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Are They Out Of Their Minds?

by Trick Nixon (Principles: None) - 9 month ago

By endorsing the Sanders Medicare-For-All plan, the Democrats have pulled defeat from the jaws of victory. They are completely misreading what America wants.

After years of searching for a message, the Democrats, or at least all the Democrats planning to run for President in 2020, seem to have found one in promoting universal health care. The lonely quest of Bernie Sanders to shove the square peg of “Medicare-For-All” into the round hole that is the American health care system, has suddenly become the in-thing with 15 Democratic Senators breathlessly signing on to Sanders’ latest doomed iteration.

The obvious question to ask here is “are they out of their minds?”  Until this announcement, the Democrats owned the health care argument. The Republicans’ incompetent and cynical attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare has brought down America’s wrath upon them. A Democratic takeover of the House in 2018, unthinkable at the beginning of this year, had suddenly become a very real possibility. Or it was until Sanders and his merry band of tone deaf Democrats completely misread what Americans want from our health care system.  

What we want is stability. Over the past 8 years, the Democrats paid a huge political price for Obamacare’s massive restructuring of our health insurance system. Republicans won election after election by promising to repeal the ACA and keep everything the way it was. However, as a result of the Obama’s reelection in 2012 and a couple of key Supreme Court decisions, the ACA survived and became the law of the land.

Suddenly, when Republicans took over the government and attempted to implement their “repeal and replace” campaign promise, they became the ones trying to change the status quo. In 2009, Democrats faced unruly angry town hall meetings as they tried to sell Obamacare. In 2017, the tables were turned as Republicans were attacked over their plans to replace Obamacare. Despite the difference in who was on the receiving end of the abuse, the message from Americans was absolutely clear and consistent. They were telling the politicians to “keep your government hands off of my health care.”

So what do the Democrats do? Instead of quietly sitting back and scoring points by proposing sensible fixes to the ACA, they make it their policy to put the "government’s hands" on everyone’s health care. Instead of 20 million Americans potentially losing coverage, as they would under the Republican plan, now every American has to fear that they will be forced into a different, and possibly inferior, plan.

As a result, the Republicans are now unleashed to go on the attack. Step one is to make sure to use the word “socialist” every time the Democratic plan is mentioned. Americans instinctively hate “socialism.” Step two is to create TV ads with people from single-payer countries who come to the U.S. for healthcare because of either long waiting lists or the fact that the same quality care is not available in their countries. Step Three is to point out that Medicare will become insolvent in about 10 years. At that point all benefits would by law need to be reduced.

The picture that will emerge will be one of an ideologically driven Democratic Party willing to throw all Americans into an inferior and failing health care system.  Or to put it another way, just when Americans were thinking about putting Democrats back in charge, the Democrats have reminded America of why we voted for Republicans in the first place.  

Comments and Responses (2)

Reasoning used for ARGUMENTS presented
By  Teapot Harding - 9 month ago
The real reason Democrats are out of their mind is that single payer would not work anything close to the way Sanders intends. Rather than having equal health care for everyone, there will be two levels. The majority of people will have to wait for weeks for an appointment and then wait for hours in the waiting room to see an inferior doctor. The wealthy will have separate insurance which allows them to walk into an elite doctor's office and get everything they need. Americans know this and they won't let it happen.
Discussion Leader's Response : This comment is relevant to the discussion. (Commenter's rating is increased.)
Discussion Leader's Explanation : We don't know that your scenario will come to pass but we do know that there is not enough money in our country (in the world?) to pay for the health care that Americans think is our right. We can't use every experimental drug and every experimental procedure to try to save every life. There is going to be rationing no matter what we do. Right now, the rationing is pretty much random with poorer people getting taken care of by Medicaid, people working for governments and large companies getting taken care of by employer health insurance, rich people buying their own, and many others being left out. Since most people are covered, most people are OK with the current system. Those who are not wealthy enough fear that if we switch to single payer, they will come down with the disease that is not covered by the single payer. So in that way, I agree with you.
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By  Lynn B. Johnson - 9 month ago
Even Sanders admits that Medicare-For-All is not going to happen any time soon. This is more of an aspirational goal than a policy. What the Democrats are saying is that we need to find a way to provide decent health care to all Americans. What's wrong with that? This is no different from the Republican position that all abortions should be illegal. That strategy has allowed Republicans to win countless elections even though they know it will never happen.
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