In the long run, single payer advocates are all dead
Yesterday, on Medicare's anniversary, I received this amazing -- or rather, completely normal -- email letter from Bernie Sanders.
Subject: Letter to Single-Payer Supporters
'A STRONG MOVEMENT BEHIND MEDICARE FOR ALL'
It directed me (caps in original) to "READ THE OPEN LETTER TO SINGLE-PAYER SUPPORTERS." Which I did; confusingly, the page isn't headlined "Open Letter." Here are some excerpts:
“Now that a new health care bill has been signed into law, it has never been more important to have a strong movement behind Medicare for All,” Sanders wrote along with Congressmen Dennis Kucinich and John Conyers, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. But they warn: “The truth is not enough. We already know that such a health care system has repeatedly proven to control costs more effectively, cover everyone or almost everyone, and deliver care of significantly higher quality than health care systems that tolerate the presence of private health insurance companies. Now we must make it so that the truth can no longer be ignored.”
Well, wouldn't 2008-2009 have been a very good time to make sure the truth couldn't be ignored? And what happened? Conyers rolled over, and enabled the public option bait and switch, which had already been "pre-betrayed" by Obama.* Kucinich opposed the
Obama Baucus Wellpoint HCR bill until Obama took him up on Air Force One, and then proceeded not merely to vote for it, but to prance around the House floor whipping for it. And Sanders got some clinics. Well done, all. The "letter" continues:
The single payer champions [BWA-HA-HA-HA!] discuss some significant steps toward progress** which were included in the recently-passed health care law, including a Sanders provision “allowing a waiver from the Exchanges for states to innovate with health coverage such as a state-based Medicare for All-like system that was included in the new law. … Though the effective date for the Exchange waiver was pushed back to 2017 by the Congressional Budget Office*** to avoid driving up the estimated cost of the bill, the waiver’s presence sent a clear message: if a state thinks it can do better, Congress wants to see it.”
The message I get is that we have to wait seven years for a friggin study. Such a deal. Obviously, as we've seen 2006-2010, the the legacy party system is pathetic and useless -- from our standpoint -- and should be destroyed as soon as possible. If the Ds go first, then so be it. (Health insurance companies love the legacy parties, of course, but the health insurance companies are killing people for money, so, unlike Versailles, which is in that business anyhow, I don't especially care about their good opinion.)
Bottom line is that if I have to spend seven years of my life getting something done, I'm not going to invest a single second of that time, let alone any money, with the Ds.
NOTE * The "realists" and career "progressives" are always telling us how their insider status gives them special insight into what can actually be accomplished in Versailles. So, either they knew about Obama's pre-betrayal and didn't tell anybody on the outside about it, in which case nobody should ever trust them again, or they didn't know, and so much for their "savvy" and strategic abilities. And nobody should ever trust them again.
NOTE ** I like that. We don't have "progress." We have "steps toward progress." Prolegomena, style of thing.
NOTE *** Who, apparently, Congress works for, and not the other way round.