Single Payer Sanders Morphs Into Public Option Dean

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By Russell Mokhiber for Single Payer Action. Right before our eyes, we are seeing the transformation of single payer Bernie Sanders into public option Howard Dean. During the 2016 Presidential campaign, Sanders took off like a rocket, fueled by the promise of a single payer, Medicare for All single payer system. His single payer plan paralleled HR 676, the single payer bill in the House of Representatives that now has 72 co-sponsors. HR 676 is the gold standard of single payer bills. It would deliver one public payer, no deductibles, no co-pays, lower costs, everyone in, nobody out, no more medical bankruptcies, no more deaths from lack of health insurance and free choice of doctors and hospitals. That was the promise of Bernie Sanders during the 2016 campaign. But since then, Bernie Sanders has endorsed Hillary Clinton for President. Then become part of Senator Chuck Schumer’s Senate Democratic leadership.

Newsletter: Build On The Victory Of Stopping RyanCare

Healthcare Guaranteed health care as a human right

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. The failure of the Republican Party to pass the American Health Care Act (AHCA) is a major victory for the movement. It was a market-based plan that would have worsened insurance for most people in the United States and undermined our public insurances, Medicaid and Medicare. The movement held Republicans accountable and instilled fear in enough of them that they could not risk voting for such extremist legislation.Health care public health not private wealth The AHCA revealed divisions within the Republican Party. Supporters were mostly the ‘Ryan Republicans’. Opposition came from the Freedom Caucus, the Tea Party Republicans who wanted a more extreme bill, and a few ‘moderates’ who recognized the political cost they would have paid if the unpopular AHCA had passed. A poll found that only 17 percent of voters supported the AHCA.

Republicans Postpone Vote On ACA Replacement

Medicare for All from Bmore protest February 2017 KZeese photo

By Kevin Zeese for Popular Resistance. The Republican Party is finding out you cannot solve the US healthcare crisis with an insurance-based market approach. Healthcare is a human necessity and can only be solved by recognizing health should be treated as a public good and not a commodity. The Republicans want to lower the cost of insurance but are finding that to do so they must not provide the essential services people need for good healthcare. The contradiction of profit and the essential human need for healthcare is becoming more evident. The Affordable Care Act had the same contradiction, just not as pronounced because the Obama approach was to require the insurance industry to include essential health services and then to give them more than $150 billion annually to lower the premiums for people while forcing people to buy health insurance. But, the ACA has resulted in rising premiums, increasing deductibles and rising out-of-pocket costs as well as narrow networks with skimpy coverage. The result is while people pay more to the insurance industry many are unable to afford essential healthcare.

Senator Manchin Says He's Studying Canadian-Style Single Payer

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By Russell Mokhiber for Morgan County USA. Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) is looking at a Canadian style single payer system. It’s the second time in a month that Manchin has told constituents that he’s looking at a Medicare for all system to replace an unraveling Obamneycare. Manchin has been clear that he will vote against the emerging Trumpcare/Ryancare that will balloon the ranks of the uninsured from 30 million under Obamneycare to 50 million. A single payer system would leave zero people uninsured. Under single payer, every citizen gets a birth certificate and a Medicare card at birth.

Newsletter - Visions For The Future

We Can Build The Future

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. The vision for the future laid out in President Trump’s budget is one of large cuts to the federal government for necessary agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and Housing and Urban Development, privatization of services, such as air traffic control, and macho military might. It conjures visions of Nero fiddling as Rome burned. Ralph Nader writes in “‘Making America Great’ at American’s Expense,” that “The tower of contradictions, being constructed by Trump and the most extreme Republican Party in its history, won’t be camouflaged or distracted for long.” People are rising up and will continue to do so. The corporatist’s vision has been pushed for decades in the US and around the world, but there is another vision that is also growing in the hearts and minds of many.

CBO: 24 Million Will Lose Insurance Under Republican Plan

Medicare for All from Bmore protest February 2017 KZeese photo

By Staff of Congressional Budget Office – The report’s conclusion is totally believable, despite President Trump, his Secretary of Health and congressional Republicans claiming it is not accurate. Repealing the ACA should result in going back to pre-Obamacare levels of people without insurance — about 50 million people. It is worth noting that an internal White House review found even higher numbers of uninsured, 26 million new uninsured people compared t the CBO’s 24 million. To put these numbers into perspective, a consistently accurate measure is for every one million not covered there will be 1,000 deaths — so the Republican plan will result in 50,000 deaths annually. The ACA, with 29 million without insurance, results in 29,000 annual deaths

Newsletter - This Is What Austerity Looks Like

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By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. George Lakey of Waging Nonviolence wrote about the root cause of the recent protests in Sweden – increasing wealth inequality from austerity measures imposed over the past few decades. The media reported that the protests were a response to the police murder of a 69 year-old man, but they were actually due to a growing division between classes that is also fueling racism. Even though the wealth divide is much smaller in Sweden than it is in the United States, it is obvious to Swedes when compared to surrounding countries. In the United States, austerity measures in the form of cuts to social programs, lower wages and tax cuts for the wealthy have also fueled tremendous wealth inequality and economic insecurity. Similar to Sweden, this is the root of civil unrest. Lakey urges people in the US to fight back via nonviolent revolution.

Obamacare Meeting Bends Toward Single Payer Solution

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By Jon Kelvey for the Carroll County Times. But even Hahn, who enthusiastically supported the health care law, said there were problems that needed to be addressed, such as what navigators called “the family glitch.” When considering whether a family was still eligible to purchase a tax subsidized plan when one parent was offered insurance through an employer, the test was whether the cost of the employer plan was affordable for just one parent, not the entire family. This sometimes leaves one parent out in the cold. “She has affordable health insurance,” Hahn said, “Dad is going to have to pay full price on the health exchange.” Flowers, rather than critiquing any one piece of the Affordable Care Act, attacked it as an insufficient compromise and that the best fix would be to expand Medicare coverage to all citizens — a single payer national insurance model such as in Canada.

Translating Trump's Healthcare Promises & Plans

Replace ACA with Medicare for All. Photo from FOX13 Salt Lake City

By Staff for Popular Resistance. The only way to achieve President Trump’s goals of lowering costs, giving people choice and improving the quality of healthcare is to put in place a National Improved Medicare for All. The policies the Republicans and the administration have been describing will lower the quality of healthcare, decrease people’s health coverage and while they may lower premiums, they will not lower costs. Achieving that outcome requires elected officials to stand up to the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries as well as investers in for-profit healthcare. To achieve that people need to join the Health Over Profit campaign and work together over the next several years to achieve a historic change or putting in place a real health system in the United States that covers everyone with high quality healthcare from birth to death.

Republican Obamacare Replacement Crystallizing: What To Expect

Carol Paris, Russel Mokhiber 2

By Margaret Flowers for Health Over Profit. Today Politico provided more details of the Republican’s plans to repeal and replace Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act). Overall, the impacts on the health insurance industry are hard to predict, but we can say for certain that they will do what they can to protect their bottom line. The impacts on people are clearer to see – fewer people with low incomes will have access to Medicaid, people with low incomes who do not qualify for Medicaid will be unlikely to be able to afford health insurance premiums, especially if they are older and high quality health plans will continue their decline. It is also clear that the Republican plan will worsen the healthcare crisis in the United States. Here are some of the details.

Newsletter: Privatization vs. The People

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By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. The essence of privatization today is to turn a public good into a profit center for Wall Street. US economic policy has created a wealth class that is grotesquely wealthy and under-taxed so that it has the money government needs to provide public services. This forces the government to borrow money from or sell a public service to the privateers or to create a public-private partnership (disguised corporate welfare and crony capitalism) in order to provide essential services. There is another way. We’ve reached a tipping point, as evidenced by the worldwide revolt through Occupy, the Arab Spring, the Indignados and other movements. We can reverse the trend toward privatization and inequality by claiming the commons for our mutual prosperity. If we believe in a more just, sustainable and democratic world, a world based on the common good, we will build the foundation for a world in which people work together to solve common problems and create an equitable economy that betters the lives for all.

Republicans Lead In Obamacare Replacement, Act Now

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By Margaret Flowers for Health Over Profit. Roll Call reports that the Republicans introduced legislation, the Obamacare Replacement Act, in both the House and the Senate. The plan, known as the Sanford-Paul Plan for its lead sponsors, has the support of the strongest Republican caucus, the Freedom Caucus. Leaving insurance plans up to the market to determine means that low cost plans will cover very little and the fact will remain that people in the US will only be able to receive health care if they can afford it. In order to make progress in the demand for National Improved Medicare for All, we need a companion bill to HR 676 in the Senate. Senator Sanders, a long-time advocate for single payer health care, is the most obvious senator to be the lead sponsor but he has refused to make a commitment to introducing single payer legislation. We must push Senator Sanders to introduce a senate companion bill to HR 676 quickly.

Newsletter: Protest Is Working & Growing

Resist banner flies over the Donald Trump White House by Greenpeace.

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. People are recognizing that they have power to protest in a lot of areas. Some see the potential for protest at work, such as the resistance and non-cooperation among federal workers. And, many are planning on building toward a general strike, something unheard of in US history. State officials are even talking about protesting by not paying federal taxes. Early in the Trump era, protest is working and the potential ahead is for an even larger resistance movement. The dysfunctional nature of government will add to protest movements, making the country ungovernable. We can defeat the oligarchy, as currently represented by Trump, but which began long before him, by remaining independent of the corporate parties and fighting for the changes we need.

Newsletter: The Problem Isn’t Trump, It’s Bigger

System is guilty

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. The awakening of mass protests against Donald Trump’s executive orders and appointments could become a real movement, but it must realize a critically important point: Trump is not the problem, the system is. Illusion of Democracy hides oligarchyTrump is a symptom of a long-term trend of a failing democracy that is too closely tied to Wall Street and the war machine. Both the Republican and Democratic parties are part of this failed system that does not represent the people of the United States. We are all working to build a mass movement for economic, racial and environmental justice that is bigger than Donald Trump. As the extremist actions of the Trump administration are put in place we need to remember that extremism for the wealthy, for war and ignoring of environmental catastrophe is consistent with the actions of all recent presidents and the leadership of both corporate parties.

Time To Fight For Health Care For Everyone

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The new campaign is called “Health Over Profit for Everyone (HOPE): Making health the bottom line.” It has the sole focus of shifting the political culture in the United States so that National Improved Medicare for All (NIMA) is the only politically-feasible solution in the next four years. We can do it! Just as we have worked together in broad coalitions to put reclassification of the internet on the table and to stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership, we also have the power to win NIMA. A strong group of NIMA advocates have joined to form the steering committee. We’ve created an activism website at HealthOverProfit.org that contains information and tools you’ll need to educate, organize and mobilize. We’ll provide national conference calls and coordinate days of action.