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Pelosi's duplicity: Blocking any Tax Rise Could Rule Out Medicare-for-All and Social Security Bolstering

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By Dave Lindorff

From socialistworker.org: Labor's power and the Medicare for All struggle | SocialistWorker.org {MID-326236}
Americans want Medicare-for-All, but will Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats block it?
(Image by socialistworker.org)
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In the surreal alternative reality world of the US Congress, there are many bills passed each year that on the surface may sound like good ideas -- they even give them high-sounding names like the US PATRIOT ACT or Better Care and Reconciliation Act, that in fact are the opposite of what they claim to be (the former actually being an unpatriotic undermining of the Bill of Rights and the latter actually being an unsuccessful attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act (itself a deceptively named bill that forced middle-income families to buy hugely expensive insurance plans or pay a tax penalty).

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But few of these deceptions are as egregious as one being pushed by embattled incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who is advocating a bill that would require any legislation that would raise taxes on incomes in the bottom 80% to be passed with a 60% majority of the House.

That bill, while promoted by Pelosi as protecting the middle class from future tax rises, actually would make impossible passage of any bill expanding Medicare to cover all Americans, creating a kind of Canadian-model national health system, and might even prevent efforts to strengthen and improve Social Security benefits as called for by progressive Democrats.

The thing is, a broad majority of Americans, including many Republicans, and an overwhelming majority of Democrats, favor Medicare-for-All, a program that would extend and expand Medicare coverage making it a government insurance plan for covering all medical care for all Americans of any age -- exactly what Canadians have had since 1971, and which they have overwhelmingly supported through both Liberal and Conservative governments since then.

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And to fund such a program, Medicare taxes (currently 1.45% for worker and employer) would of course have to be significantly raised. But what conservative and even so-called "moderate" Democrats who oppose Medicare-for-All deliberately don't say in criticizing the idea as a tax-increasing horror is that it would eliminate the need to pay insurance premiums for all people and also for employers, that it would eliminate the need to spend $140 billion a year or more on a Veterans Administration bureaucracy to care for military veterans, that it would eliminate Medicaid, the program that provides care for the poor and which currently costs over $600 billion a year in federal and state tax dollars, that it would end "charity care" which is the "free care" hospitals have to provide to ER patients who have to be treated if they have no other funding and don't qualify for Medicaid -- care which ends up raising private insurance premiums for those who do have insurance, and that would even lower car insurance premiums, since these would no longer have to pay for hospital care caused by accidents.

The lie here is that raising taxes on everyone to fund Medicare-for-All could in the end massively reduce health care costs for everyone in society, while also ensuring that nobody was without full access to fully funded health care. It's what Americans want, poll after poll shows , even given all the propagada and lies about it, but Congress, including Democrats, are so anxious to keep receiving huge amounts of money from the Medical Industrial Complex, that they are loath to support a program that would cut out the private insurance industry, force the drug and hospital industry and physicians to receive negotiated payments reached with the government instead of charging whatever they want in a "market" that doesn't really permit genuine consumer choice and competition.

As for Social Security, which badly needs an influx of new funds before 2034 when the current level of employee and employer payroll taxation (6.2% for employee and employer) will only cover some 78% of promised benefit payments. Any fix would inevitably involve some increased rate of payroll taxation on at least some people in higher income brackets, probably within that bottom 80% category in the proposed legislation supported Speaker Pelosi and many of her Democratic caucus.

Congress must at least present this issue honestly. Legislation in Congress should be considered on its merits, not constrained by artificial measures. In the kind of closely divided government we now have, requiring 60% support for passage of tax-impacting bills would block much critically important progressive legislation, for example on dealing with climate change. Meanwhile, it should also be clearly understood that Medicare-for-All type health care reform or for bolstering and improving Social Security, would not involve income taxes, but rather two dedicated payroll taxes on employees and employers -- the FICA tax and the Medicare tax, which are currently 6.2% and 1.45% for individual taxpayers. Any reforming of those two programs would require changes in the amount of payroll taxation paid by employees and employers, but Pelosi has not exampted those taxes from her proposed bill.

The other real problem with establishing a super-majority rule for passing measures that would raise taxes on lower-income Americans is that majorities of both parties are so consistently ready to support increased funding for the US military and to underwrite insanely expensive and destructive militaristic policies abroad including the endless wars launched since 2001 that have run up a bill so far of $5.9 trillion and counting, that Pentagon spending bills would have no trouble meeting the 60% vote threshold to pass military spending bills. Meanwhile more important legislation, such as passing Medicare-for-All, or climate change-combating legislation, or increased education support measures, etc., would not get 60% support and thus would just never pass.

Now that Democrats have won control of one house of Congress, we are already starting to see how flawed and disingenuous a bunch of people they really are. It's not a pretty sight.

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DAVE LINDORFF is a member of ThisCantBeHappening!, the uncompromised, collectively run, six-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative news site. His work, and that of colleagues JOHN GRANT, JESS GUH, GARY LINDORFF, ALFREDO LOPEZ, LINN WASHINGTON, JR. and the late CHARLES M. YOUNG, can be found at www.thiscantbehappening.net

(Article changed on November 17, 2018 at 20:13)

(Article changed on November 17, 2018 at 20:14)

(Article changed on November 17, 2018 at 20:29)

 

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Dave Lindorff is a founding member of the collectively-owned, journalist-run online newspaper www.thiscantbehappening.net. He is a columnist for Counterpunch, is author of several recent books ("This Can't Be Happening! Resisting the (more...)
 

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The obvious solution is that single-payer healthcare, as well as everything else, ought to be funded by taxing THE RICH. After all, the top 2% own around 90% of all American wealth. Why tax the rest of us at all? We hardly own anything.

Submitted on Saturday, Nov 17, 2018 at 10:53:48 PM

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Reply to Jill Herendeen:   New Content

You can't get enough out of the rich to fully fund Medicare for all or to make Social Security the kind of pension people get in Germany and the Nordic countries. To do that you need to increase, at a minimum, the contributions of employers to both payroll tax funds. You might need to up the contribution from employees and employers to Medicare payroll taxes.There could obviously be a waiver of the tax for people below the poverty line, but not for their employers. There is also no magic reason why the contributions to both funds have to be split 50/50 between worker and boss. That's just the way Roosevelt sold it. In many, even most countries with socialized medicine, employers pay more than their workers.

But basically, there's no reason middle class people should gripe about paying significantly more in Medicare taxes along with their employers if they no longer have to pay anything for health insurance under Medicare for All. It's an incredible bargain, as it is in Canada and Europe.

The tax on Social Security benefits, which didn't originally get taxed, should also be ended, except for the wealthy, who don't even need the benefit checks.

Dave Lindorff

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Submitted on Sunday, Nov 18, 2018 at 1:50:32 AM

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So if you are middle class or higher, you should suffer crushing taxes for the pleasure of a government run health service. We all know that anything government run does not work well all that well. It is unlikely that the middle class will be paying less taxes for socialized medicine. They will see an increase.


'There could obviously be a waiver of the tax for people below the poverty line, but not for their employers.'

You do realize that business can not operate in the US because of high taxation. If you tax business too much, they will leave the country or just passes the taxes to it s customers.


'The tax on Social Security benefits, which didn't originally get taxed, should also be ended, except for the wealthy, who don't even need the benefit checks.'

And what will stop the government from lower the bar on taxing social security. Once you are done soaking the rich, they will work their way down until everyone looses everything through taxation. Don't forget, under socialism there is no private property. The government can tax/ steal everything you own.




Submitted on Sunday, Nov 18, 2018 at 3:53:50 AM

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LOL, "crushing" taxes on the rich...even when the top Federal income tax rate was over 90%, the rich still managed to be...wait for it...RICH. It costs a certain amount to live, whether one has any income or not...but over that certain amount, it's all just fun & games. The ONLY reason any of them are rich is because gov't policy allowed them to be. Gov't policy COULD change, to benefit other people as well.


I bet the rich WOULD LOVE to fun healthcare for everyone, if a) they couldn't get any better healthcare than anyone else and b) they were allowed to remain rich. (But of course, if they could get away with NOT paying for healthcare for everyone else, they're probably OK w/ that, too.)

Submitted on Sunday, Nov 18, 2018 at 3:02:05 PM

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My point is that under socialism everyone suffers from bone crushing taxation. Rich , poor and in between.

Submitted on Sunday, Nov 18, 2018 at 9:36:01 PM

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"under socialism everyone suffers from bone crushing taxation. "


You do know the Scandinavian countries are considered "socialist" right? So what makes any taxation "bone crushing", listening to Republicans it seems to me that -any- tax on the 1% is "bone crushing", the rest of us...???


There's a report that there are 6000 homeless in Denmark. There are ~7500 homeless on Oahu. Denmark holds 7.5M people. Oahu 1M.


Do results count? Do you think that people who live in Denmark don't have iPhones? I find it hard to believe taxes could be "bone crushing" if everyone has an iPhone.


So, you are just repeating a meme that capitalists have been selling to Americans for decades. There's no proof behind it other than some made up stuff about how the Soviet Union failed as a Socialist Country, yeah they did, they weren't Socialist.



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You obviously have never visited a socialist country. I have:


Finland, Austria, China and Laos.


You don't know what you're talking about.


Dave Lindorff

Submitted on Monday, Nov 19, 2018 at 2:21:53 AM

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If China is an example of a socialist country, than I don't want socialism. A place where the government cracks down on you hard (no way the same level as the US government does.). The government owns everything. A major polluter of the world (second to the US.)

Submitted on Monday, Nov 19, 2018 at 1:18:25 PM

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Sure, there's private property under socialism. Watch Richard D. Wolff's youtube video, SOCIALISM FOR DUMMIES.

Submitted on Sunday, Nov 18, 2018 at 4:15:45 PM

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honestly in the long run I don't see how that is possible.

Many socialist call for the taking/ stealing all of the wealth of the rich (and lets be honest, allow the way murdering everybody in the upper 1 percent as well.) Once you have a system where the government can take all of your wealth, what is going to stop the government from taking all of the wealth from the people at the next level, and the next level and so.

That is my point when I say that there is no private property and bone crushing taxation. People do not get to keep what they make. They have to hope the government provides what they need. And history has shown, that while not all government is bad, it is big, expensive and inefficient.


And I dont know if anybody noticed, but most of the socialist countries are struggling right not. They just dont have enough money for their programs.

Submitted on Monday, Nov 19, 2018 at 1:32:52 PM

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"It is unlikely that the middle class will be paying less taxes for socialized medicine. They will see an increase."


An illogical argument. You are insisting that Medicare's 3% overhead in providing service can't hold when private insurance can have overhead as much as 10 times that amount. I was paying $800/month for my healthcare. I could easily afford to pay $500/month for taxes to cover Medicare for all and then use the $300 for tickets to some cheap show. And of course, I'd have time to go to that show because I wouldn't have to be spending that time managing my insurance bills.


"You do realize that business can not operate in the US because of high taxation."


Show me. It is one of the many lies Politicians repeat as if "everyone knows" it to be true.


Do you know why Amazon just put two new "headquarters" on the East Coast? Because that is where their customers are. (That politicians showered Bezos with all kinds of tax breaks to convince him to build where he was going to build anyway is just ludicrous. How much did those pols make in bribes?)


Now, if you want to discuss the increasing automation that is going into the Bezos warehouses that is going to eliminate the low paying jobs, that is true. But what to do about this fact is so far outside of what this article is discussing that it becomes irrelevant except to say "free college and a Universal Income is the only option."


"Once you are done soaking the rich..."


Well, "the rich" pay less in a percentage of taxes now than many in the middle class, so who is getting soaked?


Your rant against "socialism" makes no sense when you support "Social Security".


People get lost in the "Capitalism is Good/Socialism is Bad" debate because they seem to think it is a black/white option. In other words, few have a clue what the debate is even about.

Submitted on Sunday, Nov 18, 2018 at 5:48:55 PM

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This is a stupid argument. The middle class get their health care by either paying all or part of the premiums, plus co-pays while their employers pay the rest of the cost, which of course means lower pay for the workers.


If there is a single-payer Medicare for All plan, all of those payments vanish. Of course they can afford to pay a tax for being covered by Medicare. That's how it is done in social democratic societies like the Nordic countries, how it's done in Germany and France, how it's done in the UK and in Canada. Can't be done here?

Unfair?

I don't think so. The tax could even be calibrated -- nothing for the poor, more for the middle class and even more for the rich. It could even be done from income taxes, but it's got to be paid for somehow or you're living in some dream world. In any event it would cost less, net, for everyone. Example: Brits pay about $4000 per person in taxes for their health care. Americans pay over $10,000 per person counting taxes for Medicare, Medicaid, VA caree, charity care and insurance premiums by themselves and their employers. Canadians pay about $7000 per person through taxes. Who's losing here? The people who pay for socialized medicine through their taxes, or us?


Dave Lindorff

founding editor of ThisCantBeHappening.net


Submitted on Sunday, Nov 18, 2018 at 6:13:47 PM

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Jim Smith: "It is unlikely that the middle class will be paying less taxes for socialized medicine."

Medicare For All IS NOT Socialized Medicine, it IS Single Payer Healthcare!!!!!!

Submitted on Sunday, Nov 18, 2018 at 7:06:59 PM

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"Medicare For All IS NOT Socialized Medicine, it IS Single Payer Healthcare!!!!!!"


See, here again the silly argument about what is "socialist" and what isn't. Pretty much one can argue that if the government pays for it that it is a "social program" and from there not a huge leap to say it is "socialist".


But, sure it doesn't create a National Health Service that would be the only employer of medical professionals and so because the doctors work for themselves, then it could be called "Capitalist".


Why chase our tails arguing about something so meaningless as to what to label it. Let us just do it.

Submitted on Sunday, Nov 18, 2018 at 7:54:42 PM

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you are a totally off the wall republican jim smith.Look at canada where both the people and corporations pay for single payer.they have had it for many years and the middle class doesn't have their back to the wall.plus we all pay for healthcare even those of us on medicare who need supplementary insurance and the rates are far from cheap,plus the high deductibles and copays which most countries don't have under their single payer.in the end even with slightly higher taxes we would end up paying less

plus your comment that government can't run anything right like big bussiness is just plain stupid.government has run social security since its beginning.my only fear is republicans running a health care system,they would drive it into the ground like they did in great britian.Letting big bussiness run our health care has given us the highest cost and lowest service in the world.We let big bussiness run military procurement thanks to your friend republicans and the cost went through the roof.in chicago they sold parking meters and roads to private companies and the cost went thro ugh the roof.It seems your corporate friends are the problem not the solution

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Reply to Dave Lindorff:   New Content

Naturally, that's what THE RICH (Pelosi included) would like us to believe. Though OF COURSE SS benefits shouldn't be taxed--and the workers shouldn't be shouldering the burden, either.


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You're living in a fantasy world. Change our monetary system, end capitalism and then fix health care. That's your plan


Good luck with it, but your'e in the wrong debate here.


We are talking about trying to change the health system-- a doable proposition by 2020 or 2022 if we push hard and elect the right people.


You're talking about pie in the sky. Call when you've succeeded and we'll all cheer.


Dave Lindorff

Submitted on Sunday, Nov 18, 2018 at 6:19:05 PM

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"Change our monetary system, end capitalism and then fix health care. That's your plan"


To be fair, I don't think that is at all what she said. She was pointing out though that Modern Monetary Theory suggests a way of creating the money to buy the new medicare for all proposal. That is not changing the monetary system nor does it end capitalism.


The Republicans get away with increasing the deficit all the time. What did Cheney say, "Deficits don't matter"? I'm not endorsing that suggestion, but I do insist that we think about which comes first, the chicken or the egg (money or the building of something that creates the money)


In any case, arguing over Capitalism vs Socialism is a useless exercise because the answer is always going to have a HUGE "IT DEPENDS" prefacing any concrete proposal for building/constructing/implementing/organizing any project.


Medicare for all is indeed "socialist", but you don't promote it by telling everyone it is because that leads down the stupid Capitalism/Socialism rabbit hole that leads only to polarization of opinion.

Submitted on Sunday, Nov 18, 2018 at 6:44:29 PM

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Jill Herendeen

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Reply to Dave Lindorff:   New Content

Don't worry, nobody who'll enact single-payer will get elected unless, somehow, the computers are booted out & the VOTERS get to count the ballots themselves. (Feel free to prove me wrong, though.)

Submitted on Sunday, Nov 18, 2018 at 6:52:16 PM

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John Zwiebel

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"You can't get enough out of the rich"

Says who? This is one of those "lies" that everyone "just knows". I've never seen an analysis of this. Here's my lame attempt.

Recent stories have suggested that 8 (or as few as 3) Oligarchs control more wealth than the bottom 50% of Americans. Jeff Bezos was suppose to have seen his network go up by $44B in the first few months of this year. Let's say those 8 guys are worth $100B each, there is a pool if $800,000,000,000.

An old EPI study says to make the 1% you need wages (not income) of over $700,000.

Pickety says that the 1% take in 20% of America's Income.

Per Capita income is reported in 2017 to be ~$35,000, the census says 350M Americans, making total US income $12,250,000,000,000 or $12T. The 1% then take in $2.4T.

An old CNN story says Sander's plan would cost $1.4T/year.

Looks to me like the rich have more than enough money to cover it. And this is just the 1%.

An interesting but unrelated graph shows that the 1% in Teton WY make $28M/year.

click here

Submitted on Sunday, Nov 18, 2018 at 5:21:40 PM

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John Lawrence Ré

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Reply to Jill Herendeen:   New Content

Wrong. That's just music to the ears of MIC. The solution is changing from a war economy (funding wars abroad) to a civilian economy (funding social programs at home). It'd be like killing two birds with one stone. Succeed with that transformation and there'll plenty of dough to go around.

Submitted on Monday, Nov 19, 2018 at 4:25:52 AM

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Jill Herendeen

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Taxes wouldn't even have to be raised to cover healthcare for all--money could simply be diverted from warmongering. Also, the governments of all single-payer countries MAKE it affordable by limiting what the medical goods & services will cost; they're spending around HALF as much, per person, and getting better results, too. Sounds like Congress is fighting both concepts tooth-and-nail--see Dean Baker's comments about the Bayh-Dole Act in his article, "Will Progressives Ever Think About How We Structure Markets, Instead of Taking Them As Given?"

Submitted on Sunday, Nov 18, 2018 at 1:01:04 PM

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Reply to Jill Herendeen:   New Content

The problem with this is that doctors can not make money. Don't forget it requires an education to become a doctor. If a doctor can not make enough money to live, no body wants to become a doctor.

Also, nationalize heath programs are going broke. Government run health care is nice when the economy is doing great. When there are economic problems, government run healthcare bankrupts the country. Throw in all of the free programs the government gives (which is not really free, they are paid for by bone crushing taxes on people and businesses, ) and you have a system ripe for ruin.


Submitted on Sunday, Nov 18, 2018 at 1:08:40 PM

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Reply to jim smith:   New Content

Pffft. Doctors in single-payer countries aren't suffering, even if they don't get as rich as SOME American docs. They're not burdened by student debt, because educations in those countries are either free or cheap, depending on the country. They're not staggering under the burden of malpractice insurance, because those countries either make malpractice insurance cheap or free...in some, claims of malpractice are investigated directly by the gov't. Nationalized health programs go broke TO THE EXTENT THAT THEY ARE DELIBERATELY UNDERFUNDED. And, "the economy" works or doesn't work depending entirely on gov't policies.


Try again.

Submitted on Sunday, Nov 18, 2018 at 2:39:09 PM

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BFalcon

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Reply to Jill Herendeen:   New Content

Those programs are deliberately underfunded because there is not enough money.

Submitted on Monday, Nov 26, 2018 at 3:20:54 AM

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Reply to jim smith:   New Content

Doctors, anyway, are toward the bottom of the list of Who Gets Rich From For-Profit Healthcare.

Submitted on Sunday, Nov 18, 2018 at 4:12:50 PM

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Dave Lindorff

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Reply to jim smith:   New Content

I call BS. Doctors in Canada make six figure incomes. They live well oon their salaries in Britain's NHS. But they don't make the half million or million a year that specialists can make in the US. And why should they. In socialised medicine societies, meical school is free, but income of doctors is limited. What happens? People go into medicine for the right reason instead of to get rich.


Nothing wrong with that.

Submitted on Sunday, Nov 18, 2018 at 6:16:03 PM

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Reply to Dave Lindorff:   New Content

You might want to add to your analysis that there's nothing preventing a doctor from 'opting out' of medicare for all and opening a for-profit business. Maybe like that Doctor's Concierge that's on that stupid TV show about life in the Hamptons among the very, very rich.


That would give Jim a "choice". Free or costly.

Submitted on Sunday, Nov 18, 2018 at 6:21:38 PM

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Reply to Dave Lindorff:   New Content

Actually medical school is not free in those countries. It is paid for by high taxation.

Submitted on Sunday, Nov 18, 2018 at 9:37:01 PM

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Reply to jim smith:   New Content

"It is paid for by high taxation."


And your definition of "high" is what?


Are you a believer in "You get what you pay for?"


Modern Monetary Theory has been brought up a few times in this discussion, let us consider how it might apply to free college.


The government creates the money out of thin air to put a student through school. Because of this education the individual is a contributing member of society rather than an employee at WalMart depending on a government subsidy to ensure he has enough money to not be homeless.


High taxation only supports Empire Building where one should remember what Eisenhower said.


Here's the problem, your simple answer is impossible to refute because there is nothing to back up the point you think you are making.

Submitted on Sunday, Nov 18, 2018 at 10:17:31 PM

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Dave Lindorff

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Reply to jim smith:   New Content

It's free to the person who wants to learn to be a doctor, and the reason is that as a doctor in a socialised medical system, the doctor is serving the people who paid for her/his education. That's not a gift, it's a social contract.


Dave Lindorff

founding editor of ThisCantBeHappening.net

Submitted on Monday, Nov 19, 2018 at 2:25:07 AM

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Reply to Dave Lindorff:   New Content

You have good thoughts but ... it is more complex.

Submitted on Monday, Nov 26, 2018 at 3:22:23 AM

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Jill Herendeen

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Taxation itself could be entirely unnecessary, IF Congress just created our currency out of thin air, instead of farming out the job to private bankers for their own private profit. But I suspect that the bankers would hate that even more than being heavily taxed.

Submitted on Sunday, Nov 18, 2018 at 1:03:09 PM

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Reply to Jill Herendeen:   New Content

I hear this claim quite often. And to some extent it makes sense. I believe it is called "MMT" or Modern Monetary Theory. (Lots of stuff on the web about that.) Thom Hartman keeps pushing is $20Trillion coin.


Anyway, the dollar is a fiat currency and it is worth a dollar only because the US says that's what it is worth and the rest of the world believes it. Its just as "useful" as me writing out an IOU.


Being a fiat currency, there is no intrinsic value in the dollar. (Even when backed by gold, its like so what? Under what situation is gold of any value to me? I do have a gold class ring that has been in my "safe box" for over 40 years.


Anyway, if government just says XYZ project is worth $$, and then builds that project (or implements the program) then $$ is pumped into the economy. We have a new XYZ which is why the $$ are there. The $$ did not come -before- XYZ was put into place.


This Voodoo economics makes much more sense than the trickle-on.

Submitted on Sunday, Nov 18, 2018 at 5:31:35 PM

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The New Deal really pales before the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights...

Submitted on Sunday, Nov 18, 2018 at 1:52:11 PM

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911TRUTH

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As long as the for-profit health insurance parasites are allowed to exist, this country will never see a true universal single-payer health care system. It will continue to be nothing but a health insurance support system. They are going nowhere, so this tax debate is moot.

And, by the way, Medicare even sucks, too.

Any health care system that covers only 80% of your medical expenses is just simply idiotic, because you can still go bankrupt from that 20% that's not covered.

This country exists only to screw its citizens in every way possible.

Submitted on Sunday, Nov 18, 2018 at 7:14:34 PM

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Reply to 911TRUTH:   New Content
"As long as the for-profit health insurance parasites are allowed to exist,"


This is not true. Here's an ad for private insurance in the UK.


.ukhealthinsurance.com/csi


Now, if your point is that the near-monopoly that Health Insurance companies have on the American Market is causing extra costs that are basically screwing rate-payers, that is true.

Submitted on Sunday, Nov 18, 2018 at 7:32:28 PM

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Reply to 911TRUTH:   New Content

I agree wit you about Medicare. My other half and I have been going over the costs of Part B to see if we could save money by switching from his employer group insurance plan. The answer is no. By the time you pay the standard Medicare premium and the insurance supplement to cover what Medicare doesn't cover, it's cheaper to keep the employer insurance. Once we retire of course, we're stuck with the more expensive Medicare. It's been messed with by law makers to be unaffordable for people on a fixed income. All you can do is use your life accumulated assets to make up the difference.


When people say Medicare for All I say NO, Single Payer!

Submitted on Sunday, Nov 18, 2018 at 11:24:51 PM

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Reply to Lois Gagnon:   New Content

Wow! I am saving $300/month by picking up a Part F vs my employers offer of "retirement insurance".


But then, you said "standard medicare premium" and that bothers me since being over 65 I have to join Medicare. My employer insurance required it, Medicare appears to require it. Then there's the part D (Drug) policy that will charge a premium if you don't sign up at 65 or have "credible insurance" from some other outlet (like your ex-employer insurance.)


But then you also confuse the issue by suggesting you haven't retired yet. OK, before retiring my employer insurance was $1600/month. When I retired and it became "secondary insurance" with the primary insurance then it dropped to $800/month.


But then you really confused me when you said:

"When people say Medicare for All I say NO, Single Payer!"

Huh? They are the same thing!


No wonder this issue is going no where. There is so much misinformation and confusion about what "Healthcare" is that we campaign against what we think we want.

Submitted on Monday, Nov 19, 2018 at 2:08:11 AM

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Reply to John Zwiebel:   New Content

Single payer would eliminate private insurance. Medicare does not. Not in its present form anyway.

Submitted on Monday, Nov 19, 2018 at 3:35:48 AM

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Dave, please investigate modern Monetary Theory (MMT), which explains how the monetary policy of a nation such as the U.S., with a fiat currency, ACTUALLY works, despite the claims of the deficit and debt hawks in BOTH wings of the One Corporate Party.

Federal taxes do NOT fund federal programs. Money is printed and then SPENT into the economy and taxes make sure that currency is used and, if inflation gets too high, taxes can control it.

But in such a fiat currency system, not only can the U.S. NEVER go bankrupt; it can print as much money as needed to fund federal programs, unlike state and local governments and households, which MUST "balance" their budgets.

Economics Professor Stephanie Kelton, who was an adviser to Bernie Sanders in his 2016 campaign, is a strong proponent of MMT: Stephanie Kelton Wants You to Rethink the Deficit - Barron's click here

Submitted on Sunday, Nov 18, 2018 at 8:06:09 PM

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Sumitra Joy

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Single Payer = One payer. All this means is that an entity (in this case the US federal government) would pay all the bills. This one payer would not own, control, or manage any buildings, clinics, pharmacies or health care providers.

Socialized Medicine = The government owns, runs and controls everything including all the buildings, hospitals, clinics, doctors, all medical workers, pharmacies, equipment, etc.(i.e.The Veterans Administration is the closest thing the US has to "socialized medicine").

Universal Health Care = Everyone is covered rich, poor, all ages from cradle to grave.

I encourage you to support H.R. 676 National "Improved" Medicare for All (NIMA). First introduced by Rep. John Conyers in 2003, the NIMA now has 123 co-sponsors in the House. H.R. 676 is a Single Payer AND Universal Health Care system. https://www.congress.gov/ bill /115th-congress/house- bill /676

Why is H.R. 676 NIMA "Improved" Medicare for All?

1. Unlike traditional Medicare, H.R. 676 NIMA will cover everyone, rich and poor alike, so that its budget can not be cut or under funded. H.R. 676 NIMA will cover all medical, prescription, dental, vision, long term care, & mental health needs. Everyone will be covered from cradle to grave (or prenatal to end of life).

2. H.R. 676 NIMA will have no premiums, no co-pays, no deductibles. H.R. 676 NIMA will be funded by using the federal budgets/funds from the current federal programs (i.e. Medicare, Medicaid, ACA, CHIP, FEHB ). H.R. 676 NIMA will also be funded by new taxes, but only for those who can afford to pay (progressive taxation).

3. H.R. 676 NIMA removes all for profit insurance companies as well as removes all ACO's and HCO's (Accountability and Health Care Organizations) that siphon off millions for administration as part of the "oversight" and regulation of the current system.

For more information please go to healthoverprofit.org Thank you!

Submitted on Sunday, Nov 18, 2018 at 9:17:09 PM

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Reply to Sumitra Joy:   New Content

Not really wanting to pick a fight, but while I appreciate the nuance in the definitions you provide about the 3 types of healthcare, they all fit into the "Socialist" category of the bi-polar debate about Socialism vs Capitalism.


It isn't really useful to declare Socialism or Capitalism are "best" because operation of a society is never, ever one or the other. There is no third option in this debate. Not because there shouldn't be, but because that is the way the debate is structured. I know you think there is another option, but the people you are trying to convince to support Medicare for All don't think so.


I'm not sure why you mention "Universal Health Care" because (at least in theory) that can be accomplished in either a Capitalist (as in Obamacare) or Socialist program (as in Medicare for All)


So why even argue the point about whether or not Medicare for All is Socialist or not (it is, but that's beside the point and no one understands the difference between Socialist and Socialized). Just argue that it will cover everybody, it will save all of us a lot of money, yes a few of us may have to pay a little bit more than we do now, but the trade off is that as you progress through life and perhaps have some unfortunate reversals, you will STILL be covered.

Submitted on Sunday, Nov 18, 2018 at 10:29:48 PM

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Reply to John Zwiebel:   New Content

Hi John,

I am not arguing any points. I am just relaying information and clarifying current definitions as they relate to health care systems. For example, one could have a single payer system that is not universal. The original, traditional Medicare was such a system. Unfortunately, like Medicaid, Medicare is now becoming more privatized (i.e.Medicare Advantage plans) which is another topic of discussion.

Thank you and be well!

Sumitra ;-)

Submitted on Sunday, Nov 18, 2018 at 11:35:17 PM

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Reply to Sumitra Joy:   New Content

There is no money for HR 676

Submitted on Monday, Nov 26, 2018 at 3:25:27 AM

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I would suggest that the country return to the constitutional responsibility of being for, of and by the people. Once upon a time, I was willing to have my taxes increased for universal healthcare, but no longer now that I know what our military budget is.


Our warring ways NEED TO END.



Submitted on Monday, Nov 19, 2018 at 4:31:48 AM

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Lois Gagnon

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Reply to Leslie Johnson:   New Content

Agreed. Empire needs to become obsolete. We can't afford it as a species.

Submitted on Monday, Nov 19, 2018 at 1:32:53 PM

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