America today feels like the last days of the Soviet Union

#69

I think he could have gotten a public option. I do not think he would have gotten support for eliminating all employer-paid insurance in favor of a Medicare program for all.

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#70

I knew it was all bullshit! I was dragged to the Walker in Minneapolis what seems like a hundred times while growing up, and the least bullshit thing they ever had is the big spoon in the pond. Seriously, one time the traveling exhibit was egg shells shellacked to furniture.

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#71

No - thinking it could get passed in that congress might be delusional, but that’s not what you quoted.

Proposing an idealized plan that gets defeated can be a viable political gambit. It lets your base know what you stand for.

It can also backfire badly if you end up using up most of your political capital on an issue that get stalled and thus never get the more realistic compromise.

Honestly, I don’t think Americans as a whole are ready for universal healthcare. The compromises necessary necessary to get health care costs to level that universal coverage is possible seem to inspire large scale dread in a lot of the population.

Honestly, universal healthcare works best as one giant mandatory unappealable HMO. Yet Americans seems to approach HMOs as the enemy…

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#72

Fun fact, people can be detained indefinitely for any reason / disappeared.
Fun fact, the police can seize anything you have and you can do fuck all about it in most cases.
Fun fact, the police can kill you in your own home and probably get away with it.
Fun fact, the government is retroactively rejecting passports for trans people.
Fun fact, if people on disability look content online, they lose their benefits and probably die.
Fun fact, people are dying in growing numbers because they can’t afford insulin or a trip to ER.
Fun fact, we have one of the lowest voter turnouts of any developed country, due to apathy / hopelessness.
Fun fact, our unemployment/underemployment statistics don’t take into account that many people are working multiple part time jobs with no benefits and consider that equivalent to full time employment at one place.
Fun fact, over 40% of Americans can’t cover $400 in emergency expenses.
Fun fact, over 50% of Americans don’t/won’t have enough to retire.
Fun fact, not every failed state looks like the final days of the Soviet Union or progresses at the same pace.

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#73

Fun fact, if this was the Soviet Union and you complained publicly about the quality of life, you’d be in jail or a mental hospital.

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#74

The point of the article is not to draw direct and specific comparisons with the mechanisms of Soviet oppression of dissenters and those of American oppression of dissenters (although minorities and marginalised groups here might argue that there are comparisons to be made there, too). Haque addresses that in the first graf.

The point of the article is to draw parallels between the consensus mindsets of America’s current leadership class and those of the Soviet Union’s, and pointing out how that sort of thinking tends to lead to decline and collapse.

Put another way, saying “at least Americans aren’t being thrown into gulags en masse for expressing political opinions” (which the author also acknowledges in his article) doesn’t change the ironic fact that the American lords of neoliberalism and their minions are acting like members of the old Politburo when it comes to: creating conditions of political apathy amongst the citizenry; aspiring to effective one-party rule; power-seeking at the expense of the common good; provincial and exceptionalist thinking; and an unwillingness to entertain any political-economic philosophy – no matter how mild – that differs from the default (in this case, the neoliberal one).

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#75

That’s the result of four decades’ worth of very effective propaganda by “free” market extremists. At this point, though, the mounting misery from the current for-profit “health insurance only for the ‘deserving’” system seems to be overcoming it in what once were the unlikeliest of places:

Compare to this, from eight years ago:

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#76

As I pointed out, even with Obama’s dominant election win, the window of opportunity for actually getting anything passed was vanishingly small in legislative terms. The stated goal was universal health care/insurance. You don’t give up on goal #1 for a faint chance at goal#2. Once the window closed, that became the opportunity to push (symbolically) for more.

?!? Do you mean single-payer? Because the ACA accomplishes universal coverage within +/- the error bars.

Also, what compromises are you talking about? With ACA coverage levels, there really aren’t any compromises in terms of access, care or technology compared to the status quo with single payer. We already pay a premium for exactly the care we receive. Health insurance companies would suffer, but shifting what we already pay from insurance premiums/deductibles/copays/employer contributions directly to taxes will pay for the existing level of coverage and care 1:1, with health insurance company profits as direct savings.

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#77

That is false. From the swearing in of Al Franken on July 7, 2009 to Scott Brown’s swearing in February 4, 2010, the Dems had 60 votes (58 + 2 independents). Even Obama himself admitted that in the following article, which has the most charming title:

https://www.politicususa.com/2012/10/24/obama-debunks-myth-supermajority-congress-years.html

Of course the word “Dems” has to be qualified: many, maybe even most, of the “Dems” were Blue Dogs, Republican-lite, and DINOs. They were never going to vote for anything even vaguely progressive.

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#78

RTFBBS!

Really? You can’t even bother to read my posts on this thread that say the exact same thing before trying to contradict me?

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#79

Well, but we’re just sheeple, why should he read our posts? :wink:

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#80

All of the things you mentioned, PLUS not installing Federalist Society-sponsored Scalia clones in the dozens of open federal judgeships that Mitch McConnell and the Republican senate majority, in bad faith, kept open during Obama’s tenure, PLUS not attempting to dismantle the government from within, PLUS not placing the absolute worst-qualified person–often a person whose prior goal in life was to dismantle the agency–in charge of every possible federal agency, PLUS not actively pushing hatemongering conspiracy theories from the bully pulpit, PLUS not openly using the presidency as a profit-making enterprise for the president’s garbage children, PLUS not siding with powerful foreign dictators just because those foreign dictators said nice things about the administration. Among quite a lot else.

I am sympathetic to progressives’ policy goals but their “if you’re not to the left of Bernie Sanders you’re basically a Republican” shtick was old before the 2016 election and has not gotten any fresher in this stinking-fish-head administration.

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#81

I responded to ONE of your posts - the one that said “… the Democrats did not have 60 votes in the Senate …”. If you said that, but earlier said something else … well, which one of you do you want me to respond to?

Upon reading your earlier posts I see you make essentially the same point(s) that I would have made, which are:

  1. the Dems did have enought votes to pass it, if they voted en bloc like the Republicans do, but …
  2. since so many of the “Emocrats” are just neolibs who always vote for conservative economic policies, while occasionally throwing a bone at some harmless (to the .01%) bone to “prove” they don’t take orders from the same people who give orders to the Republicans.

So it’s all good!

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#82

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#83

Yeah but here’s the thing: a Democratic administration won’t happen anymore because they aren’t left enough to actually inspire the massive non-voting bloc. Whenever they get into office it is just civility politics, disappointment, and very little changes for the better, while many things erode towards the worse (and I’m saying that as a gay trans woman – my life would be Significantly better if I had free healthcare instead of gay marriage, if I had to pick). Then a Republican takes power because people get disenchanted with the Democrats and the Republicans actively make things worse. I have heard this called the ratchet effect and I think that is a good model for thinking about it.

Now we’re at the point where Republicans are consolidating their power forever and talking about genocide and Democrats are still talking about how at least they aren’t Republicans rather than trying bold popular socialist ideas in earnest. A Democratic administration would be doing the opposite but materially? They’re just preparing us for the next and eternal Republican administration if they aren’t at least as left as Bernie and AOC.

ETA: Put another way, it is not enough to be better than Republicans in order to distinguish their legacy from Republicans. Democrats need to actively change both the whole political and socioeconomic situation drastically in this country in order to disempower Republicans, otherwise they’re just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic (while simultaneously denying leftists positions of power to do something).

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#84

shrug. My fault–I should have known better than to bother engaging on a Bernie-adjacent thread. Enjoy your purity politics.

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#85

My dude I am a communist; Bernie isn’t even close to my ideal, but I recognize the forces in motion and the minimum it is going to take to avoid eternal Republican rule. Get with the fucking program before nazis take over and enact actual purity politics.

ETA: Or don’t, just know that people had been telling you for years that it was socialism or barbarism and you argued for barbarism.

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#86

(the following quote is from that Twitter thread)

my first rotation as a med student. Obamacare had kicked in. but I kept seeing ppl coming in far too late, refusing followup care, etc. why?

they had insurance! Obamacare meant that they’d be spared from truly financially disastrous illnesses like cancer. so what was the deal.

talk to guy. fam history of esophageal cancer. guy has severe acid reflux. recommend endoscopy. he refuses. why?

see his deductible: $5000!

for you non-Americans: the first $5000 of his medical care in the calendar year, he pays for out of pocket.

answer is obvious: can’t afford

cost just of scoping to diagnose problem: ~$1500. biopsy, $100. add a $100 specialist followup, and you still haven’t even touched treatment

the doctor works 7am-7pm M-F. Saturdays @ hospital. b/c she sees poor pts, she pays her staff thru her salary. earning ~$10k/year herself

this is b/c she does “long” (half-hour) appts. doesn’t over-book. many indigent patients, even if they have insurance.

i can tell you this story again and again. this isn’t even a particularly poor area, but docs who saw poor pts were taking >100k/yr pay cuts

had multiple child psych docs quit b/c our new guidelines changed to basically: just give the kids drugs. b/c TX social services are fucked

so this is the problem: Obama’s signature accomplishment, Obamacare, had almost zero influence on any of the poorest patients we have

the effect was to transform healthcare from totally unaffordable to totally unaffordable. most ppl still had impossible barriers to care

“what about Medicaid?”

I live in Texas. we refused Medicaid expansion. & even if you’re (magically) eligible, getting it can be a nightmare

In medical treatment, there’s a ~guideline of the simpler the better. One pill a day, OK. Two pills, not good. Three pills, too difficult

Every single extra step a patient has to take reduces the odds that a patient will/can be treated properly. It’s a big deal.

All this wonk bullshit in Obamacare? I’ve seen grown adults cry b/c they can’t figure out wtf is going on w/their care. it’s a nightmare

if me, the doc, the nurse, a social worker, the patient, & the insurance co can’t figure out what’s going on, maybe your bill sucks

if you need a team of economists, Vox, and two hundred men wearing lanyards to explain how you’re helping the poor, maybe you aren’t

b/c for the poor, in the case of Obamacare the test came when they went to the doc for the first time & it was still hellish & unaffordable

oh, and I can’t tell you whatever happened to the reflux + family history of esophageal cancer guy. b/c he never came back

(back to me)

To spell it out: health insurance with a deductible of more than a few hundred dollars is essentially null and void for most Americans. It provides zero benefit outside of extraordinary circumstances.

Forcing people to pay for functionally non-existent healthcare does not help them. It hurts them.

The pre-ACA situation was diabolical. The post-ACA situation is still diabolical.

If you’re going to socialise healthcare, as you should, you need to do it properly

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#87

Working on it. Sorry it’s not fast enough for ya.

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#88

Or maybe we can just enjoy winning politics, as evidenced by the amazing way Sanders won over the Fox News viewers at the Fox town hall the other day.

The way things are going with the centrist Democrat hatred of Bernie, he’ll get more votes from Republicans than from the PUMAs.

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