Today, California Democrats enjoy a supermajority in the state Assembly and Senate and have an ostensible supporter of a single-payer health care bill as governor. But a bill to advance a single-payer system in the Assembly emerged this year only to be shelved a few months later until next year. Newsom appointed a commission to study the issue, but so far, nothing concrete has emerged.

Five years after he first made his campaign promises, Newsom is facing a Republican-led recall effort with a shockingly tepid 50 percent of likely voters supporting him versus 47 percent who are willing to vote him out. One can only wonder how much more support Newsom would be enjoying in the heavily Democratic California had he shown more leadership on his health care promises. Song, who says he supports the governor remaining in office, says, “we should push him to live up to his campaign promises, not only to fight off this recall but to really move California forward.”

The moral of the story is that Democratic Party lawmakers at the state and federal level have often pledged loyalty to issues like Medicare for All when running for office or when governing as a minority party and promptly switched allegiance to the private insurance industry once in office or when their party holds enough of a majority to do something about it. No wonder voters are pissed off and marching in the streets.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. zagonostra

    Thanks NC for covering this story. It seems that I am having to rely more and more on Ytube comedians to cover stories that don’t accord with MSM/Ruling Class agenda.

    1. nycTerrierist


      the silence of each and every Dem pol who purportedly supports M4All
      is damning. AOC wouldn’t support the recent push
      to ‘Force the Vote’; instead, she said people need to ‘organize’.
      Well, what would she call this? grassroots outpouring spanning 50 cities

      I would think Rep. Jayapal, who like to wave the M4All carrot for team D,
      would at least have the cynicism to get in front of this parade.
      I guess it was too dangerous to give it any oxygen at all.
      Shame on them all – and shame on our so-called mainstream media for the blackout — that is corruption, not journalism.

    2. Dr. John Carpenter

      Another co-sign on thanks for covering this from someone who has first hand experienced the worthlessness of the ACA. The so called progressives in our government should be out there bigging this up and using their Twitter platforms. But alas…

      And Yves, I agree totally that it’s a shame that Medicare has become the focus rather than something better. Obviously M4A would be much better than what we have, but it seems like they should be aiming higher. Still, glad to see movement on this at all.

      1. Lee Stanfield

        Dr. John Carpenter and Yves Smith. Please stop claiming that Medicare for All is just Medicare extended to everyone! THAT IS SERIOUSLY INACCURATE! House bill HR 1976 is Medicare for All, and I strongly urge you to actually read it BEFORE you claim anything more about M4A! HR 1976 improves traditional Medicare ENORMOUSLY… by expanding it to cover ALL MEDICAL NEEDS, including eyeglasses, hearing aids, all dental work, all prescriptions, mental health, substance abuse trtmt, all in-home and institutional long-term care, etc….. literally everything!!!

        And by the way, Yves, Traditional Medicare is NOT privately owned. You are confusing Traditional Medicare with so-called “Medicare Advantage”. The former is a government run health insurance, and the latter is NOT! The so-called Advantage plans are for-profit health insurance that has been allowed by decades of Congressional neoliberal and right wing politicians (AKA corporate-funded politicians) to divert money from Traditional Medicare by luring unsuspecting seniors into signing up for Medicare Advantage. It is part of the ongoing sabotaging of Traditional Medicare by those who are trying to privatize Traditional Medicare.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          I have read the bill. It has zero chance of being passed.

          And the messaging “Medicare for All” open the door for anything that gets done to have current Medicare as the starting point, and be negotiated down from there. You don’t call something “Medicare” and have that stand for something that bears virtually NO resemblance to Medicare.

          The branding is so bad that it looks like the campaign was co-opted by the health care industry.

          1. philnc

            Thank you, Yves, for that response! The “branding” of M4A, like the “fight for 15”, always seemed to doom us to negotiating against ourselves. After several abortive attempts at “National Health Insurance”, all we got was the stupendously crappified and costly ACA. The inconvenient truth is that all of these programs cast healthcare recipients as consumers rather than patients, because the system is still a market-based, for-profit, business and definitely _not_ a public service — like your local fire department. The other sad truth is that many (most?) people would rather die than support the kind of transformative change that’s really needed. But then we’re in a moment when half the population here in the South is blithely willing to spin the wheel of fortune every time they go out in public unvaccinated, unmasked and totally unconcerned about how they’re endangering themselves and their community.

          2. ks

            Unlike alternative names, ‘Medicare’ is familiar to under-65’s who, however naively, anticipate it as a welcome relief from the stress and instability of commercial insurance. The name’s not about setting a baseline for negotiations, it’s about getting the majority of Americans behind the concept. ‘Improved M4A,’ promoted by some advocates, is more accurate, but too awkward.

  2. KD

    This is not intended as an attack on M4A, but it is worth pointing out that all states have Medicaid programs, and all states have Obamacare exchanges, and nothing prevents states from offering Medicaid at cost on their exchange. Several states have pushed to do this but the efforts have been lobbied into the ground by the health care lobbyists, but I think in the right place, it is probably more realistic than getting anything that isn’t purely written by health care lobbyist through Congress.

    1. You're soaking in it

      Universal coverage in Canada came about at the province level first; this might be exactly the only way it happens in the USA. I’m actually surprised Hawaii never went this route; they expanded the various programs under state oversight to the point where over 90% of residents were covered through a kludge of employer mandates and loose Medicaid requirements IIRC. This was before Obamacare, I don’t know what effect that had, but it seems they were actually close.

    2. Oh

      Instead of wanting Medicare for all, people should be clamoring Medicaid for all. Medicaid control hospital and physician cost, AFAIK does not include the Insurance company profit layer, covers dental and has very low or no coinsurance and deductibles. Since the wretched ACA takes money from Medicaid to pay the insurance crooks it will be a matter of cutting out those middlemen to implement Medicaid for all. Medicaid also needs to refined to take out the States from administering it and use the current Medicare infrastruction (sans the insurance companies). The extra layer of administration at the state level only adds unnecessary gatekeepers.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Why not support the most of both? Call it Medicarecaid. Or Medicaidcare. And forbid it from clawbacking any assets from the heirs of the deceased, and forbid it from requiring beneficiaries to pauperise themselves into homelessness before it will cover certain long-term things ( nursing home care? other things?) that I believe the current Medicaid law is written to require that people do.

      2. Louis

        A not insignificant number of providers don’t take Medicaid due to low reimbursement rates, so I’m not sure it’s something to be clamoring for. I also think a lot of people would find estate recovery to be a big turnoff if they have a choice in healthcare coverage.

        1. Felix_47

          If they do not come up with some way to control costs nothing will work. As a doctor I take Medicaid and if that was all we had to bill we would have to change a lot of things. And it would exert pressure to develop some sort of tort reform. Although doctors usually win in malpractice suits the medical behaviors that everyone adopts to cover the possibility are immensely expensive and not medically beneficial. And my view is that if a doctor does not take Medicaid they are in the wrong profession. They need to get a job on Wall Street or in politics or the insurance industry. Private practice is going to die no matter what is done.

      3. Lee Stanfield

        MEDICAID FOR ALL IS A VERY BAD IDEA! Medicaid is now completely privatized and is state administered, and the states are notorious for cutting Medicaid funding to balance their budgets. Medicaid pays physicians very poorly, which is one reason so many physicians are no longer taking on Medicaid patients. Please read HR 1976 MEDICARE FOR ALL! It is easily the best health care coverage ever written on this planet… bar none! And it will SAVE THE U.S. HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS EVERY YEAR! Most households will save several thousand dollars a year. Only the ultra-wealthy will pay the same or more than they pay now. Here is the link to HR 1976:

  3. amateur socialist

    Thought experiment/prediction: Some mavericky type GOP Governor figures out that with single payer health care he can manage to get a twofer. Not only addressing health care concerns of constituents but also a way to get employers/workers to move to their state. It will probably happen in a blue state with a non Trump aligned GOP governor (Oh hi, Phil Scott of Vermont).

    The first state that comprehensively manages to enact single payer in a way that limits the extortion of insurance companies for both employers and employees will see an influx of small and medium businesses that want to get out of the health care administration/procurement hassle permanently. This will eventually be understood as a way to mitigate/moderate wage increase demands too. The local paper here in Brattleboro has sustained a biweekly series of “Where are the workers” stories the last few months.

    And yes, the fact that Newsom can’t/won’t deliver means it’s an opportunity for a GOP administration. Somewhere.

    1. Grayce

      The big for-profit barrier: Medicare Advantage Plans
      In this arrangement, private insurers are granted the lump sum of a year’s Medicare for the patient involved. Medicare administration disappears. It seems efficient, but for the “policy” booklet that has the insurer’s own rules. Employees and the public are offered Medicare Advantage Plans as an easy way to economize on the cost of health insurance. In annual enrollment, for example, these plans show up granting an array of everyday expenses that could be budgeted (physicals, routine things) and in the fine print cut short the days in hospital per year, home care, PT or lifetime limits on the major risks. Tied to that are the usual delay and deny practices of modern insurers.
      Unless such plans are excluded, the expectation of profit erodes the actual end user benefit, and you know who pays the bill.

      1. Telee

        I tend to think that the Medicare Advantage programs are a stealth way to privatize traditional Medicare. Out of the number of people who qualify for Medicare, over 40% are now enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans. One irony is that the excesses of the health insurers which were eliminated under the ACA are allowed to be practiced by the Medicare Advantage plans. I asked my doctor, who identifies with the libertarians, what he thought of the Medicare Advantage plans and he surprised me when he immediately said they are a rip-off. If we ever have Medicare for all in the US, it is more likely to be private Medicare Advantage for all.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Are people yet-to-reach Medicare age allowed to reject the Medicare Advantage plans and go onto Traditional Medicare? If so, are they being cleverly tricked into going onto Medicare Advantage anyway?

    2. lance ringquist

      could be a game changer. some enterprising GOPer saying that the GOP is the logical inheritor of FDR’s new deal, which the inspiration came from teddy.
      then they say the democrats are no longer the party of FDR/truman since bill clinton took the party hard right. and of course that would be a correct statement.
      Trump could have done it and won a decisive victory, but he was simply a blowhard demagogue that did do a few good things, enough to get such a huge vote the second around, but not enough converts to get over the top.
      medicare for all would have done it.

    3. Aumua

      That’s never gonna happen. Democrats and Trump aside, it’s completely against the core Republican values. Republicans don’t give undeserving people free stuff, they never raise taxes and they spend as little as possible on anything related to social welfare. Under Republicanism, those who work hard or else are already wealthy can have health care and everyone else can go f*** themselves.

      Not saying Democrats are really better. I’m just sayin.

  4. Dave in Austin

    Medicare for all sinks when it hits the shoal of illegal immigration.

    Medicare for all requires that each person have a verified ID to access the system. Illegals will not have that ID but under our system people can show up at a supposedly private hospital emergency room and demand care (paid for by overcharging everybody else with a wink-and-a-nod from the feds).

    Both Canada and Australia have the ID, give care to all comers, but then arrest those illegally in the country, something never mentioned in the American press.

    If illegals can go to the hospital in the U.S. without an ID under Medicare for all, why should anybody bother to show an ID, since they will be given care without it?

    Every legislator and staffer on Capitol Hill knows this, which is why the Democrats never propose Medicare for all.

    1. marym

      Yes, let’s blame lack of universal healthcare in the US on an immigration policy that some think is too lenient, not on the pervasive idea that it’s better for corporations to profit than for public programs to provide benefits to everyone, if that possibly includes anyone deemed unworthy.

    2. Oh

      Many undocumented people don’t want to get the vaccine for fear of gettng arrested. Are you sure they’ll venture into the ER? Besides, the Federal Governmment during Ronnie Reagan’s reign provided money to hospitals to pay for ER visits by uninsured and it still does. The Democrats are in the pocket of Big Insurance and Pharma and therefore won’t support M4A. Ditto with the Repubs.

      1. Arizona Slim

        If they’re undocumented here in Tucson, they’re not going anywhere near the Banner University Medical Center. I can’t recall a time when I haven’t seen a US Border Patrol vehicle parked in their lot.

  5. Brooklin Bridge

    Five years after he first made his campaign promises, Newsom is facing a Republican-led recall effort with a shockingly tepid 50 percent of likely voters supporting him[…]

    He should be facing jail time*. Either that, or everyone who was “duped” yet again should be facing jail time for such, “I promise never ever ever to learn” stupidity. The former strikes me as the more practical choice but the latter has merit nonetheless. Of course there is always the extreme likelihood that the public had no actual choice; that was limited to Mr. Real Bad guy or Mr. Fake Good Guy as with the non choice between Trump and Biden. Be that as it may, the consequences are real even if the the term “choice” is not. None of which negates Newsom’s culpability for his lies.

    *Real people die as a consequence of such duplicity.

  6. The Rev Kev

    I can see one day how his will all end up in a general strike for healthcare for all as this pandemic grinds on. Some genius here suggested that that healthcare should be offered to all who get these vaccines but for that you would have to depend on the honesty of people like old Joe and people here have not forgotten that matter of that $600 which he still owes them.

    But until then I would suggest a smaller strike. And that is one against any politician that does not actively support medicare for all. And no, the occasional tweet does not count. During that march across America, there was only one progressive that showed up and that was Cori Bush. And apparently he told people there that he did not support their principles. Where was the progressive caucus? The Justice Democrats? The squad? It would not have killed them to come down and make a quick 5 minute speech. So I have a proposal and it is this (and yeah, I know that I am not living in America to say this).

    Unfollow any politician on social media that does not aggressively support healthcare. All of them. Do not show up at their rallies and meetings. Refuse to answer pollsters if asked if you are going to vote for a progressive in your area. Keep them in the dark as to your voting intentions. Contribute not a dime to any of their campaigns. Some will say that that will make them vulnerable to having to accept corporate donations but since they do the bidding of the corporations at the moment anyway, what is the difference? Give your money to real progressives or worthy causes instead. Some will lose their jobs in the House and Senate but since they aren’t doing anything for you, why should that be your problem?

      1. The Rev Kev

        I looked at his Twitter account via Google and can see no reference to those marches at all.

    1. freebird

      The ‘squad’ and all the other phony progressives have ALL sold out to the corporatocracy, and each new one elected does the same. They do not give a flying fig what any of their constituents want. They take money from rich industrial, financial, and insurance donors, and their advancement in the system is determined by how they pursue what the .1% wants. And they are protected by a blanket of phony media that lulls the voters into thinking Dems are fighting for a rainbow of constituents, but are frustrated by a few mean Republicans who thwart their sincere efforts. And they are protected by onerous election laws and party rules designed to keep any alternate choices from arising.

      When pesky elections come along, we will have again have a choice between corporate whores who wear red ties and flag pins, or corporate whores who wear blue ties and pride ribbons.

      I admire the things you suggest doing, but realistically, millions of people tried them, and found out these last 6 years that electoral politics are so rotten, there is no point in playing our pawn roles in these games.

      1. Oh

        They do not give a flying fig what any of their constituents want. They take money from rich industrial, financial, and insurance donors, and their advancement in the system is determined by how they pursue what the .1% wants. And they are protected by a blanket of phony media that lulls the voters into thinking Dems are fighting for a rainbow of constituents, but are frustrated by a few mean Republicans who thwart their sincere efforts. And they are protected by onerous election laws and party rules designed to keep any alternate choices from arising.

        Unless the people get together and form their own party to challenge the duopoly nothing’s gonna change. And we need to push to get money out of politics. Start by banning the use of TV commercials for campaigns.

  7. LowellHighlander

    Look at that last paragraph again:

    “The moral of the story is that Democratic Party lawmakers at the state and federal level have often pledged loyalty to issues like Medicare for All when running for office or when governing as a minority party and promptly switched allegiance to the private insurance industry once in office or when their party holds enough of a majority to do something about it.”

    I have marched many, many times for various issues while I lived in the Imperial Capital. I think the biggest effect of these marches was that marchers lost a few hours of their time off during a week-end. I would say that there are only two ways left to effect change in the “democracy” in which we are said to live. One is through citizens’ initiatives, and Californians have that available to them (unlike most other States). The other is to threaten Dems. By that, I only mean that voters must start telling Democratic politicians and operatives that it’s now time to consider backing candidates from the Green and Socialist parties if Congresspersons and State legislators remain the tools of their donors.

    Why are so many “progressives” afraid to try to use raw power against these politicians?

    1. Liquid Amber

      “Californians have that available to them.” Unfortunately, that too has been preempted by monied interests. We have many Propositions written by special interests with misleading “hooks” and sweeteners that grab the headlines and terrible details in fine print. They spend millions in advertising and mostly get their way.
      Recently, the real estate industry got their wish in Proposition 19, every aspect of which was tailored to increase sales of homes.

      1. LowellHighlander

        Yeah, I believe you. I ran into something similar with Initiative 59 in the Imperial Capital back in the late ’90s. (Initiative 59 was a citizens’ initiative to end Prohibition against marijuana – but only for medicinal purposes, honestly.) The national organizations tried to muscle their way in after the first attempt, Initiative 57, failed to make the ballot. However, the [local] organizers of Initiative 59 outsmarted the big boys, and kept control of the initiative. (This is why we went from Initiative 57 to Initiative 59; the local organizers were being force fed the new initiative, 58, and then ran to city hall and effectively took legal ownership of Initiative 58.) Trouble was, when we went back onto the streets for Initiative 59, the big organizations like NORML were nowhere to be seen. But when we made it onto the ballot with 59, then NORML flooded the streets with flyers that made it look as though they had put money and manpower into putting this initiative onto the ballot. (They hadn’t.) I saw this myself when I saw the flyers being passed around at polling stations on the day of the general election.

        By the way, I did not intend to slight the Peace & Freedom Party of California by omitting mention of them in my original post. Mea culpa, and my apologies. That’s an alternative to whom progressives in California should can turn – in front of Newsom.

    2. lance ringquist

      i fear citizens’ initiatives, prop. 13 and prop. 22 comes to mind. i am sure there are a few others.

    3. Felix_47

      Without campaign finance reform which will require a political reorganization we will not regain our republic. Gore Vidal saw this coming and wrote about it. Listen to his speech to the Washington Press Club in 1991. It is well worth some time on You tube.

  8. nycTerrierist

    Lowell Highlander: “The other is to threaten Dems. By that, I only mean that voters must start telling Democratic politicians and operatives that it’s now time to consider backing candidates from the Green and Socialist parties if Congresspersons and State legislators remain the tools of their donors.”

    Agreed. Biden’s enablers said they’d ‘push Biden left’ as they herded hapless voters to Team D, then
    promptly forgot about them.
    The only way to push the Ds left is to give them the fear they will lose votes.
    We need a third party option – if only to threaten the Ds.

  9. marym

    A handful of people in Congress who have some good ideas aren’t going to lead a revolution. I have no idea how to build an inside/outside strategy, or if it’s still even possible. However, if it is a good strategy, this was a good approach to organizing. I don’t ever recall seeing a broad-based public demonstration of support for M4A with such an array of organizations before. I hope they continue to function as a coalition on this issue, building support among their own constuencies.

  10. aleric

    I strongly support universal healthcare, or m4all, or whatever, but wonder what is the point of big demonstrations now in a non-election year? Is it too paranoid to think this is a way to drain energy from the activist wing of the party in order to lead them meekly back to pasture when ‘real’ politics starts again in the midterms?

  11. The Rev Kev

    “Hong Kong man sentenced to 9 years in prison in first national security case”

    This guy was lucky. He revved his bike up and ran down two cops sending them flying before being arrested. What would have happened if he had tried this in Chicago or Los Angeles?

    And looking at that video called ‘Face to face with the ghost of the mountains’, how many times was this the last sight that some hapless traveler ever saw in their lives?

      1. witters

        Usually any mistake you can make, I make it. But how do you make this mistake? (Simply curious.)

        1. The Rev Kev

          Easy. I had two tabs open with one on this page and the other on the page showing today’s Links. Usually I type what I want to say in a notepad program and when finished, copy & paste it into the comment that I want to make. It was only when the 5-minute window ran out that I realized that I had pasted it into this page instead of Links. Gunna have to watch for that next time.

  12. timotheus

    Advocacy groups pushing the New York Health Act always use “improved M4A” as a shorthand reminder of all the known failings of current Medicare. The NYHA is vastly better than Medicare in a number of ways. Incidentally, there is now a majority of members of the state legislature who have formally endorsed the bill, but the leadership refused to bring it up for a vote in the just-ended session. Union opposition is a major factor.

  13. Susan the other

    How exactly do our “healthcare rights” work? Just wondering what chaos ensues when, after PE has bought up all the hospitals, all the ER clinics, all the physicians’ practices and all the pharmacies, when they all get together as private providers and tell the rest of the country that they, the newly consolidated private medical industry, no longer accepts Medicare or any other low paying insurance carrier. By then PE will have its own insurance products as well. And glossy prospectuses. And the medical industrial complex will be set to ask whatever it wants. And use its own proprietary accounting practices. Nobody will step in and call monopoly. Or usury. Or malpractice. Or collusion. There will be no civic control over the medical profession whatsoever. In fact this is already almost achieved because our “representatives” refuse to do anything about it. This is not democracy. It’s criminal. Racketeering at its finest. “Healthcare is a human right” is nothing more than a campaign slogan.

  14. LarryB

    I think we need to get back to talking about _Improved_ Medicare for All. Medicare that includes dental and vision. Somewhere along the line the “Improved” got dropped from all the slogans and references, and most people aren’t all that enthused about going on Medicare as it exists today. What happened to “Improved”?

    1. marym

      The original bill HR 676 was the “United States National Health Insurance Act (or the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act)” from the 108th through 111th Congress (2003-2010)

      The HR 676 title was changed to “Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act” through the 115th Congress (2011-2019)

      In 2019 the bill number HR 676 was assigned to another bill, and a revised bill HR 1384 was introduced as “Medicare For All”

      So “National Health Insurance” was lost in the Obama years and (though the expansions and many of the improvements were retained) “Expanded and Improved” was lost with Pelosi’s second speakership. Not that correlation means causation.

      HR 1384 also dropped the HR 676 requirement that provider entities be public or non-profit and provided for a conversion and compensation plan

  15. Walt Oicle

    I would like to see us all have our complete medical history on a credit-card that could be read by any medical professional, rather than the time-consuming patchwork we have now. For a recent hospital visit, my wife was asked her medical history several times before being admitted, when it could have been entered into their computer the first time, and should have been available on a card she carried, rather than relying on her statements. How are patients treated when they arrive unconscious or unable to talk? Other countries have such cards to streamline the process, save money, and ensure proper care, and it is past time we did, as well.

  16. Connie Tolleson

    Americans, Americans! Why are we trying to re-invent the wheel. There are a number of countries who have figured out how to do this. We are the greatest thieves on the face of the earth, let’s steal their tech. Actually, Estonia is trying to give it away. They will help any group interested in replicating how they have created their economy.
    Health care is not part of the cash economy. It is part of the Care-Economy. You know all those things that don’t turn a profit in a decent society but that a decent society demands must be done; better known as “women’s work” in days past.
    The problem the politicians are having is that they hate people. Perhaps more than hate, they thrive on other’s suffering. There are those who keep pushing against that savagery, so these small steps represent huge amount of work.
    Medical Insurance didn’t exist when I was a kid. We built and supported our community hospitals which we paid for by taxing ourselves on our property.

  17. Kouros

    In Canada there is no federal system in place to negotiate drug prices. There is a federal entity that monitors the prices (http://pmprb-cepmb.gc.ca/home ), using data coming from the various provincial programs. And they used to have a basket of countries, including the most expensive ones, to set some guidelines. Only relatively recently the federal government under liberals has started to move a little bit the goalpost more towards in favour of the public. but the speed is slower than the melting of Greenland glaciers and it accelerates only around election time.

    Plus, the provinces are not that keen to let the negotiations in the hands of the feds… A left wing government in BC might not trust the willingness of a right wing federal government (Canada has only right wing federal governments, same as the US) to get good deals for the population. And the provinces would bear the cost of that failure…

Comments are closed.