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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 3/20/20

The glaring dishonesty of Biden and the Democratic Party establishment

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Joe Biden - Caricature
Joe Biden - Caricature
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As far as honesty goes, I expect nothing from the Republican Party. It's now a personality cult headed by a childish narcissist who lies with abandon and respects nothing and no one, not even himself. By leaving so much of the moral continuum unoccupied, Trump and the GOP have enabled most Democrats to smugly assume they speak the truth and possess the moral high ground.

This delusion permits them, even during a pandemic, to prefer a presidential candidate who says he's ready to veto Medicare-for-All if he becomes President, and whose mental decline has been obvious for at least a year. He has a long history of lies and fabrications. For some examples, go to YouTube. During the March 15 debate, Sanders dramatically and insistently called Biden on his repeated lies about supporting cuts to Social Security and Medicare:

Sanders: "One more time. Were you on the floor time and time again, for whatever reason, talking about the need to cut Social Security and Medicare and veterans programs?"

Biden: "No, I did not talk about the need to cut any of those programs."

Sanders: "Okay. All that I would say to the American people, go to YouTube. It's all over the place. Joe said it many, many times. I'm surprised. You can defend it or change your mind on it, but you can't deny the reality."

For instance, in this video Biden says: "When I argued that we should freeze federal spending, I meant Social Security as well. I meant Medicare and Medicaid. I meant veterans benefits. . . .I tried it once, I tried it twice. I tried it a third time and I tried it a fourth time." What if the roles were reversed and Sanders were caught in such a lie? The corporate media and pundits would be all over it. We can expect the Trump election team to incessantly remind voters about Biden's dishonesty as a way of lowering Democratic turnout in the general election.

House Majority Whip James Clyburn's sonorous endorsement of Biden just before the South Carolina primary on Feb. 29 was like a divine wind igniting the dying embers of Uncle Joe's campaign. The fire then spread to ten states on Super Tuesday, four more a week later and three more on the 17th. The remaining centrist candidates (Klobuchar, Buttigieg and Bloomberg) dropped out and joined former candidates Yang and O'Rourke in a rapture of endorsements for Biden. Biden's handlers began carefully metering his public appearances to minimize his lapses into incoherent spontaneity.

On Monday evening, March 10, with all signs suggesting Biden was on the verge of a second Super Tuesday triumph, Clyburn magisterially proclaimed that "if the night ends the way it has begun, I think it is time for us to shut this primary down, it is time for us to cancel the rest of these debates." The kingmaker's muscles were bulging. The message had gone forth, especially in the African-American community: vote for the "electable one," not for the guy whose universal health care plan you support.

The pharmaceutical industry is glad that Clyburn's halted Sanders' campaign for Medicare for All. According to the Daily Beast, Clyburn "has received more from drugmaker PACs over the past decade than any other member of Congress more than $1.09 million." According to Statista, "In 2019, the pharmaceuticals and health products industry in the United States spent the most on lobbying efforts, totaling to about 295.17 million U.S. dollars."

As Brett Norman and Sarah Karlin-Smith explained in Politico (7/13/16), the Obama administration cut a deal with the pharmaceutical industry (PhRMA) back in 2009: it "agreed to pay $90 billion to help fund the [Obamacare] insurance expansion an expansion that would also happen to deliver millions of new, paying customers to the drug companies." In return, PhRMA got Obama to agree that Medicare would not negotiate for drug prices, and there would be no reimportation of drugs from Canada. It will spend whatever it takes to preserve this agreement.

Obamacare has been a joy ride for drug manufacturers. As reported by CBS NEWS, "More than 3,400 drugs have boosted their prices in the first six months of 2019," and "The average price hike is 10.5%, or 5 times the rate of inflation." Over the last decade, the price of insulin has tripled even though the product has remained the same. Insulin is a life-saving medicine for diabetics, many of whom are at risk from rationing their doses because of price.

Biden and the other centrist also-rans have engaged in a campaign of deceitful talking points pushed by the health care industry to defeat Medicare for All (M4A). They've depicted M4A as imposing a single 'one size fits all' plan that would rob freedom-loving Americans of their CHOICE of plans. In reality, most private insurance plans impose preferred provider networks that limit the choice of doctors and hospitals. If you have employer insurance, then you must accept the new employer's choice of plan. The insurer can change the provider networks at renewal time. If you change jobs, you're forced into a different plan not of your choice.

Biden admits that his "public option" alternative to M4A would cover only 97% of Americans, leaving 3% uninsured even in a best-case outcome. Think about that nearly 10 million people deliberately left uninsured by a man whom Beto O'Rourke endorsed as "the antithesis of Donald Trump. Joe Biden is decent. He's kind. He's caring. He's empathetic." If you find yourself among the left-outs, you must accept that even this saintly man did not consider your life and health worth much.

The worst lie that Biden and the Democratic establishment has peddled is that we can't afford M4A. We now spend twice as much on healthcare as other high-income countries. They have universal health care and better outcomes. We have 44 million uninsured and another 38 million under-insured. The Democratic establishment knows this--its dishonesty is inexcusable.

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Brian Cooney Social Media Pages: Facebook Page       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

I'm a retired philosophy professor at Centre College. My last book was Posthumanity-Thinking Philosophically about the Future (Rowman & Littlefield, 2004). I am an anti-capitalist.

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