In a recent poll from the health insurance industry, only 8% of Americans actually want the United States Senate to pass the terrible Trumpcare bill, also known as the Affordable Healthcare Act, that the House passed a few weeks ago.
That’s about as bad as it gets not just for a healthcare poll, but for anything. Have you ever seen a movie on Rotten Tomatoes with a score of 8%? Hell, the new Baywatch movie has a 20%. In fact, there’s not a movie out in theaters right now with a Rotten Tomatoes score of less than 10%. Nobody likes Trumpcare. Tens of millions of everyday people will lose their health insurance, rates will skyrocket for America’s seniors, and pre-existing conditions will become a problem again. Our listeners will be hit hard.
Republicans, so hell bent on destroying Obamacare for the past 8 years, never really bothered to do the hard work of coming up with a better plan that actually lowers costs and insures more people. They’ve got nothing. In fact, what they are proposing is worse than nothing.
So it’s great that Democrats are blasting Trumpcare every chance they get, but constantly criticizing it isn’t enough. We have a healthcare crisis in America. Even with Obamacare, people are still struggling to afford good coverage and premiums and co-pays are kicking our butts. That’s why smart, compassionate local Democrats across the country aren’t just blasting Trumpcare, they are proposing Medicare for All. It’s not a complex idea, either. What they are basically proposing is taking the current Medicare system and removing the age requirements.
With a groundswell of grassroots support from unions like National Nurses United, the California State Senate has passed a Medicare for All bill that is now awaiting a signature from California Governor Jerry Brown. An astounding 70% of Californians, including 54% of Republicans there, support the bill. Other polls show 60% of all Americans now support Medicare for All. That’s what this country wants – not Trumpcare.
Every single Democrat in the country would be smart to divert at least half of their energy away from blasting Trumpcare to fighting for Medicare for All. If it becomes law in California, and its tens of millions of residents, that will change the game for the entire country. On policies like this, California is often the pace car for the rest of the country. For the third year in a row, a similar Medicare for All bill has passed the New York State Assembly and now needs to pass the New York State Senate. Nevada is getting closer to their own plan to open up Medicare for All there.
Let me give us some international context. Every wealthy developed nation in the world has universal healthcare with 100% enrollment. Every single one of them. We can have that. We should have that. And don’t believe the lie about how our country can’t afford universal healthcare – because no nation in the world spends more money on healthcare and prescription drugs than we do right now. The United States spends nearly 20% of its entire GDP on healthcare – that’s also the highest rate in the developed world. Countries around the world spend half of what we spend and have every single person insured – in great part because they don’t have health insurance companies profiteering off of people’s pain.
Now is the time for us to propose bold solutions. Donald Trump and every single conservative who supports him should be roundly criticized, but Americans need hope. Americans don’t just need a villain to fight against, they need a cause to fight for – and Medicare for All can and should be one principled part of that fight.
111 Democrats in the House are currently co-sponsoring a Medicare for All bill created by Congressman John Conyers. That’s the most ever to support Medicare for All in the House, and represents a strong majority of the 193 members of the House Democratic Caucus, but it begs the question – what about the other 82 Democrats in the House who aren’t yet on record as supporting Medicare for All? What are they waiting on? And what about the Democrats in the Senate?
I’d like to see how much money the Democrats who are holding out their support for Medicare for All are receiving from the health insurance and prescription drug industries and lobbies. The reform is about as popular as it gets among rank and file Democrats – so the lack of support from some elected officials is puzzling at best.
As Trump’s approval ratings continue to tank and the country unites around our desire to see him leave office, we must use this rare moment in time where people are deeply hungry for systemic change to make our fight not just about personalities, but about policies. Medicare for All is the biggest, boldest, best idea we’ve got right now. Rallying behind it just makes sense.
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