He is the best chance you guys get to reform your disfunctional democracy.
He is the best chance you guys get to reform your disfunctional democracy.
Socety could do ver well without loony extremist comservatives.
Progressives as the name implies are for progress particularly for justice equality and a better life for everyone. Anyone who isnt for those things is blinkered conservative idiot.
Todays conservatives an some libertarians are the bad people.
Theyve made a deal with a narcissistic, self dealing, lecherous criminal as president and then start preaching from a "moral high ground". Ya think the world turned upside down?
The herose who got al Baghdadi should be the ones we honor, Trump is still making this about "Me Me Me" ,"I did it better than Obama"
we could nationalize oil and gas under emergency procedures. Atd be a real cluster ****, having worked in such countries
Talking points against Warrens M4A plan:
1. It doesn’t include mental health care.
2. The 10 year transition period is too long and is a political vulnerability.
3. Minimum wage workers would spend 60% of their income on health care.
4. Health care tied to employment.
Last week I worried that Elizabeth Warren had painted herself into a corner by endorsing the Sanders Medicare-for-all plan. It was becoming obvious that she couldn’t stay vague about the details, especially how to pay for it; and some studies, even by center-left think tanks, suggested that any plan along these lines would require large tax hikes on the middle class. So what would she come up with?
Well, the Warren plan is now out. And I’d say that she passed the test. Experts will argue for months whether she’s being too optimistic — whether her cost estimates are too low and her revenue estimates too high, whether we can really do this without middle-class tax hikes. You might say that time will tell, but it probably won’t: Even if Warren becomes president, and Dems take the Senate too, it’s very unlikely that Medicare for all will happen any time soon.
Nonetheless, Warren needed to show that she was working the problem. And she did. She brought in real experts like Donald Berwick, who ran Medicare during the Obama years, and Betsey Stevenson, former chief economist at the Labor Department. And they have produced a serious plan. As I said, experts will argue with the numbers, but this is the real thing — not some left-leaning version of voodoo economics.
How does the Warren plan expand Medicare to cover everyone without raising taxes on the middle class? There are four main components.
First, the Warren team argues that a single-payer system would provide significant savings in overall medical costs — more than other studies are assuming. Some of these would come from bargaining down prices, especially on drugs. Others would come from a reduction in administrative costs.
Are these savings plausible? Well, America does pay incredibly high prices for drugs compared with other countries, and the complexity of our system imposes a huge administrative burden — not just the overhead of insurance companies, but the sheer number of people doctors and hospitals have to employ to deal with multiple insurers. I’ve been puzzled at the reluctance of other studies to credit Medicare for all with big savings on these fronts.
And we should note that even with these assumed cost savings, U.S. health spending per capita would remain far above that of other advanced countries. So there’s a case — not an open-and-shut case, but a reasonable one — for optimism here.
Second — and the cleverest item in the plan — the Warren team would basically require employers who are now offering health insurance to their employees to pay the cost of that insurance to the government instead. Bear in mind that large employers are already required by law (specifically, the Affordable Care Act) to provide insurance. So this would just redirect those funds.
Third, state and local governments currently spend a lot on health care, mainly but not only through their share of Medicaid spending. The Warren plan would require “maintenance of effort,” basically requiring that states continue to spend that money, but on supporting a national plan.
Finally, even with all this there’s a significant budget hole. Warren’s team argues that this can be closed in two ways: some further taxes on corporations and large fortunes, and — an important point — strengthening the I.R.S., which we know fails to collect large amounts of legally owed taxes, principally from people with high incomes, because Republicans have starved the agency of resources.
Am I enthusiastically endorsing this plan? No. I still think that a public-option-type plan, which lets people buy into Medicare, would have a better chance of actually becoming reality — and may well be where a President Warren actually ends up if she gets to the White House. And the plan’s optimism on costs and revenues could be wrong.
But this is a serious plan that reflects hard thinking. In particular, it’s nothing like the snake oil that passes for policy analysis on the right, whether it’s the continual insistence that tax cuts pay for themselves or Paul Ryan budgets that assumed that discretionary spending could be cut to Calvin Coolidge levels.
So what has Warren achieved here? Realistically, her health care plan is more aspirational than her other plans. Enhanced financial regulation and universal child care are things she might well be able to accomplish if she not only wins, but wins big, next year. Medicare for All, not so much. And may I say, it would serve the public well if these topics — plus climate change! — got more attention in future debates, and health care a bit less.
Warren’s task was, instead, to counter criticism that she was being evasive on a big issue. I think she has met that challenge.
Between the collapse of George W. Bush’s presidency and the rise of Donald Trump, the Republican Party was a more ideological institution than the Democratic Party. Both parties had litmus tests and orthodoxies, but the G.O.P. had more of a “movement” spirit, reflecting the conservatism that had captured it, and ideological enforcers had more influence over its policy debates, more power to decree who counted as a “true conservative” and who was a “Republican In Name Only.”
In this period Republican primary debates became more implausible and fairy tale-ish than their Democratic counterparts, with long-shot candidates competing to outdo one another in ideological zeal, and center-right politicians like John McCain and Mitt Romney trying awkwardly to adopt the language of activists to prove their bona fides.
Now something similar has happened to the Democrats. The party’s leftward march began in Barack Obama’s second term, and Hillary Clinton lost in 2016 in part because she abjured her husband’s popular legacy of centrism, enabling Donald Trump to appear to many swing voters as the more moderate candidate in the race. Mirroring how Tea Partyers reacted to McCain’s 2008 defeat, the Clinton debacle persuaded many liberals that a still-more-ideological party was needed, and the result has been a 2020 primary campaign as shaped by activist concerns as the G.O.P. primary in 2012.
The perils of becoming an ideological party are often framed in terms of culture-war issues, with Beto O’Rourke’s promises to seize guns and tax churches (sadly doomed to unfulfillment, with the expiration of his campaign) the liberal equivalent of Michele Bachmann’s crusading zeal. But ultimately ideological enforcement hurt McCain and Romney much more on pocketbook issues, health care and taxes especially, where under conservative pressure they ended up staking out positions that became anchors on their general-election campaigns.
That is the danger facing the Democrats, and particularly their quasi-front-runner Elizabeth Warren, with the issue of “Medicare for all.” Single-payer health care is, in certain ways, the liberal-activist equivalent of the conservative dream of a flat tax. It’s an idea of some merit if you’re designing a system from scratch and it polls O.K. if you don’t tell people about the trade-offs. But it tends to run into trouble quickly on the state level — with Vermont’s stillborn single-payer experience mirroring the flat-tax experiments of states like Kansas. And it has enough political vulnerabilities, in terms of costs and disruption both, that no sane Democrat should want it as the centerpiece of their national campaign.
Warren, who is definitely sane, clearly doesn’t want to make it her centerpiece; you can tell that she’d like to run on her promise to tax the wealthy to pay for free child care and college, with a dose of anti-corruption and trustbusting on the side. These ideas have their own difficulties, but they’re popular and responsive to the voters, and a good foil for Donald Trump’s record of corporate tax cuts and not much else.
But being a progressive candidate in a leftward-marching party required her to sign on to Medicare for all, and being the “I’ve got a plan for that” candidate in a party that still fetishizes wonkery required her to roll out a big, multi-trillion-dollar proposal on Friday. (Kamala Harris, the Tim Pawlenty of 2020, attempted Medicare-for-all evasiveness and fell off the map.) So now if Warren wins the nomination she’s going to drag a multi-trillion dollar renovation of the American health care system into the fall campaign — even though everyone understands that the renovation won’t happen, even though Warren herself would rather talk about other policies that poll better. An ideological party is a harsh mistress.
Of course, Team Warren and its many adjuncts in the press will argue that one, this is the primary campaign and there’s time to pivot toward the center, and two, that Warren’s plan is super-clever in its avoidance of overt middle class taxation.
The second point seems weak to me; the potent fear of health-insurance disruption will suffice to make Medicare for all a liability even if Warren isn’t waving a specific list of middle-class tax hikes, and her slippery health care math could reflect badly on all her other, more popular proposals.
The former claim, meanwhile, is one that Teams Romney and McCain often made in their campaigns; recall the Romney adviser who explained how they would simply shake the Etch a Sketch when the general election rolled around. But it’s rarely that easy, because your opponent gets a chance to set the terms of the debate — which is why Romney’s primary season plan was savaged as a middle-class tax hike, despite all his attempted pivots, deep into the fall of 2012.
What makes Warren different from Romney, of course, is that she has many more media adjuncts willing to give her math the benefit of the doubt, and also she’s running against Donald Trump. Highly ideological parties and candidates can win elections in the right circumstances, and a race against an unpopular, unfit and impeachable incumbent might be one of them.
But it would still be a folly, a case study in ideology’s exacting costs, for the Democrats to take the chance.