Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Keeping Her Eyes On The Prize

Testifying before the House Rules Committee in April, ALS patient and Medicare for All advocate Ady Barkan stated

“Our time on this earth is the most precious resource we have. A Medicare-for-all system will save all of us tremendous time. For doctors and nurses and providers, it will mean more time giving high-quality care. And for patients and our families, it will mean less time dealing with a broken health care system and more time doing the things we love, together.

He added: “Some people argue that although Medicare-for-all is a great idea, we need to move slowly to get there. But I needed Medicare-for-all yesterday. Millions of people need it today. The time to pass this law is now.”

Given Barkan's sense of urgency, it is all the more: a) odd or b) telling that he his first choice is not Bernie Sanders but the candidate who supports Medicare for All, phased in division. The Warren supporter adds

I am excited about Elizabeth's plan because I think it strengthens and expands Medicare as much as possible as quickly as possible and then sets us up to complete Medicare for All by the end of her first term. It's a huge deal that her plan in the first hundred days expands Medicare to cover over half of Americans for free...

This is a huge down payment for Medicare for All, which will quickly show the American eople tht it works and positions ourselves to win the full enchilada in 2023, after what should be very favorable Senate elections in 2022.

Not everyone would agree. In early November, after Warren made the strategic error of actually providing details about her health care plan, a Washington Post columnist argued

Warren insists she’d pass Medicare-for-all in the third year of her presidency. But there’s reason to believe this could be even more unlikely than if she pushed for it right out of the gate (and passing it immediately would already be a tall order, if Republicans retain control of the Senate in 2020).

So as Warner Wolf would have put it, "let's go to the videotape." In 2022 (as it currently stands), there will be elections held for 12 seats currently held by Democrats- and 22 seats currently held by Republicans.   The majority of the incumbents will be favored to win re-election.

However, by then Republican senator Chuck Grassley will be 89 years old. Moreover, a few Republicans likely will not run for re-election. If Trump is re-elected, there probably will be a few Republicans bowing out so as not to be further defined by the hedonistic heathen heading their Party, and if a Democrat wins, the handwriting will be on the wall. Long-range prospects for 2022 are favorable.

At that point, either of the two Democrats- Warren and Sanders- who want to get to Medicare for All will still have to deal with the reluctance of many voters to have private insurance eliminated.   However, by that time, the reforms initiated by a President Warren presumably will be sufficiently popular that such a hurdle can be overcome.

To his credit, Senator Sanders introduced- with no chance of passage- the Medicare for All bill in the US Senate, which he never tires of reminding voters. In the House of Representatives, "the bill"- one more ambitious than that of Sanders, was introduced by.....

HAPPY CHANUKKAH                                                               MERRY CHRISTMAS

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