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AP’s Today in History for October 11th
Congress OK’s U.S. military force against Iraq; Former President Jimmy Carter wins Nobel Peace Prize; Anita Hill accuses Supreme Court pick Clarence Thomas; Second Vatican Council opens; ‘SNL’ premieres.
Something to think about, Breakfast News & Blogs below
enter ‘I Know This Is Shocking,’ Says Sanders, But Trump ‘Lying About Medicare for All’
Jon Queally, Common Dreams
Backing up Sanders’ charge of blatant falsehoods in a fact-check response on Common Dreams, Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, said the president is “dead wrong” and stated that while “lies and deceptions from Trump are nothing new,” the president’s falsehoods about Sanders’ proposal “are new, so it’s worth correcting his USA Today column.”
Among the “major lies and deceits” by Trump, Weismann documented the following:
1)Medicare-for-All would not “end Medicare as we know it and take away benefits that seniors have paid for all their lives.” The reason it’s called Medicare-for-All is because it would take the existing program and expand it to everyone. Seniors’ benefits would not be taken away – in fact, they would be improved, but everyone else would gain the benefits of Medicare, too.
2)Medicare-for-All is not going to cost an “astonishing $32.6 trillion” over 10 years, because it will introduce major savings not adequately accounted for in the study Trump cites. Significant savings would come from eliminating vast amounts of paperwork and bureaucracy imposed by the current dysfunctional system, and steeply dropping costs for brand-name pharmaceuticals. But even if Medicare-for-All cost as much as Trump alleges, that amount would be LESS than projections for our current system, which also leaves tens of millions of Americans without coverage.
3)Trump’s claim to have kept his pledge to maintain coverage for people with pre-existing conditions and create new health insurance options is completely deceptive. First, the protections for pre-existing conditions remain in place only because Trump failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA.) Meanwhile, a Republican-led lawsuit is challenging the ACA, including guarantee for pre-existing conditions, and there’s a real worry that, especially with Brett Kavanaugh now on the Supreme Court, it might succeed. As for new junk health insurance options Trump has authorized, they offer only the illusion of care, because they permit insurers to skirt the requirement to cover pre-existing conditions.
4)Medicare-for-All would not “lead to the massive rationing of health care.” It is the current system that rations care, based on the ability to pay. One-third of Americans say they had a problem accessing medical care because of cost in the last year. With Medicare-for-All, everyone will be able to see a doctor or access treatment, irrespective of how much money they have.
While denouncing Trump’s fearmongering for being exactly that, Sanders said that his Medicare for All proposal “would allow seniors and all Americans to see the doctors they want, not the doctors their insurance companies have a contract with.”
Overall, Sanders concluded, a system in which everyone is covered and nobody left out would be a vast improvement over the current “dysfunctional” healthcare system that leaves approximately 30 million people without insurance – a system in which huge profits for insurance companies and drug companies are given priority over providing quality care for every man, woman and child in the country.
“The time is now for the United States to join every other major country on Earth and guarantee health care to every American as a right not a privilege,” Sanders concluded, “and Donald Trump, the insurance companies and the drug companies will not stop us.”
Something to think about over coffee prozac
Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court despite being creditably accused of multiple sexual assaults and appearing to commit perjury. He will almost definitely make a number of decisions that serve to erode the accountability of big business in general and our Molester-In-Chief in particular.
All of this is deeply troubling and it’s been reassuring to see the level of outrage across the country. But there’s a deeper conflict going on here, one over a simple question: What is the United States of America?
Is the USA the home of the free? A settler colonial state? A country of equality? Or a place where Latina women earn only 54% of what white men do, where the state smiles on police killings of black people, and where a handful of billionaires control the majority of resources and poor people scrounge to survive?
Socialist organizers like myself have a set of answers to these questions. The USA is a patriarchal, colonial, oligarchic state built on dispossession of native peoples, on slavery, continuing exclusion of people of color, and on undervaluing, objectifying and profiting from women’s bodies. Gender privilege, race privilege and class privilege are the remnants of systems that were designed to enrich the very few. In meaningful ways, those systems have not ended.