Maybe it really is time for Medicare for All

This opinion piece is short, to-the-point, and very convincing.

Stop fearmongering about ‘Medicare for All.’ Most families would pay less for better care.

“The case for Medicare for All is simple. It would cover everyone, period. Done right, it would lower costs. And it would ease paperwork and confusion. With costs rising painfully, insurance companies denying care and nearly 30 million people still uninsured, America desperately needs an honest health policy discussion.”

The article clearly makes the case that is is beyond just taxes vs premiums. It points out the entire exploding health costs under the current system.

And the way it explains it is not overly wordy and tedious. It’s something that can be taken to the campaign trail without eye-glazing lectures.

Maybe it really is time to go for the gold.

Warren and Biden – thoughts on where things are

I’m not very good at predicting presidential winners. When I was working on the McGovern campaign in NYC as a teenager, I was shocked he didn’t win. After all, everybody I knew in the city was for him except for my aunt in Brooklyn, and she changed her mind and voted for him at the last minute.

The leader until now has been Biden. And despite attempts by the far-right to portray Biden as dishonest, in order to deflect from Trump’s scandals (which some of my progressive friends seem to be buying into, like they did with Hillary), I think he is the most practical candidate and has the best chance of defeating Trump in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

But I also sense the Biden campaign might be running out of steam and falling behind Warren in enthusiasm, funding, and polling. And the Trump attacks are taking their toll.

So I’m sort of feeling right now that Warren might actually get the nomination.

If so, I’m worried she might lose because of her vague position on health care, and the fear that will be raised by attacks saying union members will lose their health care plans.

But Warren is extremely smart, and I’m also hoping if she gets the nomination she is clever enough to “thread the needle” and come up with something concrete that satisfies midwestern voters and also doesn’t leave her extreme left supporters feeling betrayed.

Democrats and the progressive path that beats Trump

It’s been pointed out, over and over again, that three traditionally Democratic midwest states (Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin), which Trump narrowly won, need to be turned back in 2020 in order to defeat Trump.

Democrats should choose policies that a majority of progressive and moderate voters support, all across the country, and not fall into the trap of supporting just the most left-wing proposals out there.

Here is an interesting graph showing recent NPR/PBS poll results of what most registered voters agree with, and don’t agree with.

Most people don’t want to get into slavery reparations. Or decriminalize border crossings.

And most people don’t want to repeal Obamacare. They want to improve it with a public option – the ability to buy into Medicare. The feeling is if there is a viable, affordable public option that people will drift towards that and we will eventually get “Medicare for All” as a result. But people don’t want their current health insurance taken away in the meanwhile. They want choice.

Most people want gun background checks. And taxing millionaires more, and the “Green New Deal” and environmental protections. And an increase in the minimum wage. And regulation of drug prices. And a pathway to citizenship.

These are progressive, great ideas. And Trump loses on all of them. These are the ideas Democrats should concentrate on to win in 2020.

Trump tells numerous lies at his notorious North Carolina rally

At his now notorious North Carolina rally (chants of “Send her home”) let’s not overlook the lies Trump also made. There were almost too many to count. Here are just a few.

Lie about crowd: “We haven’t had an empty seat in any event, I don’t believe, that we’ve ever been to. I don’t think, we’ve ever had — we’ve always had people — we haven’t had an empty seat.”

Fact: There were empty seats at this very rally. There have also been empty seats at other Trump events.

Lie about Pre-existing conditions: “Patients with preexisting conditions are protected by Republicans much more so than protected by Democrats who will never be able to pull it off.”

Fact: Democrats have already pulled it off: they installed protections for people with preexisting conditions in the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. Republicans, conversely, have repeatedly tried to weaken these protections.

Lie about The Wall: “Unemployment, among Hispanic Americans, where we’re doing really well. You know why? Because they want a strong border. They want it because they understand the border better than anybody. They want that strong border. They want that wall, that’s being built right now. They want that wall, and they really do. “

Fact: A majority of Hispanics oppose Trump’s proposed border wall, polls show.

At least 20 Trump lies were documented at his rally.

Trump lies and claims his health care repeal didn’t fail

With Trump you really can’t imagine what fantastic lie he will say next. But in a Thursday’s “Fox and Friend”  interview Trump actually said, “Health care didn’t go down. We have the votes.”

The facts are these. There are three Republican “no” votes on the legislation put forward by Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana. No one — including Graham and Cassidy — dispute that fact. Given that there are only 52 Republican senators, when you lose three of their votes, you don’t have 50. You have 49.

It’s why Senate Republican leaders called off the vote planned for this week. They don’t have the votes.  They just don’t. Everybody knows that.

Yet another outlandish Trump lie.

Recent new Trump lies about immigration, deficits, and health care

For the record, here are some new Trump lies, from this month.

On immigration,

Trump said, “The previous administration enacted an open-door policy to illegal immigrants from Central America. Welcome in. Come in, please.”

The facts: Obama carried out more than 5.2 million deportations over two terms. That figure combines both “removals,” which involve a formal court order, and “returns,” which don’t.

Obama returned more than 2 million Central Americans in his first seven years in office, according to data from the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Immigration Statistics (that does not include formal removals or 2016 data).


On trade deficits

Trump said he couldn’t find countries where the United States currently has a trade surplus. To quote Trump, “We have trade deficits with almost every country, because we had a lot of really bad negotiators making deals with other countries.”

The facts: The United States actually has a trade surplus with more than half of the countries or governments it does business with, according to data kept by the United States International Trade Commission.

In 2016, the United States recorded a trade surplus with 134 different nations or governments. It ran a deficit with 99 nations or governments.

On health care

To quote Trump, “I said from the beginning, let Obamacare implode, and then do it. I turned out to be right. Let Obamacare implode.”

The facts: Trump actually argued that Republicans should not let Obamacare collapse because “it wouldn’t be fair to the people.”

“Frankly, we could sit back and it was a thought from a political standpoint, but it wouldn’t be fair to the people,” Trump said at a Jan. 11, 2017, press conference in New York.

“We could sit back and wait and watch and criticize and we could be a Chuck Schumer and sit back and criticize it and people would come, they would come, begging to us please, we have to do something about Obamacare. We don’t want to own it, we don’t want to own it politically. They own it right now.

“So the easiest thing would be to let it implode in ’17 and believe me, we’d get pretty much whatever we wanted, but it would take a long time. We’re going to be submitting, as soon as our secretary’s approved, almost simultaneously, shortly thereafter, a plan.”

At the same press conference, Trump said he would repeal and replace Obamacare at the same time. It was also a core campaign promise.

“It’ll be repeal and replace. It will be essentially, simultaneously. It will be various segments, you understand, but will most likely be on the same day or the same week, but probably, the same day, could be the same hour,” Trump said.

“So we’re gonna do repeal and replace, very complicated stuff. And we’re gonna get a health bill passed, we’re gonna get health care taken care of in this country.”




USA Today fact checks Trump’s lies at his press conference

More falsehoods from Donald Trump today. It’s getting hard to keep track of all his lies, but we will try.

USA Today reports that in his first press conference since July, President-elect Donald Trump repeated false and misleading claims on jobs, health care and his tax returns.

• Trump falsely claimed that there are “96 million really wanting a job and they can’t get [one].” There are roughly 96 million people not in the labor force, but that includes retirees, students and others who don’t want jobs. Only 5.5 million of them want work.

• Trump said that “you learn very little” from a tax return. But experts told us there’s plenty of information to be gleaned from tax returns — such as potential conflicts of interest, charitable giving habits and effective tax rates.

• Trump claimed that “some states” have seen health insurance coverage on the Affordable Care Act exchanges increase by 100%. Only Arizona has an average increase that high, and 84% with marketplace coverage in 2016 received tax credits to purchase insurance.

• Trump continues to oversimplify the rise of the Islamic State by blaming President Obama for “leaving at the wrong time” from Iraq. President George W. Bush set the withdrawal date. More important, there were numerous factors in the rise of the terrorist group.

• Trump claimed that “nobody even talked about it” when hacked emails showed that Hillary Clinton’s campaign got debate questions in advance. Actually, there was plenty of press coverage when it was revealed that former CNN contributor Donna Brazile shared questions with Clinton’s campaign.

For more details, see