By Kent R. Kroeger (August 8, 2019)
Medicare-4-All was the discriminating issue in the last two Democratic debates with Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren the most vocal proponents and the remaining candidates (less Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio) taking up the opposition.
To likely Democratic primary voters watching the two debates, Elizabeth Warren’s performance was particularly strong — though Tulsi Gabbard’s Cool Hand Luke impersonation offered us the best moment from either debate when she calmly exposed Senator Kamala Harris’ record as California Attorney General as incompatible with her presidential stump speech rhetoric. How could Kamala have been so unprepared to defend her own record?
However, most striking about the debate were the candidates relying on historically conservative talking points to dismiss not just Medicare-4-All, but the Green New Deal and college debt forgiveness, among other progressive policy priorities. At one point during the debate, my wife asked if Republicans were also being included in the debate. “No, honey. John Delaney is a Democrat.”
The Twitter accounts of these “Democrats” croon love poems to private insurance companies, market capitalism and ‘choice,’ while mixing in enough disinformation about progressive ideas to truly confound anyone trying to understand the disputed issues.
This is how they talk about Medicare-4-All:
The Republican National Committee couldn’t have written Tweets as dishonest as those about Sanders’ Medicare-4-All plan — a plan a Koch Brother-funded think tank concluded would reduce total U.S. health care spending by about $2 trillion over 10 years, relative to the current healthcare system. That is likely an under-estimate of the savings from Medicare-4-All.
A note to Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Tom Perez and the Democratic National Committee: You know your party is out of energy and ideas when the talking points for some of your leading presidential candidate could pass for something Bill O’Reilly might write:
If you don’t believe our country can afford universal healthcare for all or that we can get off fossil fuels sooner rather than later…