What is the correct political strategy to pass Medicare For All? How do we do it?
The NHS in Britain has been demonized by American conservatives. Back in 2005 or so I believed it, despite all that it had done for my mother, who moved back to England after a visit there (back in 1994) in which she was diagnosed with M.S. - had she stayed in the US, where she had citizenship through my father, she might have been eligible for Medicaid, but her British family certainly knew that she would get better care in the UK and insisted she move back.
In 2005 I was studying the Soviet economy, all the issues with planning, which were myriad and were a consequence of the structure of the economy - that it had no markets and therefore no prices, let alone competition or ownership. I knew that an entire economy is very different from a single sector, yet I was working on a book that would study the Soviet system and also consider lessons for mixed economies. My publisher convinced me to leave out a section on healthcare because of its complexity, for which I am grateful.
The NHS is not perfect, but anyone in the UK who requires any kind of health care can access it for free, no matter what tax bracket (paying only a tenner for prescriptions, the only charge), and for most, taxes are no higher than US taxes once state taxes and other US taxes are accounted for (except the very rich & massive corporations, which don’t pay anything in the US).
And my mother was given nearly 24/7 home nursing care & a free apartment - after waiting on a list, during which time she was already given some nursing care. She was treated humanely, she was given medication - but my ideology made me skeptical. I read up on possible treatments for MS, convinced that they may have treated only symptoms and maybe US doctors would have cured her. I found a paper co-authored by the preeminent specialist on MS in the NHS - who my mother had an appointment with - saying that she might benefit from a certain medication. He said that it would not help her - I cited the paper to him. He asked who wrote it and I proudly told him: “you did!” and pulled out the paper and handed it to him. But he explained that it was only edge cases of her type of MS, when the patient is younger, the disease earlier in its progression etc. I knew that despite my “doing my own research”, I was no doctor, let alone the top MS specialist in Britain.
Triage is a core concept in medicine: treat those who require it first, get them stabilized before looking at minor ailments. Money undermines this, it destroys medical care. It means that a wealthy person may be given medication which for them offers some minor perk, when the same medicine could save the life of a poor person. The best exploration of this in popular culture I know is the Star Trek Voyager episode Critical Care. I discuss it in my short-lived Trek.fm podcast The Briar Patch.
Ok… so how do we get Medicare for all passed?
Deterrents to Medicare for all is part of a bigger problem. Even though it has it’s place, problem solving today, of specific issues is reactive in large part as long as the underlying bad ideology is not recognized for what it is, publicly named, and kicked out on its ass. Manifestations of injustice will rain down on us as long as the bad ideology operates or has power. Making Medicare for all, other social programs better can only be taken on effectively if at the same time we acknowledge that Neo-liberal capitalism unregulated is at the heart of the matter. Creating and/or improving upon democratic initiatives is counter to capitalist ideology. Where Democracy attempts to build social and economic justice, capitalism seeks to exploit and profit from the endeavor thereby subverting our efforts. This can only be remedied by a democratic governance that has and uses power to dictate robust ethical rules of operation, ownership, and practice in our system of markets and economics. Ironically the very freedom we have to establish businesses, to create prosperity also allows for selfish opportunistic people and entities to exploit our economic system to such a degree that our entire working class is subjugated. Making Medicare for all a reality can not be approached as a stand alone issue otherwise the best we can hope for is to slow down defunding while other dubios and devious erosion’s and work-arounds are still in play. We have to call out and challenge the underlying causes. Radical Bernie Sanders, the Progressives, and the TYT’s argue its time for a paradigm change from Neo-liberal capitalist ideology to Social Democratic ideology. I believe this is correct. This is the fight we have to engage in, we have to constantly speak of in our everyday discourse! CORRECT THE BAD IDEOLOGY TO CORRECT THE BAD MANIFESTATIONS! Dangerously the purveyors of corrupt economic ideology are forging ahead with capitalism as governance. Both sides of the aisle work at and for this. In the meantime the moral majority expects Democracy to fairly administer and manage an economic system where basic needs are affordable, quality healthcare is a right of all people, working class folks make a living wage, and our toil to meet human needs is conscientious and ensures Earth thrives for future generations. This among our other expectations. So to fix Medicare, yes a focused battle must ensue, but we must also advance our recognition of, our denouncement of Neo-liberal capitalist ideology. We must express our expectation for and support Social Democratic systems and ideology to rise to policy and power. All conversation about matters we champion should start with; We understand the root cause to be Neo-liberal capitalist ideology ethically unregulated. We support Progressive leadership advancing to power in order to address this and other existential matters. So to insure Medicare for all, means to bring Social Democratic Ideology to power.
Thank you for your well thought out response. I appreciate the time you took to write it and you’re correct in the approach to the issue. Can you give specifics on how we should actually do it? What is the actual strategy?
Sciguy24 asks what is the strategy? The simple answer, that the house and senate and executive branch advance and pass the bill for Medicare For All. So us voting for like minded senators and representatives is in my opinion the goal. If these politicians are true to the cause then it may not be necessary to stop the influence of dark money, lobby’s, and other counter forces at play because presumably our reps. won’t be bought or corrupted. Getting this type of representation could happen in a few election cycles, yes no? Would anyone care to elaborate on how we get the right people in office? Maybe form a pledged coalition of senators, representatives, and citizens who support Medicare for all, who relentlessly advance Medicare For All bills in Congress? A coalition who helps us identify like minded people to vote for. I know right now there are a multitude of Orgs. and groups asking for money for all kinds of good and bad causes. Could a strategy include identifying and bringing like minded entities together under one roof, united on passing a Medicare For All Bill? Because to sway the electorate towards voting for reps who would do the bill and pass it would require a hugh marketing campain.
So now I think I have at least eluded to some strategy. I know that some of this is already happening here and there. MoveOn.org is who I am aware of. Maybe we should see what they are doing, what stratagies they are employing, if we could jump in the fray or emulate what is effective in thier strategy?
// I meant to reply to @guinliberty.
Doctor Terry Wahl was a MS researcher who came down with MS. She talks about her journey and it is a great video to watch. I encourage all to watch this video and see what she has to say.
Basically these diseases stem from a breakdown of your mitochondria. This seems to be strongly correlated with a lack of nutrition and Dr. Wahls protocol is considered to be part of many treatment regimes.
We have two major unaddressed issues with health care costs.
We use healthcare industry treatments as a proxy to show our care for those who are dying. Many times the best thing to do for someone is to let them go. In fact we are all dying we should view our duty is to one another to understand when treatments are decided for other, while well meaning can aggregate to abuse.
The industries that poison your food are part in parcel of a fabric of economic interests that sell you treatments for this poison. Remember the American way is to manufacture the crisis and somehow whoops look who has the perfect solution? When you allow firefighting to become an industry you provide an economic incentive for one to be an arsonist firefighter.
Our brand of capitalism loves faux outrage. Much like any soap opera the more tension and drama you build without moving the plot creates the capture. Many seem to find this to be intoxicating, and in turn a sort of capitalistic sweet spot.
Having thought about, and after doing some research on strategies for achieving Healthcare for all. I see that their are already a lot of strategies in play by a lot of groups and ORG.s. Obviously if you decide to support one or get invloved with one or more, you will have to vet them as some of those groups are ineffective and just collecting money. But some are good. So I think that the missing element, that could actually get us closer, is human mass. We just have to choose to get involved. Be it contributions, phone calling, canvassing, signing petitions, answering surveys, write letters an emails to representatives. MORE HUMANS. A real strategy from and by TYT peeps would be to select one or two of those groups and offer some time and money to established working efforts.
I’m honestly at the point where I think we should stop buying health insurance and stop paying medical bills. I just don’t think theres any other way to force the system to change unless we crash it.Yes, thats risky but we have to be willing to take extarodinary measures to force the system to change.
Honestly, medicare for all is going to end health insurance as we know it. It means doctors offices will no longer be a be able to turn patients away. Nothing short of a massive revolution is going to get this done.
If the freedom riders had to be willing to get beaten to eventually achieve equal rights for African Americans, we better be willing to pay a price too. Nothing is free in this world.
Right off the bat, I appreciate the effort. However, we’re severely lacking funds and we don’t have enough power to get the bill passed. We’re up against enormously powerful interests who will pay whatever it takes and do whatever it takes to keep the status quo. I don’t think we have any choice. We’re not going to magically convince the shareholders of the health insurance companies that they should surrender their shares and surrender their profits. That ain’t gonna happen.
We won’t be able to get this done in congress until the system literally crashes. If you know the history of our country we didn’t free the slaves until there was a massive civil war, we didn’t give freedom to african-americans until there was massive civil unrest, We couldn’t get social security until there was a massive depression… I don’t think we get something as transformational as medicare for all passed unless we put them in a position where there is no other choice.