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Sanders writes: "Not long ago, the idea that health care should be a right for every man, woman and child in this country was considered 'radical' or 'fringe' by members of the corporate media and political establishment."

Senator Bernie Sanders. (photo: Greg Nash/Getty)
Senator Bernie Sanders. (photo: Greg Nash/Getty)

Medicare for All Is Now a Mainstream Position

By Bernie Sanders, Reader Supported News

08 July 18


ot long ago, the idea that health care should be a right for every man, woman and child in this country was considered “radical” or “fringe” by members of the corporate media and political establishment.

When I introduced my Medicare for all legislation in 2013, I couldn’t find a single Senator to co-sponsor the bill. We were even relentlessly attacked for the idea before the Iowa Caucuses in 2015.

But today Medicare for all is a mainstream position in the Democratic Party. My bill has 16 co-sponsors in the Senate, and a version of the legislation has the support of a majority of Democrats in the House. Public polls conducted by nonpartisan organizations show a full 75 percent of Democratic voters support Medicare for all.

Make absolutely no mistake about it, our ideas are winning.

And would you like to know why so many of my colleagues now support Medicare for all? It’s because you support Medicare for all, and because you have been willing to take action in unprecedented numbers in support of the legislation.

That is the political revolution.

Now, from time-to-time, my colleagues who have yet to co-sponsor our bill will ask me if there is still the energy out there for Medicare for all that there was during our campaign. Those questions have only increased as President Trump continues his efforts to sabotage the Affordable Care Act.

The next time one of them asks, I want to be able to say our movement is only getting stronger. And if I can do that, and if they believe it, it won’t be long before our list of co-sponsors grows.

All of us get sick.

All of us need medicine.

All of us have accidents.

All of us need good quality health care.

And in my view, the function of a rational health care system in this country should be to provide quality care for everyone in a cost-effective way, not to make health industry CEOs richer or drive up stock prices on Wall Street.

Unfortunately, even as support for Medicare for all grows, we are still taking on much of the political and financial establishment in this fight. The insurance companies and drug companies in this country are extraordinarily powerful, and they are not going down without a fight.

If we are serious about providing high-quality and affordable health care, the only real solution is a Medicare-for-all, single-payer system that provides health care to ALL Americans, including the 50 million uninsured and underinsured in this country.

Sisters and Brothers: In this pivotal moment in American history, let us lead our country forward to guarantee health care as a right and not a privilege. This is a struggle whose time has come. This is a struggle not just about health care but about the heart and soul of our country, about what we stand for as a people.

Help me send this message to my colleagues today:

Add Your Name: Tell my colleagues in the United States Senate that you are more committed than ever to passing a Medicare-for-all, single-payer health care. Click this link to sign my petition, and I will carry your message with me whenever anyone asks.

In solidarity,

Bernie Sanders 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

+5 # JCM 2018-07-08 18:35
I wish he were twenty years younger.
0 # librarian1984 2018-07-09 14:57

"I'd vote for Bernie. Then I'd think about leaving the country."

"If you can't convince people - lie."
-3 # JCM 2018-07-10 14:42
That's right, but you have to put that in context. It was an imaginary election where Bernie ran in a third party, split the vote with a Dem and the rump wins. In that case I would think about leaving the country, however unlikely.
There you go again 1984 using a republican trick by taking my statement out of context. More deceit, more dishonesty.
+2 # librarian1984 2018-07-10 15:35
How does it feel? You do this to US all the time, and ignore what we say and put words in our mouths.

It's not a republican trick, but I guess that verifies you're a Democrap operative, so David Brock must still be in business.

You know the party could better use its resources by reaching out to progressives and talking instead of harassing us? We're not 'the enemy', though that's how the party treats us.

Three questions, that I guess you'll dodge again:

What should we do about the Hoyer tape?

Why should we support the people and strategies that have lost 1000+ seats and brought us to a historic loss of power?

Why shouldn't we support the most popular politician in America who is out there fighting for us every day with Warren and Waters while the party leadership pisses in a corner?

Find some honest work.
-3 # JCM 2018-07-10 18:59
Really pathetic: You call people trolls whenever they disagree with you. You deceive people telling them not to vote or vote third party. Doesn't seem to matter to you that the rump is dismantling our country, you would rather criticize the Dems. Still, longfortruth said it well, "At this point in the Trump presidency anyone encouraging you not to vote or to vote for a third party is on someone's payroll." Who's paying you 1984?
P.S. That quote you put in above, "If you can't convince people - lie." I was telling you what you did.
-4 # JCM 2018-07-10 19:07
"Why should we support the people and strategies that have lost 1000+ seats and brought us to a historic loss of power?" Because they are the only people to vote for that can unseat the republicans. It's about winning not whining.
There's a time to vote and a time to try to fix the party. But not at the same time.
+2 # librarian1984 2018-07-11 06:31
There's only one problem with today's neoliberal talking point: these Democrats DON'T win. They're LOSERS.

And if the party won't be reformed by pressure or the Unity Lip Service Reform Commission or the record of a decade's historic losses -- then they force us to reform them with our votes.

This situation we're in is caused by lazy, inept politicians who won't give up power -- not even for the good of the people, the party or the country -- and that includes HRC, who is STILL out there whining and dragging us down.

And according to you it's NEVER time to fix the party. So quit trotting out that old chestnut.
+3 # Farafalla 2018-07-08 19:28
Indeed. This is the kind of litmus test that separates the corporate wing of the Dem party from the people’s wing of the Dem party.
-13 # ericlipps 2018-07-08 19:39
Show me the money.

Medicare for All sounds like a good idea, but how do we pay for it? Even traditional Medicare has flirted with bankruptcy; offering it to everyone is going to cost a lot more. How will it be paid for?

Higher taxes are a very hard sell--and tax increases would have to hit everyone, because there just isn't enough money to squeeze out of the rich (who in any case will start hiding even more of it than they already do. As for pulling it out of the military budget--good luck with that.

I'm afraid there just isn't a magic solution which will work here. To people who say "Look at Britain; look at Denmark," I say, we aren't Britain and we aren't Denmark. We don't have a serious socialist tradition here (or we'd have a Socialist Party with a membership in the millions, not the tens of thousands).

That doesn't mean all is lost, but it does mean uniting behind a hero-leader who openly calls himself a socialist might not be the smartest way to actually get things done. No matter what that leader says, universal health care isn't "mainstream" enough in the U.S. to win, and likely won't be for a very long time.
+10 # Tarry Faster 2018-07-09 08:25
"Broadly speaking, "single-payer programs abroad are far more cost-effective than American medical care and cost much less," Oberlander said.

Having one payer rather than many individual private insurers cuts down on overhead and drastically reduces the need for advertising, which can account for as much as 15 percent of total expenses for private insurers, according to Robert H. Frank, an economist at Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management."
+4 # JCM 2018-07-09 10:45
ericlipps: The idea that Medicare is close to going bankrupt is a myth created by the republicans. Their agenda has always been to destroy the Safety Net. Do a Google. As far as how we pay for Medicare for All or some form of it is asking the question; Where did we get the money to reduce taxes on the wealthiest? We got it by increasing the debt by more than a trillion dollars this time? This trickledown economics has been going on since Reagan and has removed trillions of dollars from our society into untaxable foreign accounts. There have been reports that there could be over 27 trillion dollars in these accounts. What is our debt? About 21 Trillion dollars. With proper progressive taxation we could have funded all of the Safety Net, Education, infrastructure and Healthcare. Maybe there wouldn’t be so many billionaires, billionaires that have damaged our democracy because of their insane power over politicians. So, yes progressive taxation is one of the answers to better healthcare and a better nation for all.
And please do not mix up Socialism with Democratic Socialism. The police, firemen, emergency funding, the Safety Net, government money for research and development and a lot more are all examples of Democratic Socialism. Pure Socialism is a completely different animal and has little to do with Democratic Socialism. Bernie, I believe is more of a Democratic Socialist.
+1 # Benign Observer 2018-07-10 06:06
Narrator #1: JCM seems to be adopting a 'good cop' persona! This is as entertaining as television in text can be!

Narrator #2: I've never thought of eric as an operative. I think he really is a true believer and, for JCM's purposes, a tool.

Narrator #1: Of course tedrey is right. It's best to ignore them.

Narrator #2: Yes, well done everyone. Shall we join them?

Narrator #1:

Narrator #2:
-4 # JCM 2018-07-10 14:40
BO: How low can you get? Deceit, lying, disinformation, republican tactics. Some progressive. Liar!
+4 # librarian1984 2018-07-09 11:34
Universal health care may not be mainstream but it's desperately needed, and the GOP has mucked up the ACA enough that it might be our best alternative.

Sanders specifies how to pay for ALL his proposals, the media just doesn't report it. Medicare for All has the most complex funding including a small increase in payroll taxes BUT people would no longer have copays or deductibles, and dental and optical would be covered, so the NET cost to people would go down.

30% of our medical costs are administrative -- fees that go to insurance companies, including some of the highest paid CEOs in the country.

There would also be savings from negotiating lower drug prices, which the ACA did not allow.

Moving to M4A+ would drop the cost from $10,000/person/ year to $5000.

There are various combinations of public and private coverage and care all over the world. The UK for example, has government doctors while Canada has government coverage but private care.

We could do it any way we wanted to, but the media and politicians don't want to inform or educate us about the possibilities. Donors wouldn't like it.

Sanders talked specifically about all this to a town hall of WV voters -- overwhelmingly conservative -- and they gave him a standing ovation. Btw, they knew he was a democratic socialist.

We're not talking about Socialism. We're talking about socialist elements within a capitalist system -- like Soc. Sec. and the fire department.
+8 # Working Class 2018-07-09 11:54
We are paying more now for health care insurance on a per capita basis than any other industrialized nation. The money that currently goes to premiums and the private insurance industry profits should be re-directed to pay for medicare for all. Also, by cutting out the overhead cost of private health insurance, private health insurance advertising, pure profit and put reasonable cost controls on all medical services we can save a lot of money that can be re-directed to paying for a national health insurance program. This has been proven in every other modern industrialized country. I wonder if those who doubt that the US can possibly figure out how to do what every other modern nation has done thinks the US is just too stupid to figure it out. It is a matter of political will - not a question of hand-wringing over how to pay for the decency of taking profit out of medical insurance.
+3 # librarian1984 2018-07-09 11:56
DSA (Democratic Socialists of America), established in 1982, is small but growing. In the past six months their membership has gone up by more than 30%, the number of chapters has quadrupled, and the median age of members has halved, from 68 to 33. Forty-three percent of Iowans are now DSA members.

When both parties are corrupt and neither shows any signs of wanting to improve, people will drop out, move to other parties or declare Independent status (which now outnumbers both parties by double digits).

Millions have left the Democrap Party in recent years but they'd still rather stick with their donors. Not nearly as many votes there, but oh! so much filthy lucre!

When people were desperate FDR saved capitalism by making concessions to people's needs. Today's oligarchs, on the other hand, made sure Bernie Sanders couldn't help US.

So now we will see what happens.
+6 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-07-09 14:18
eric -- there are many plans for paying for it. I wish people like Sanders would be more specific about their plans. Here are a few:

1. Since all people now paying premiums to private insurance whether individually or through employers would be enrolled in Medicare, those funds would go to medicare. In my case, my employer pays about $7500 per year for each employee. All of that would go into medicare and I would excahange my BlueCross/Blue Shield card for a Medicare card. Same doctor, aame everything else. The theory is that this would save an enormous amount of money because there would be no corporate "overhead" to pay (roughly 25% of the total).

2. Fund Medicare for all the way Obamacare is now funded. Individuals pay a tax subsidized premium each month.

3. Medicare would by federal law take over all private insurance compaines (maybe a stock buy out). This means it would take over their income streams. Over time, these could be reformed.

There are more plans. Raising taxes should not be a plan. It is not necessary. There's enough money in the healthcare system already. It just needs to be re-allocated.
+3 # librarian1984 2018-07-09 17:18
eric, There's a long tradition of socialism, progressivism and labor unionism in the Midwest. Do you think liberal thought only comes from the coasts?

'Democrats Ignore the Left at Their Peril: Midwesterners Aren't Scared of Socialism' -- from that deep red organization, NBC News.
+15 # tedhuman7 2018-07-08 23:48
I believe having a medicare for all legislation passed , is very near the top of any list of urgent moves by the Democrats . Not only for the party but for the future of the United states.
+7 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-07-09 04:25
Healthcare costs are one of the main causes of bankruptcy and financial disaster for many people. Health care premiums are often the second largest monthly payment after a mortgage. The current system impoverishes people who are already poor.

A national healthcare system paid for by payroll taxes similar to social security would give such a huge boost to the economy of the bottom 60% of Americans.

Sanders is right -- this is a pivotal moment in US history. Will the elites continue to destroy the lives of about half the population just in order to make huge profits for themselves.

The moral case for medicare for all is clear. I'd like to see Sanders and others work on the details of implementing and financing it. Using the medicare system makes sense because it already has a structure that works well. Everyone who pays social security tax is already in the medicare system.

I guess the big problem is how to push the for-profit insurance companies out of the business. Right now, many offer "medicare advantage plans." The take medicare funds to administer healthcare. Will this continue or will it go? The Bush prescription drug coverage and Obamacare both allowed the for-profit companies to make huge inroads into medicare, almost privatizing it. Many republicans did want to privatize it.
-2 # JCM 2018-07-09 16:41
RR:"Healthcare costs are one of the main causes of bankruptcy and financial disaster for many people."

The Obamacare provision that saved thousands from bankruptcy.

+9 # Citizen Mike 2018-07-09 07:46
It is long overdue that we join the more advanced nations in providing good government services to our citizens rather than neglect them. We are so far behind Europe in providing healthcare, education, environmental protection and civilized working conditions what we ought to all be ashamed of ourselves for not demanding and getting better government benefits and regulation of exploitive businesses.
+7 # Tarry Faster 2018-07-09 08:23
"Broadly speaking, "single-payer programs abroad are far more cost-effective than American medical care and cost much less," Oberlander said.

Having one payer rather than many individual private insurers cuts down on overhead and drastically reduces the need for advertising, which can account for as much as 15 percent of total expenses for private insurers, according to Robert H. Frank, an economist at Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management."
-1 # MikeAF48 2018-07-10 11:04
Medicare for all sounding good but don't abandon President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. It's not perfect I don't see anything better on the horizon.

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