Annotated by Patrice Greanville
Force the vote is not just a viable option it is an imperative strategy.
Dore has been absolutely right in his demand to make politicians honor their campaign promises, especially when the moment is propitious.
Jimmy Dore is spot on with this critique of Noam Chomsky's position on the politics of Medicare for All. His passionate defence of timely activism is certainly in order in a nation whose political culture is riddled with ignorance, passivity and baffling tolerance for enormous political betrayals. We hope that in future segments Jimmy will also put the spotlight on other key malevolent actors in this longstanding tragedy, namely the medical establishment itself. Focusing on private insurers, Big Pharma, and corrupt politicians, the usual villains in this drama, people tend to forget that most doctors still constitute one of the main obstacles to Medicare for All. As the article in our addendum makes clear, their posture on this crucial issue continues to be ambiguous at best.
BELOW: A little item reminding us where most of our doctors still stand in regard to their patients' right to guaranteed quality healthcare access. The AMA was until very recently—mid 2019— a key member of a pr group fighting single payer (which the coalition partners see as a "hard left" idea), but now, apparently, they have decided the optics are getting too risky, so it's time to tone down the exposure. Bear in mind, too, that whenever some political hack starts talking about making the healthcare system "more affordable" they are trying to sell you yet another deficient capitalist concoction. "Affordable" is a dog whistle used by all establishment politicos. It is capitalist code; it signals they are not pursuing anything substantive. —The Editor, The Greanville Post
AMA Drops Out of Group Opposing Medicare for All
— Wants to study a public option and other potential solutions
by Joyce Frieden, News Editor, MedPage Today August 16, 2019
The coalition "has extensively highlighted the many serious problems with Medicare for All and other proposals that would lead to a single payer health care system," James Madara, the AMA's executive vice president and CEO, said in a statement about the move, which was first reported by Politico. "Missing in the recent debate is an ongoing discussion of practical solutions that will result in more affordable insurance options."
"Practical solutions have been identified and continue to be championed by the AMA," Madara continued. "The AMA decided to leave the Partnership for America's Health Care Future so that we can devote more time to advocating for these policies that will address current coverage gaps and dysfunction in our health care system." He emphasized that the association "[remains] opposed to Medicare for All, and policies that reduce patient choice and competition, and are built on flawed financing policies."
In response, the coalition issued a cordial statement saying it "strongly agrees with the American Medical Association (AMA) that Medicare for all is the wrong approach for America's healthcare and we have appreciated the opportunity to work with them throughout the past year." The partnership's members include America's Health Insurance Plans, the American Hospital Association, the BlueCross BlueShield Association, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, and other groups that would be affected by any move to a publicly financed health insurance program.
BELOW: Here James Madara, AMA honcho, injects his little poison against the idea of a comprehensive, universal, government-paid healthcare system, by endorsing the typical "American" fake solution—another bandaid that can only prolong the regime of putting patches on the most glaring deficiencies of the capitalist way of distributing medical services:
"Today, too many individuals and families who do not have employer sponsored insurance and are ineligible for government subsidies face costly premiums and high deductibles that restrict their access to care. Action is needed now to assist this population without disrupting coverage that works for most Americans," he said. "Additional policy improvements will further the goal of expanding coverage and offering more affordable options for the uninsured and those struggling to secure meaningful health insurance coverage."
Such options could possibly include a "public option" that would allow people to buy into a public program such as Medicare if they would like. At its annual meeting in June, the AMA House of Delegates referred the AMA Board of Trustees to a resolution calling for the organization to "study the impacts of various approaches that offer a public option ... including but not limited to a Medicare buy-in; a public option offered on health insurance exchanges; and buying into either the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program or a state employee health plan." (The Partnership for America's Health Care Future opposes a public option, which it says could "decimate" rural hospitals' finances.)
Medicare for All was a flashpoint at the June meeting, as several hundred protesters gathered outside the meeting hotel to demand that the AMA support Medicare for All; several dozen protesters came inside the main meeting room and staged a "die-in" on the House of Delegates floor.
At least one group was happy with the AMA's exit from the partnership. "This is a big victory for single-payer supporters," Adam Gaffney, MD, president of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), which supports single-payer, said in a statement. "For decades, the AMA has been on the wrong side of history, fighting efforts to establish Medicare and Medicaid in the 1960s, and resisting movements to bring racial equality to the delivery and practice of health care ... The AMA's exit from this explicitly anti-single payer lobbying group shows that change is within reach." PNHP was one of several groups that organized the protest at the AMA meeting.
A PSA sponsored by the AMA badmouthing single payer / Government paid healthcare, using Ronald Reagan as the spokesman.
Notice that this repugnant video is cheered by 600 libertarians or so, while about 100 "dislike it". The comments thread packs a lot of imbecilic opinions, as we might expect from such crowd, but also typical of US audiences.
Visit directly here, and leave a counter comment.
People you can trust on this issue
Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) comprises more than 20,000 physicians. It advocates for universal, comprehensive single-payer national health insurance. PNHP believes that access to high-quality health care is a right of all people and should be provided equitably as a public service rather than bought and sold as a commodity. The mission of PNHP is therefore to educate physicians, other health workers, and the general public on the need for a comprehensive, high-quality, publicly-funded health care program, equitably accessible to all residents of the United States.
This is their mission statement on this issue: NYSNA's mission is to care for all New Yorkers. That's why we endorse a universal, single-payer Medicare for All system that ensures access to high-quality care for everyone. A single-payer system would replace private, corporate health insurance by extending Medicare to cover everyone living in the United States. Rich or poor, young or old – everyone will be in the same boat, with access to the same high quality care. Medicare spends just 2 percent of its budget on operating expenditures. Private insurance spends as much as 17 percent – and takes a big profit on top. In July 2016, UnitedHealth—just one of many private insurance companies—made $46.5 billion in profits. That's money that should be going to patient care. A single payer system will save money.
National Nurses United (comprising California Nurses Association)
Nurses are usually far more radical than doctors. They certainly have been regarding Medicare for All, and continue to be in the vanguard. Their mission statement on this issue:
Astronomical health care costs and lack of access continue to drive individuals, families, and businesses past their breaking point while insurance companies continue to soak-up billions of health care dollars as millions of children’s basic needs go unmet. Medicare has provided guaranteed health care for millions of seniors for more than 51 years. It’s time we have a Medicare for all, single-payer health care system that would end health disparities, effectively control costs, and assure that everyone has equal access to an excellent standard of care.
The union representing 100,000 nurses across California has shifted its “Medicare-for-all” campaign from California to the national stage, perhaps relieving political pressure on Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom to fulfill what the union sees as his top campaign promise: Delivering a single-payer health care system in the nation’s largest state. The California Nurses Association, which led the coalition behind the high-profile 2017 push for a single-payer system, has re-branded its campaign with the slogan “Fight to Win Medicare-for-All!” Its social media feeds reflect the new national scope of their efforts. Their efforts were betrayed by Assembly Speaker Democrat Anthony Rendon, an industry-controlled party hack who chose to shelve the universal health care legislation in California at a moment when it looked like it would easily pass. Read more here: https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article220251915.html#storylink=cpy
Get in touch with a local branch of these organizations, or someone working on this campaign near you.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License