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Sanders writes: "In 2009, I introduced my single-payer health care bill and couldn't get a single Senate colleague to co-sponsor the legislation."

Bernie Sanders. (photo: Antonella Crescimbeni)
Bernie Sanders. (photo: Antonella Crescimbeni)

Now Is Not the Time for Compromise on Medicare for All

By Bernie Sanders, Reader Supported News

02 February 19


n 2009, I introduced my single-payer health care bill and couldn’t get a single Senate colleague to co-sponsor the legislation.

I remember it well.

Most in the political establishment and the corporate media ignored the idea. Those who didn’t dismissed it as “radical” or “fringe.” One McClatchy poll found only 22 percent of Americans supported the bill.

Times have changed…

In the last Congress, our Medicare for All bill had 16 co-sponsors in the Senate. It is a mainstream Democratic position supported by more than 70 percent of Americans, including a majority of Republicans.

The dramatic transformation in public opinion on this issue did not happen by accident.

It happened because of the doors knocked and phone calls made by supporters of our political revolution. It happened because doctors and nurses and ordinary citizens stood up and demanded an end to our current dysfunctional health care system. It happened because of the donations made and people sharing our message on social media as we educated the public.

It happened because the American people understand that the function of a rational health care system in this country must 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.

So, as support for Medicare for All grows, it should not surprise you that the medical-industrial complex, the corporate media, the financial elite, and the political establishment are fighting back. With hundreds of billions in profits at stake, the insurance companies, drug companies and others have already announced that they will spend huge amounts of money to protect their interests as they try to defeat our efforts.

In the last week alone, we’ve had a pair of billionaire politicians who benefited mightily from the Trump tax cuts talking about how we can’t afford health care as a right for everyone else in this country.

And what I am here to tell you today is that their reaction is the clearest sign yet that our ideas are winning. And what is important is that we cannot let the billionaire class use its money, its media, and its influence to divide us on the issue.

Now is not the time to think small about health care. Now is not the time to compromise and suggest support for half-measures.

No. Now is the time to say - louder and more clearly than ever - that Medicare for ALL is an idea whose time has come. That health care is a human right, not a privilege. That we will not continue to be the only major country on earth that does not guarantee health care to every man, woman and child, while spending far more per capita than any other nation. That we will not pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs.

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.

And it is a struggle that we are winning.

So today, with this issue in the news — with people trying to tear us down and divide us up — I want to ask you to do something important.

Sign my petition and tell Congress that you support health care as a right for every man, woman and child in the United States — and that you are more committed than ever to fight for, and to win, Medicare for All.

When people tell us the only thing that we can get is incremental health care change, we will tell them “no thanks.” We’re thinking big and demanding fundamental change on this issue.

Let me be very clear about one important fact. Despite the disaster of the Trump presidency, on issue after issue our progressive ideas are winning. And that is happening because we are standing up and fighting back.

Now is not the time to let up. It is time to increase the pressure.

Let us expand the political revolution. Let us transform our country.

In solidarity,

Bernie Sanders

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+19 # jon 2019-02-02 15:36
No more closet-Republic ans! Are you listening DNC? We want the proven Progressive, Bernie Sanders.
+3 # kundrol 2019-02-02 23:40
Go Bernie!
-25 # BKnowswhitt 2019-02-02 15:48
No chance of passing .. what should have occurred already .. or should be ongoing . would be the fix to obamacare .. they could be working on that .. sustaining the gains of that program .. you have to sell it over time .. starting all over without the votes also . is F'n Stupid .. and if Pelosi was a good leader .. she would give Trump his wall .. and in exchange make a deal to amend obamacare .. but again the idiologues .. will lose once again . point fingers and blame the right wingers .. instead of dealing with realities .. as a minority party .. with limited power ..
+6 # Jim Rocket 2019-02-03 01:30
You're a good peasant, BK. A good peasant knows his place and doesn't bother his master for silly things like Health Care.
+2 # Billsy 2019-02-03 16:07
Reality is we have a huge health care crisis in this country & mere half-measures accomplish far too little. Capitulating to corrupt politicians & their greedy benefactors led to the current state of affairs. Anyone blind to this fact is insufficently informed to merit any consideration.
+20 # lfeuille 2019-02-02 17:12
Exactly right. Only Medicare for All - single payer, not just an expansion of the current Medicare system to the entire population, will solve the healthcare problems we no have. Go Bernie!
+21 # lfeuille 2019-02-02 17:15
I think "medical-indust rial complex" should really be "medical-financ ial-industrial complex. The health insurance industry is one of the biggest obstacles.
+13 # Street Level 2019-02-02 17:35
Go Bernie 2020!
+17 # economagic 2019-02-02 17:58
Yes, Bernie, and don't you forget it. Don't you let anyone working for you bring forth a plan that is less than what any of the next ten richest countries have had for years. We want "IMPROVED and EXPANDED Medicare for All," with all that entails, including zero co-pays, zero deductibles, and a staged phaseout of for-profit health care insurance.

We the People ultimately pay for the whole schmear anyway, so adjust the progressivity of the tax system to pay for it out front instead of out of pocket, which millions of people will remain unable to do and would otherwise be denied access to that "universal" health care.

And for Goddess' sake and ours let's get the story straight. Let's get the program right NOW, as we are not likely to have another chance once we start addressing global warming, and then let's make sure everybody is telling it straight, which not one journalist in five or more is doing now.

WE won't forget. . . .
+12 # johnescher 2019-02-02 18:08
Was happy to sign this petition. I also like the common sense way this article is written.
+2 # kundrol 2019-02-02 23:43
Petition signed. Go Bernie! He's our best hope.
+5 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-02-03 07:32
As history shows, all of the European nations that adopted universal healthcare programs did so right after WW II when they could least afford it and when they had no idea about the long term costs and consequences. But they were committed to the justice of good medical care for all and they made it work. That's what Sanders is advocating here in the US -- only about 70 years late.

No one can answer all of the criticisms brought up by critics who are often paid by the healthcare profit industry. And it is not necessary to. What is needed is a commitment to the moral principle that every human deserves the best possible healthcare treatment. Then just do it.

This single issue will weed out the corporate democrats from the Progressive. Nancy Pelosi will continue her pissing match with the White House Polecat in order to keep us all distracted and behind her. It is time to stop. Just walk away from the Pelosi Pissing Match. Move on to Medicare for All. If she wants to argue with Trump about silly things like a wall, let her do it. That will be her legacy. The legacy of progressive democrats will be a universal single payer healthcare system.
+1 # economagic 2019-02-03 15:05
"No one can answer all of the criticisms brought up by critics who are often paid by the healthcare profit industry. And it is not necessary to."

Actually we can, and it is not difficult as all of the criticisms are fundamentally flawed, with flaws of every conceivable kind. But you are quite right that addressing all of them is neither necessary nor desirable, merely debunking particular ones when it is germane to do so.
+1 # Wise woman 2019-02-03 10:22
Thank you, RR and Econo for your comments. How sick (pun intended) is it that these corporations and billionaires are raking in billions off the backs of sick people! This is the lowest form of abject thievery and they have audacity to spend OUR money that we paid into the system to fight us. Forward the petition to all your contacts. This is a human and animal right that we will no longer make these low lives rich even as we suffer. It's contemptible.
+1 # tigerlard 2019-02-04 04:51
One of the six tasks of government spelled out by the preamble to the Constitution is "promote the general welfare." Enhanced Medicare for all would go a long way in doing that.
+1 # DongiC 2019-02-04 06:22
The position of the health care industry on Medicare for all is contemptible. It represents the dark side of the human psyche. It benefits the few at the expense of the many and doesn't have to be that way as several European countries have demonstrated.

We are fighting for the soul of America. We are battling for the welfare of unborn generations. We must prevail and we shall, we shall indeed.
Sanders will lead us to victory.

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