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Sanders Health Bill: Cover For Democratic Party Deals With Trump

By Patrick Martin for WSWS. Senator Bernie Sanders took his campaign to whitewash the right-wing character of the Democratic Party to a new level Wednesday, introducing single-payer, “Medicare for all” legislation, co-sponsored by 15 Democratic senators, on the same day that House and Senate Democratic leaders were to visit the White House for cozy talks with President Trump on corporate tax cuts. The bill was given full-scale media promotion, including an op-ed column by Sanders in the New York Times, lengthy articles in all the major daily newspapers, and reports on the network and cable television news programs. This for a bill which has not the slightest chance of passage by the Republican-controlled Congress, which will never even hold a committee hearing, let alone bring it to a vote. This makes co-sponsorship an opportunity to strike a left pose without actually incurring the wrath of the insurance companies and other giant corporations that control the provision of health care in the United States. Accordingly, a half dozen Democratic senators who are beginning to promote themselves as potential 2020 presidential contenders signed on as co-sponsors—up from zero co-sponsors the last time Sanders introduced such a bill.

To Sanders: We Can’t Begin From Position Of Compromise

By Margaret Flowers for Health Over Profit for Everyone - At the start of the August congressional recess, Senator Bernie Sanders announced that he will introduce a senate bill this September “to expand Medicare to cover all Americans.” Since the election, the movement for improved Medicare for all, has been urging Sanders to introduce a companion to John Conyers’ HR 676: The Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act, which currently has a record 117 co-sponsors in the House and is considered the gold standard by the movement. Recent reports are that Sanders’ bill falls far short of HR 676 in fundamental ways. In fact, Sanders’ bill is a multi-payer system not a single payer system. His bill reportedly would allow private insurers to compete with the public system, allow the wealthy to buy their way out of the public system and allow investor-owned health facilities to continue to profit while providing more expensive and lower quality health care. As a leader in the Democratic Party in the Senate, Sanders is trying to walk the line between listening to the concerns of his constituency, which overwhelmingly favors single payer health care, and protecting his fellow Democrats, whose campaigns are financed by the medical industrial complex.

Sanders, Controlled Opposition And Building Popular Power

By Michael Ippolito. This letter was inspired by a conversation that took place in response to the video below posted by Dr. Margaret Flowers after the Republicans offered up a vote on HR 676: The Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act in the Senate. HR 676 would expand health care coverage in America to all Americans; it would have cost tremendously less money; it would have helped make American business more competitive; and it would have been Medicare for All. None of the people who pay lip service to supporting Medicare for All voted for it, with Bernie Sanders leading the way as political cover for the rest of the Democrats. Meanwhile, the movement that pre-dated the Sanders campaign & helped to propel Sanders into the spotlight of American politics continues to push forward organizing allies to support HR 676 Improved Medicare for All.

How Did Berniecrats Claim the Jackson Mississippi Movement?

By Bruce A. Dixon for Black Agenda Report - When Jackson's mayor-elect Chokwe Antar Lumumba stepped to the podium at the cynically misnamed "Peoples Summit", the annual June pilgrimage of Berniecrats, he carried with him the credibility of a half century's organizing and struggle in Mississippi and around the country. He put this clout behind Our Revolution and the Berniecrats, who are fundamentally allergic to even the mention of global empire, Israeli apartheid, regime change, drone wars and the disastrous impact of the warfare state. Is that what the Jackson movement wanted? When Chokwe Antar Lumumba stepped to the podium at the Peoples Summit in early June this year it was no small matter. The young mayor-elect of Jackson Mississippi carried with him the moral and political heft of almost half a century’s organizing work in that state and around the country. His father arrived in Mississippi with the Republic of New Afrika in 1971. The RNA was a target of COINTELPRO, so federal and local authorities promptly provoked an August 1971 shootout at RNA’s headquarters which took the life of a police lieutenant and wounded an FBI agent. 11 RNA members were charged and some served long terms in prison. Chokwe Lumumba assisted in their legal defense and after graduating law school in 1975 he settled permanently in Jackson Mississippi.

Sen. Sanders Has His Health Priorities Backwards

By Margaret Flowers for Health Over Profit. We thought that Senator Sanders was on track to introduce and advocate for a national improved Medicare for All bill, but Tuesday he stated publicly at a Planned Parenthood rally that his priorities are to first defeat the Republican health plan, then to improve the Affordable Care Act with a public option or allowing people to buy-in to Medicare, and then we can work for single payer.
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