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Sanders writes: "I want to talk with you about one of the very real differences between Secretary Clinton and me that surfaced during last weekend's debate, and that is our approach to health care in this country."

Bernie Sanders. (photo: Arun Chaudhary)
Bernie Sanders. (photo: Arun Chaudhary)

Single-Payer Health Care

By Bernie Sanders, Reader Supported News

24 December 15


want to talk with you about one of the very real differences between Secretary Clinton and me that surfaced during last weekend's debate, and that is our approach to health care in this country.

I was, and all progressives should be, deeply disappointed in some of her attacks on a Medicare-for-all, single-payer health care system. The health insurance lobbyists and big pharmaceutical companies try to make "national health care" sound scary. It is not.

In fact, a large single-payer system already exists in the United States. It's called Medicare and the people enrolled give it high marks. More importantly, it has succeeded in providing near-universal coverage to Americans over age 65 in a very cost-effective manner.

So I want to go over some facts with you and ask that you take action on this important issue:

Right now, because of the gains made under the Affordable Care Act, 17 million people have health care who did not before the law was passed. This is a good start, and something we should be proud of. But we can do better.

The truth is, it is a national disgrace that the United States is the only major country that does not guarantee health care to all people as a right. Today, 29 million of our sisters and brothers are without care. Not only are deductibles rising, but the cost of prescription drugs is skyrocketing as well. There is a major crisis in primary health care in the United States.

So I start my approach to health care from two very simple premises:

  1. Health care must be recognized as a right, not a privilege -- every man, woman and child in our country should be able to access quality care regardless of their income.

  2. We must create a national system to provide care for every single American in the most cost-effective way possible.

I expected to take some heat on these fundamental beliefs during a general election, but since it is already happening in the Democratic primary, I want to address some of the critiques made by Secretary Clinton and Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal directly:

Under my plan, we will lower the cost of health care for the average family making $50,000 a year by nearly $5,000 a year. It is unfair to say simply how much more a program will cost without letting people know we are doing away with the cost of private insurance and that the middle class will be paying substantially less for health care under a single-payer system than Hillary Clinton's program. Attacking the cost of the plan without acknowledging the bottom-line savings is the way Republicans have attacked this idea for decades. Taking that approach in a Democratic Primary undermines the hard work of so many who have fought to guarantee health care as a right in this country, and it hurts our prospects for achieving that goal in the near future. I hope that it stops.

Let me also be clear that a Medicare-for-all, single-payer health care system will expand employment by lifting a major financial weight off of the businesses burdened by employee health expenses. And for the millions of Americans who are currently in jobs they don't like but must stay put because of health care access, they would be free to explore more productive opportunities as they desire.

So, what is stopping us from guaranteeing free, quality health care as a basic fundamental right for all Americans? I believe the answer ties into campaign finance reform.

The truth is, the insurance companies and the drug companies are bribing the United States Congress.

I want to make health care a right for every American. The health care industry doesn't like that very much, so they're flooding my opponents with cash. Fight back against those who want to stop a Medicare-for-all, single-payer system with a contribution to our campaign.

Now, I don't go around asking millionaires and billionaires for money. You know that. I don't think I'm going to get a whole lot of contributions from the health care and pharmaceutical industries. I don't like to kick a man when he is down, but when some bad actors have tried to contribute to our campaign, like the pharmaceutical CEO Martin Shkreli who jacked up the price of a life saving drug for AIDS patients, I donated his contribution to an AIDS clinic in Washington, D.C.

Secretary Clinton, on the other hand, has received millions of dollars from the health care and pharmaceutical industries, a number that is sure to rise as time goes on. Since 1998, there are no industries that have spent more money to influence legislators than these two. Billions of dollars! An absolutely obscene amount of money. And in this election cycle alone, Secretary Clinton has raised more money from the health care industry than did the top 3 Republicans -- combined.

Now, and let's not be naive about this, maybe they are dumb and don't know what they are going to get? But I don't think that's the case, and I don't believe you do either.

So, what can we do about it?

Changing the health care laws in this country in such a way that guarantees health care as a right and not a privilege will require nothing short of a political revolution. That's what this campaign is about and it is work we must continue long after I am elected the next President of the United States.

And because of the success we have enjoyed so far, I am more convinced today than ever before that universal quality health care as a right for all Americans will eventually become the law of the land.

It is the only way forward.

Thank you for standing with me on this important issue. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+34 # PeacefulGarden 2015-12-24 12:27

You mean there is something better than my ACA Health Insurance? Please, I truly enjoy sending money to an insurance company for an account that has 12,000.00 USD deduuuuuctable. You mean to tell me that even though I have Health Insurance I may not have access to Health Care. Nawh, no way.

Health Care, access to a doctor, nurse, and a hospital should cost lots and lots and lots of money, because if it doesn't then we won't get the innovation and our doctors and hospital CEO(s) will not be able to afford their payments on their used honda civics, and we cannot have our doctors driving around in a used car, all rusty and the doors creak, that would be really bad. Gosh, they might even have to walk to work.

In fact, I think the doctors and CEO(s) should get a big raise so they can afford to drive nice cars, cars that purrrr, and never squeek when you put the brakes on. Doctors and CEO(s) need more things, bigger and better things, so they can be better at what they do.

In fact, I think we all need to pool together on this site and give all of our money to the doctors and CEO(s). Go on, you can do it. Give them all of your money. And, do something fancy like use your credit card. You need to go deep into debt so that doctors and CEO(s) can get more things.

Doctors and CEO(s) need a big pile of money. You all know that.
+11 # Karlus58 2015-12-25 15:21
As a retired doctor, I agree! But let me also set the record straight....phy sician payments amount to approximately 15% of the healthcare dollars. The biggest takers are the hospitals and DME's(Durable Medical Equipment).
+103 # Radscal 2015-12-24 14:30
My wife (a pediatric critical care nurse) and I were shocked when Ms. Clinton created her 1993 health care plan in secret meetings with medical industry insiders and lobbyists.

So, when she unveiled it and we all saw it was a huge gift to the industry that would cost us more and still leave tens of millions without coverage, we were appalled, but not surprised.

Despite her claims to being a "progressive," we were not at all surprised when she disingenuously cited the right-wing talking points against Senator Sanders' Medicare for all plan.

Health care should be a right.
A living wage should be a right.
Equal opportunity (the American Dream) should be a right.
We should have a government of, by and for the people, not the 0.01%.

Sanders is the best chance we've had in more than 1/2 century to achieve the most good.
-28 # wantrealdemocracy 2015-12-24 15:49
"Sanders is the 'best chance we've had in more that 1/2 century" of the current crop of corporate puppets the dems and repubs are putting up---but that don't make him GOOD, he is the best of a bad lot.

Bernie never mentions Isreal and the tons of our tax funds that are given to that evil nation to kill Palestinians and steal their land and water. He never mentions that he votes for the HUGE military budget to wage war against all the nations in the middle east that stand in the way of the Israeli's sick dream of "Greater Israel". The Israelis claim the GOD gave them the deed to all the land from the Mediterranean to the Tigris and
Euphrates Rivers. I'd like to see that deed. Is it on stone tablets?

I want our tax funds to be used to take care of our needs at home and to protect all life on earth. We should bring ALL OF OUR TROOPS HOME and put them to work rebuilding our nation. We must end ALL military funding to the apartheid nation of Israel.
+29 # Radscal 2015-12-24 18:31
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Sanders has consistently called for Israel to pull back and recognize a sovereign State of Palestine. Of course, at least officially, so have many. But, being a Jew, he may actually have the standing to finally stand up to the Nazi Zionists.

BTW: Why is it most of the people I meet who call for radical democracy, hold views shared by only a minority?
+14 # ritawalpoleague 2015-12-25 10:01
And, Radscal, let's not forget that it was Bernie who lead members of U.S. Congress to refuse to attend Zionist Israel's "Nasty Net's" non-invited appearance and address. And, all the while, excellent sources have educated me on the reality of Hillary Clinton's being a 'biggie' on the Zionist AIPAC's bought off politicians list.


-8 # PeacefulGarden 2015-12-24 18:42
The state of Isreal should give all of its money to American doctors. The Palestinians should stop everything, and give all of the money, blankets, rubble, food, clothing, to the doctors of America. Doctors must have money. Doctors need to have very expensive boats on the Tigris, and they need slaves to cook their meals from fish taken from the some middle eastern river. Doctor need big piles of money. All of the military funding needs to go to doctors and hospitals in America. You know that. Fund the doctors. Who cares about troops? What is your problem. Get out your wallet and give your freaking money to some doctor. Okay?
+33 # Farafalla 2015-12-24 17:05
"Sanders is the best chance we've had in more than 1/2 century to achieve the most good." Exactly. He might be our last chance too.
-3 # PeacefulGarden 2015-12-24 18:28
Health Care needs to be VERY expensive. It needs to be so expensive that the sick person needs to be working full time and making schlongs of paychecks. In fact, sick people must have piles of money to pay the doctors who needs to have piles of money. For with out the piles of money, sick people cannot and never should exist. In fact, Darwin says they should simply lay down and die if they don't have enough money. Darwin told me, in a dream, that only the fit survive, the rest should die off, making a super race that can pay premiums to doctors and CEO(s). For lo, and do not make hast, all of us should give all of our money to any doctor or hospital we see. In fact, everyone should walk into a hospital and give all of their money until they have no more money left, then they can live on the street, eat out of trash cans, and get sick, then not get health care because they have no money left and all the doctors have our money. All of the doctors need all of our money. Because without it they can not give us health. We must have health, and lose all of our money.

We don't need politicians, we need doctors with big piles of money.
+23 # Inspired Citizen 2015-12-24 14:41
While there are more optimistic people out there, Revolt Against Plutocracy is convinced Bernie will need leverage and Convention insurance to secure the nomination. Have you taken the Bernie or bust pledge?
-5 # PeacefulGarden 2015-12-24 18:45
Inspired Citizen, stop everything and make a pledge to make a doctor have more money. Doctors need more money, to secure the nomination. Have you given money to a doctor lately, I bet you haven't. So, reach into your wallet, pull out your credit card, and give a doctor 12,000.00 USD. He needs it. Bernie needs to give money to doctors too.
+4 # lfeuille 2015-12-24 20:59
This is going to backfire. Do you really believe that people like DWS would rather see Bernie president than a Republican. She has been accused of withholding support from Dems running for Congress against her Republican friends. I don't know if this is true, but I do know that she does not want to shake up the establishment as Bernie would do.
+36 # Barbara K 2015-12-24 14:56
Bernie, will it be the Medicare we have now? Will you be able to eliminate the 20% that Medicare doesn't cover? Will you cover everything, not only what Medicare wants to cover? Will you eliminate the rising yearly deduction that the Rs just raised again. Will you have it also cover office visits? I certainly hope so, as the Rs are making Medicare nearly unaffordable now. It would be great if it would also cover hearing aids and glasses and dental too.
I hope you can do all that with single payer Medicare. Not only get us single payer but the best single payer Medicare ever. Thanks, Bernie.
+3 # lfeuille 2015-12-24 21:05
In the debate last Saturday, the moderator ask Bernie about the financing of his plan and prefaced the question by saying that it would have no deductibles or copays. Bernie appeared to agreed with that statement, so I assume that it would eliminate the 20% copay and the deductible. I don't know about vision and dental.
0 # Rain17 2015-12-26 16:23
I would just love to see how Bernie expects to get his plan through a Congress that is likely to remain Republican-cont rolled after the 2016 elections.
+37 # PABLO DIABLO 2015-12-24 15:29
THANK YOU Senator Sanders. We need you. Vote and tell your friends to vote. Bernie may be out last chance. I need to mention that Obama and Congress approved one trillion dollars ($1,000,000,000 ,000) to upgrade our nuclear weapons but refused to consider "single payer" for Affordable Care Act. And, Obama took $350 million ($350,000,000) from Big Pharma and Wall Street in 2008.
+11 # Shades of gray matter 2015-12-24 15:33
I appreciate Sanders keeping the IDEA of universal coverage alive, increasingly legitimate to more folks. He is running an Education Campaign, win or lose.
RSN had a GREAT Dec for coverage; SEND $$.
Trump is even higher in anonymous polls than in the ones we see. Closet racists.
He is to be treated very, very seriously.
And remember, Syria is NOW very, very COMPLEX. Reject simplistic glib proposals about totally unrealistic walkaways, coalitions, etc. Like Big Insurers & Big Pharmas, Saudis will continue to gouge US.
+8 # jdd 2015-12-24 21:26
This not the time for "good tries." Hillary is a dangerous war-monger and Wall Street asset.
Syria starts with exposing the Saudi hand behind 911 and ending the Obama obsession with regime change. Not that complicated.
+18 # Mainiac 2015-12-24 16:15
I love Bernie and I am working for his election. But he needs to explain how single-payer would work.

Every citizen would get a card like a drivers license, which would be presented to your primary care doctor or your specialist when you go for your appointment. The government - the single-payer - would pay for your treatment according to a pre-arranged scale. Since hospitals would operate on a budget authorized by a government body, no one gets re-imbursed directly for your treatment at those sites.

There are variations on this scheme. Many countries pay for either dental care or eye care but only one or two pay for both.
Under some systems, doctors are employees of the health care service so they are paid a salary and there is no re-imbursement process. In others, Canada is one, doctors are self-employed.

All are really rather simple systems and peple should understand how they work. Medicare is not a great example because the service does not cover that much and seniors are forced to take out private insurance to get more cocerage.
-1 # RNLDaWy 2015-12-24 18:18
That payout is over time with Republicans ruling in the last 50 years .. Clinton tried to revamp it .. Obama definitely tried and improved things .. yeah .. why should old people who as they get older can not possibly work still be liable for costs? That is picked up by the states but not until the income and assets fall below a minimum .. and once on Medicaid .. they have the right to go through the individual who's died and recover those costs assets to reimburse what they spent in covering that person .. it's a fucking sham .. man one big sham .. everyone here buys into that horseshit .. plain and simple a scam sham ..
+7 # jdd 2015-12-24 21:23
To avoid all of this, and expose Hillary's slanders, simply refer to it, as did Cong. Conyers in his widely supported bill sabotaged by Obama, Expanded and Improved Medicare for All, HR 676. or just simply Medicare for All.
0 # Rain17 2015-12-26 16:26
My question is, were to Bernie win the election, how does he expect it get through a Republican-cont rolled Congress?
+13 # Shorey13 2015-12-24 16:57
Go Bernie!!!
+8 # djnova50 2015-12-24 17:01
Physicians for a National Health Plan has a Frequently Asked Questions section on its websited:

I have Medicare and Medicaid. I do not have to pay monthly premiums or co-pays. I also have a limited income prescription plan. My co-pays for my prescriptions are fairly reasonable. I think a single payer system would be similar to a combination of Medicare and Medicaid.
+17 # reiverpacific 2015-12-24 18:18
Quoting djnova50:
Physicians for a National Health Plan has a Frequently Asked Questions section on its websited:

I have Medicare and Medicaid. I do not have to pay monthly premiums or co-pays. I also have a limited income prescription plan. My co-pays for my prescriptions are fairly reasonable. I think a single payer system would be similar to a combination of Medicare and Medicaid.

No; it would be even better.
You'd have NO co-pays and 100% coverage as opposed to the current 80% .
It would take the form of a relatively small tax during your working life which would also cover everybody, working or not, cradle to grave, and would cover Medical, Dental, Mental, Optometric and Chiropractic as a human right, as it is in "Civilized" countries!
I deeply resent the requirement that I must pay $104.00 monthly if I want Part B Medicare, as I've been paying into it all my working life in the USA, which would also be eliminated.
If, as I plan to prove soon, I put $104.00/month ($1,248) into a medical travel account, I can go to my home country, UK/Scotland -with my lifelong NHS card, have an annual checkup, any treatment prescribed in short order, and return with any prescription as required (fortunately for me, not necessary so far).
As I age, I'm strongly considering moving back with my American wife, so we may have at least health security.
Or if Bernie is successful in pushing and achieving his SOCIALIST goals.
+11 # RNLDaWy 2015-12-24 18:12
Bernie is right on about this. We almost had it with Obama Care until Jumpin Joe Lieberman lobbied for the insurance industry in CT his state and vote against the Public Option which would have been the 60th vote . which would have allowed those getting Obamacare would also be able to buy into the Medicare Program. The flaws in Obamacare are the insurance industry at the top of the model .. and the congressional law which requires you show how the program is paid for before it can be enacted into law. That punished single young men and women who pay exorbitantly to make up for the give away the underclass and medicaid .. The initial costs will be great .. i'd pay it out of a tax increase on the upper 3 to 5% of the money makers .... Shame on Hillary for knocking Bernie on it .. she pretty much was for it during Bills first term .. now she's a 'Fiscal Realist' .. same nonsense as the Repubs ...
-12 # PeacefulGarden 2015-12-24 18:36
Bernie is wrong. He needs to stop everything he is doing and give all of his money to a doctor. In fact he needs to tell all of us, in one of those speeches he gives, that all of us needs to give all of our money to doctors and hospitals. End of story. Sick people must never have money. Healthy people must never have money. Doctor must have all the money. Hospital CEO(s) should make 3 millions dollars a week.
0 # Robbee 2015-12-24 18:47
of all the nerve! inspired zomblican troll alert! - # Inspired Citizen 2015-12-24 14:41 "Have you taken the Bernie or bust pledge?"

- citizen, at long last! thanks! outs RAP! - Republicans Against Progress! - says - # Inspired Citizen 2015-12-10 18:10 "It's going to be #BerrnieOrElse the GOP. That's RAP's promise!"

- humbug! as says # Scott Galindez 2015-10-20 10:28 “Its not leverage; threats backfire, especially empty ones. Bernie will not run as an independent. Bernie needs enough delegates at that convention to win, not signers on a petition making an undemocratic threat.”

or, as says - Daily Kos - The privileged idiocy of 'Just let the Republicans win’, Laurence Lewis, Sunday Dec 13, 2015 - “Whenever I hear a self-described progressive say that we ought to let the Republicans win the presidency and thus force the Democratic Party to adhere to "our principles," my first reaction is to assume that the person speaking is but another privileged idiot: ... doesn’t live paycheck to paycheck, doesn’t have to worry about whether he’ll be able to afford his medical bills or whether he’ll have a roof over his head next month ...

"But privileged idiots apparently don’t remember recent history, and how well such petulance worked out in 2000, when some hoped suffering through a Bush presidency would fix the Democratic Party ... or don't care to understand what real suffering is!"

listen to bernie! DON'T pledge to, or write him, in! - go bernie!
+5 # RNLDaWy 2015-12-24 22:13
You are correct Robbie. Here's what i said and have been saying for a while. You can't stop the monetists from monetizing everything! However, and except in the case of healthcare for all for FREE!!! Paid for by the government. Then everyone would benefit except the big lobby that benefits through the private system today. Then employers would not be responsible for providing healthcare .. they can't the privatized system has killed that old and now defunct model .. they would be out .. we could work part time full time what ever time . if you did not like your job it would not matter you could quit and still have healthcare ... then move on to you fucking LIFE ... instead of having to struggle and be part of the uncovered UNDERCLASS which this has all created since Ronald Reagan .. when this really began .. it's fucking INSANE!!!
+6 # Robbee 2015-12-24 18:59
"And because of the success we have enjoyed so far, I am more convinced today than ever before that universal quality health care as a right for all Americans will eventually become the law of the land.

"Thank you for standing with me on this important issue."

- you're welcome! and thanks, sir, for raising the issue! it's our fight every bit as much as yours! each of us, everyone!
+6 # Stilldreamin1 2015-12-24 19:37
Still more important is the difference between them on the issue of the US empire- Clinton is comfortable with it while Sanders policy plans and the empire are mutually exclusive. The US empire has claimed the lives of millions throughout the world. History does not include the record of a single empire which was responsive to the will of its citizens.
+1 # Stilldreamin1 2015-12-24 19:41
We used terror across the Americas. We terrorized Vietnam. Shock and awe is terror. Drone murder is terror. Sanders has no business reciting the war on terror script as though it has any connection to reality.
+7 # RnR 2015-12-24 21:05
The insurance companies are lowering the reimbursement amounts to providers. Providers are then cutting staff to make up the lost revenue. Not a safe situation (think hospitals, pharmacies etc.,) working short staffed 24/7.

Single payer could hopefully alleviate that. The providers don't care, they're all (thank you federal government) corporations.

As to why the insurance companies are lowering reimbursements, I have no clue. They were gifted millions more members by the ACA. Must be just an attack of greed.
+6 # RNLDaWy 2015-12-24 21:28
That's what happens in a privatised model. The providers have to go to strip staffing .. in uk they are trying to bust that system .. closing hospitals .. causing back ups and results in waiting to get treated .. they just screwed all the doctors via their false crisis .. then they cut doctors salaries .. and increased their hours .. doctors held a strike and walkout .. saying the changes create a potentially dangerous situation for patients . meanwhile the privatizing pricks count the dollars and laugh at us all and if they could they would piss on us all .. because we are viewed as PEE ONs .. pun intended ...
-3 # PeacefulGarden 2015-12-24 22:25
Give those UK doctors money. They need it
+4 # RNLDaWy 2015-12-25 12:58
You miss the point .. the forces to be in the UK gov are influenced by the healthcare privatizers international from the USA .. they privqatised the railroads tehre .. same game as Reagan Repubs did .. saying government is bad can't run anything .. we're business men we know how to do it .. then what happens is you have private industry running the services of government and the privatised model is in place .. that's what's going on in UK .. killing that national healthcare system ..
+4 # RnR 2015-12-25 18:44
Exactly and now the privatization pricks will merge with 'Merkin companies in order to speed the spread their unique brand of filth globally.
-2 # PeacefulGarden 2015-12-24 22:23
Send money to doctors.
+11 # Vardoz 2015-12-24 23:35
We are tired of being ripped off by insurance companies - Our lives are at stake and we need and deserve a single payer system in the richest nation in the history of the world! The 99% are being abused and our health, safety and welfare threatened so that health insurance companies can make a profit off of sick people!!!! This is an outrage. We are sick and tired of the game being rigged against us. This is we so many are voting for Bernie Sanders!!!
-1 # Rain17 2015-12-26 16:46
Then you're going to have to convince the 30-40% of Americans who are opposed to anything near single-payer because they don't want to pay for "those peoples'" healthcare.
+12 # futhark 2015-12-25 02:00
Senator Sanders is very astute in making the important, but often overlooked, point that under the current medical insurance system, people are often "trapped" in a job or occupation they would rather leave, but can't afford to because that would involve losing their medical coverage. Decoupling medical insurance from employment could potentially release millions of people to explore using their talents and skills in new, creative ways. It is called freedom.
+1 # Radscal 2015-12-26 02:11
Quite right.

Currently, the majority of the payments to health insurance companies is made by businesses. That's part of why health insurance sucks. The buyer is not the ultimate consumer, so has different interests.

When we turn to USP healthcare, we must make sure these businesses are not the beneficiaries. That is, the money they currently pay to insurance companies should be added 100% to the employees' paychecks.

Employees will get a raise, and then since Medicare + will cost less than insurance, they will still see bigger paychecks even after paying into the plan.
-6 # FDRva 2015-12-25 11:30
Fine words.

I would have more faith that they meant much if:

A)Bernie had made a notable stand--not just a speech--for Single Payer--during the long debates in 2009-10 over ACA, and

B) If Barack Obama hadn't said similar words--and then sold us Romney-care--wi th Bernie's vote, and

C)If Bernie's campaign wasn't dominated by many of the operatives who sold us Obama--particul arly on the online $ side.

Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice...
0 # Rain17 2015-12-26 16:27
What was the alternative at the time? Pass nothing--and sentence millions of Americans to financial ruination or, even worse, death? Or pass the ACA, however flawed, and live to fight another day?
+4 # angelfish 2015-12-25 21:41
Give me a man who WANTS to HELP Americans deal with these very pressing issues of the day rather than Fear Mongering and rattling the Bars for more and MORE War! GO Bernie!
+1 # elkingo 2015-12-26 13:59
[quote name="sharsand" ] "...They have enough money--at some point they need to say "enough-is-enou gh..."

sharsand. you are onto a real biggie. A hugeie! And rarely articulated. The notion of "enough" - call it "sufficiency" or "enoughness". (The ancient Greek value of "the Golden Mean). The oligarch rulers simply DON'T NEED so much money (or ratings) when that vast disparity in this culture threatens to capsize it, let alone the world, with the egreious global suffering it incurs. They have to part with a lot of it.This of course flies in the face of the enshrined capitalist system. This country is a theme park - Moreland!
-1 # Rain17 2015-12-26 16:23
This is great but I'd love to see how he expects it to get it through a Republican House and Senate assuming that he even wins the general election. Where is he going to get the votes to get it through Congress?

I'll say it again. I've said a million times over and over again. Single-payer or any other form of universal healthcare will remain a political nonstarter until American attitudes toward government, especially social programs, change for the better. You have too many Americans whose position is:

"I shouldn't have to pay for other peoples' healthcare. I don't want my tax dollars paying for 'those peoples' healthcare' (i.e. minorities on welfare, illegal/undocum ented immigrants, those 'who won't get a job', and other 'undeserving' groups.) at my expense."

And that is even before these people mention the fear of a "government takeover of healthcare", "long waiting lines", and "losing the right to pick my own doctor". That's why those ads that Patients United Now and Conservative for Patients Rights were so effective during the debate for the ACA.

Until the number of people who have this position significantly decreases, anything more than the ACA is politically a nonstarter. That is the biggest challenge.
+1 # angelfish 2015-12-27 17:04
If Democrats sit at home refusing to even get INTO the game, we are finished! We out-number them and there is NO reason on God's green Earth that we should lose to them. If we do, it's because we sat at home crying in our Beer instead of getting UP, getting OUT and voting the Bast*rds OUT and voting Bernie Sanders IN, along with a Democratic House and Senate! It's REALLY a "NO-Brainer! Just DO it!
+2 # rhgreen 2015-12-27 22:34
Yawn. Sorry, as a Canadian I am bored by all this foo-forah about single-payer health care. We have had it for half a century. It works fine. Tommy Douglas introduced it in Saskatchewan in 1960-61 and it became national in 1966. Wikipedia: "In 2004, a CBC Television program named Tommy Douglas "The Greatest Canadian", based on a Canada-wide, viewer-supporte d survey." No political party, not even Stephen Harper's right-wing Conservatives, has dared to campaign against the Canadian single-payer medicare system. They would be slaughtered. The last poll I know of had 82% of Canadians preferring the Canadian system to the American "non-system". All studies have found it to be far more cost-effective, and all the health outcomes are better. I have lived under both and I do my best to not get sick or have an accident in the US. When Tommy Douglas brought in medicare as Premier of Saskatchewan the doctors went on strike and claimed that Douglas would import foreign doctors to make his plan work, and they used racist images to try to scare the public. The private sector medical establishment in the US uses scare tactics in a similar way to keep out a single payer system. Look at how hard they worked to defeat Obama's plan, which is a half-ass thing that $$ fattens the private insurance sector. But they saw it as the start of the slippery slope. Americans should hope so. If you haven't seen Michael Moore's movie "Sicko", do so. It's dirt cheap from Amazon.
0 # Kimberly999 2016-01-02 13:00
The biggest mistake we have made as a nation is to NOT to provide Medicare for all. As was said earlier, payments to physicians is less than 15% of your healthcare dollar - over 20% goes to administration for insurance companies, whereas Medicare uses about 3% of their dollar to administer the program. Millions are used by insurers, medical device and pharmaceutical companies to lobby Congress for favorable laws & set asides. We pay more per dose for medication than any other Western nation.

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