Sanders, Single Payer And Death By Democrat

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Above photo: Ryan Beiler/

Lori Kearns is the health policy advisor to Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont).

She’s been making the rounds in recent weeks telling single payer supporters that Senator Sanders will not introduce his single payer bill into the Senate next year.

Why not?

Because party unity is more important than single payer.

Sanders apparently believes that single payer will get in the way of electing a Democratic Senate in 2018.

Wouldn’t want to confront Democratic Senate candidates with the deaths of their constituents due to Obamacare, would you?

One reason why Sanders soared during the primary was his constant refrain that we need to cover every American with a single payer health care system.

This resonated with the American people, with polls showing that three-fifths of Americans — including a majority of those who want Obamacare repealed, and even 41 percent of Republicans — favoring a “federally funded healthcare program providing insurance for all Americans.”

Translate — single payer.

Everybody in. Nobody out.

If Sanders believes it, where is the bill?

Why won’t Sanders re-introduce it in the upcoming session?

Because he is now in the Democratic leadership in the Senate — handpicked by Wall Street favorite incoming Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-New York.)

And if the Democrats say no, Sanders says no.

Call it death by Democrat.

And death by Obamacare.

Narrow networks.

High deductibles and co-pays.

Skyrocketing premiums.

Twenty nine million Americans still uninsured.

And more than 28,000 preventable deaths a year due to lack of health insurance.

All under Obamacare.

And Sanders won’t introduce his single payer bill because the Democrats tell him not to?

During the battle over Obamacare on the Hill in 2009, I asked Sanders why he was supporting Obamacare when he stood for single payer.

Sanders was a student of the difference — Obamacare controlled by the health insurance companies and written by their lobbyists — single payer a public system that cuts the health insurance companies out of the game.

Sanders looked at me, snarled, told me not to lecture him and walked away.

Goodbye single payer. Hello Chuck Schumer.

  • stephenverchinski

    What was your “agreement” with Hillary, Podesta, and the DNC there Bernie. Come now, you have been silent on that wikileaks e-mail that referenced it. We deserve an explanation.
    Signed, your at large former delegate from New Mexico.
    (May I suggest continued protest in the form of #demexit and support for the Green Party. Get involved, Organize your precinct for them and go and find out how you can help. Review their platforms and core values. They beat war and corporatism. We need a country not a charity for millionares and billionares, nor a country run to be pillaged and raped.)

  • mwildfire

    Another example of why focusing on a political hero is a mistake. If they rise high enough to have a chance of getting into a powerful position, it’s probably because they’ve agreed to support The Team.

  • Aquifer

    The only thing that surprises me is that anyone would be surprised – Sanders has been doing this for quite some time – that’s the same answer Kucinich gave when he did a 180 on the ACA (voting for it as Sanders did). These guys/gals give a lot of great speeches, bluster a lot, but when push comes to shove and they are told to sit down and shut up for the sake of the Party, they do – it’s party over principle every time …. Expect nothing less nor more from any Dem ….

    But the danger anywhere is when a party asks, or demands, its candidate back down on principle for the “sake of the party” – not a good sign ..

    So, as with Trump, Sanders backtracks on his own campaign rhetoric – surprise, surprise …

    Anyone who really wanted SP should have voted Green …

  • Government is about half the health insurance market with Medicare, Medicaid and the VA. This is why the health insurance market is not functioning like a normal market in any other industry.

    Get government out of the health insurance business as much as possible. Limit them to limited regulation and financial support for health insurance to those who need it.

    Obamacare, Medicaid, Medicare and VA hospitals should be phased out. People under these programs and those who are financially below the poverty level should be given a yearly amount that they could use to purchase health insurance.

    Keep the federal regulation stating that insurance companies have to cover pre-existing conditions as long as the person had previous insurance.
    Allow people to purchase insurance from any state. Deregulate state health insurance markets. Unhinge medical insurance from employers in the tax code.

    Getting government out and increasing competition in this way will lower health insurance costs. It cuts the bureaucracy costs, cuts the fraud costs and improves competition and quality of care.

  • DHFabian

    Be realistic. What would be the logic of providing real healthcare to our very poor? Deprivation of adequate food and shelter take a very heavy toll on human health. The US shut down/shipped out a huge number of jobs since the 1980s, ended actual welfare in the 1990s. We have more people than are needed by current employers.

  • DHFabian

    You didn’t think that through very well, did you? The elderly poor and the disabled are uninsurable. It’s not possible for them to purchase insurance in the private market.

    It’s stunning that you still preach Reagan’s failed trickle-down theory, which has long proved to be a grotesque failure. Consider that when Reagan was first elected, the overall quality of life in the US was rated at #1 — far from perfect, but far better. Then came Reagan’s “Greed is Good,” which an entire chunk of this country embraced (a sociopathic ideology, by definition). By the time Obama was elected, the overall quality of life in the US had plunged to #48, and we no longer have the means to rebuild. We put ourselves entirely at the mercy of the corporate state, which has no mercy.

  • DHFabian

    On this issue, the ACA was the very best that we could get. The ACA is the final product of Obama’s proposals AFTER Congress got through with it. It was this, or nothing.

    As for Sen. Sanders, he had long spoken out about US poverty and the need for legit poverty relief programs (seems he thought our capitalism has some serious flaws). He needed to drop this issue for his campaign, to appeal to middle class campaign donors. Running viable campaigns requires telling people whatever they want to hear, hoping to appeal to enough to win the election. It’s always been this way.

  • DHFabian

    Too many seem to turn their favorite politicians into whatever they want them to be, ignoring the candidate’s own record, prior statements or speeches, etc. There’s a 100% chance of disappointment.

  • Reality disagrees with you.

  • Aquifer

    No it was not the best we could get – it was what they decided to give us . O’s proposals sucked to begin with …

    Telling folks what they want to hear – yup, not what you believe and will fight for …. bs from BS

    “It’s always been this way” – and that is precisely the problem, that is what has to change ….

    As i said this is no surprise from Sanders or from any other Dem – we get what we vote for – if we keep voting for folks who back down over and over – that is all we will ever get …

  • Jon

    We need a flood of honest ones into a dam break with the Dems and a flood of them into Greens and let the corporate Dems go join the Repugnant top level leadership.

  • Jon

    And yo solution is? You keep spewing the same message over and over and never offer something positive, Fabian. Your negativity is a real drag, or as Dylan used to sing it, “Positively 4th Street.”

  • Jon

    Insurance companies are in it for the money, and will find all manner of excuses to get out of paying for medical costs. I have a solution that avoids BOTH the insurance companies AND government, a PEOPLE’S SINGLE PAYER SYSTEM. We pool resources on a regional basis, have premiums about where Medicare is (about $100 month or so) with modest co-pays for those wh can afford them and cover eveyone. That would bindside BOTH the government and the insurance companies. If we can organize food cooperatives, why not medical ones as well?

  • Sounds interesting – Local health insurance credit unions?

  • Thom Rip

    Forget the dems, let’s get to work forming another party or supporting the Greens

  • gardensheila

    You couldn’t be more wrong. To put your faith in for-profit corporations is the worst thing to do. As someone who has provided health care to insured people for 15 years, i have seen the absolute disintegration and complete lack of ethics demonstrated by health insurance companies. It has become harder and harder to make a living if you accept insurance payments–at least in my area. I’ve had battles that lasted over a year to get paid for work i was contracted for and authorized to do. They don’t care. They don’t care about the client, the provider, or the public. Never trust them.

  • Government is about half the health insurance market with Medicare, Medicaid and the VA. This is why the health insurance market is not functioning like a normal market in any other industry.

  • gardensheila

    Capitalism is not the answer to human needs like housing, health care and education. The ” market” has no ethics or morals. Profit is the only value, which contradicts with providing services, especially when the profiteers have nothing to offer. They do not provide health care or access to it. They restrict access as their primary goal since actually paying providers to serve consumers hurts their bottom line.

  • And government officials are special people that have ethics and morals?

  • gardensheila

    At least they are accountable because they are elected.

  • And companies are not accountable. Companies can be destroyed on social media in a couple of days, for politicians you have to wait for the next election. And do you know what the reelection rate is? It is 95 percent.

  • gardensheila

    Corporations are not accountable. I recognize that citizens have been horrible at holding politicians accountable, but that is, at least in part, due to the fact that politicians sell their souls to corporations in order to get the big money that results in being re-elected. Take the private money out of elections and then we just might hold politicians to account. Without gov’t setting limits on corporations profiteering, we won’t preserve a planet for to live on. Capitalism runs amok.

  • You have been completely brainwashed. You should sue whoever did it to you.

  • gardensheila

    The big money always wins, regardless of what is ethical or moral. You seem to think that’s just fine. If I’m brainwashed, it’s with compassion for humans. If you’re brainwashed, it’s with the delusion that profit is the highest value.

  • The free market has the best record on poverty and government programs have the worst.

  • gardensheila

    Obviously we are looking at the world through different spectacles. I’ll keep mine, thank you.

  • Aquifer

    Even if you want to submit the provision of healthcare to the “discipline” of “the market” , an absurd proposition, IMO) a market requires healthy competition, look around, the trend is to monopolization among private health insurers …

    And remember, always and everywhere, the aim of private business is to make a profit – increase revenue, decrease overhead, and “overhead” for a private health insurer is – paying for healthcare …

  • Aquifer

    “Companies can be destroyed on social media in a couple of days …”

    Great! Let’s start with Goldman-Sachs and work our way out …