For 100 minutes, more than a million tuned into Sanders' Medicare for All town hall

Originally published at:


1-million people for a wonky discussion is a good proof of interest. I’d love to see Sanders and Our Revolution follow up by putting together one or more 30-second spots comparing the health insurance experience of someone in the U.S. with someone in a civilised country. Perhaps use the same actor.

For example: first 15 seconds shows a drawn and coughing patient in an ER bed on the phone negotiating with an insurance company customer service drone; last 15 seconds shows the same drawn and coughing patient simply handing over his health card in the ER before being treated.

They could also have one where an American doctor has to leave a patient to remind her full-time medical billing staffer that she has to try to negotiate a higher payback on a claim with one insurance company and gets drawn into a discussion about another while the patient waits; last 15 seconds is the same doctor treating a patient when the receptionist buzzes to remind her that her billing person will be in for his monthly visit on Friday to reconcile the month’s claims with the single-payer insurer.

Plenty of ways to demonstrate the messed-up priorities of a system that leads to inefficiencies and parasitic middlemen and worse outcomes than other countries.


For thoise who missed it (like me) here is the video:


I talk sometimes with people who earn too much to get the subsidy from the ACA. They really feel ripped off they can’t get the same price as somebody at 138% of the poverty line. There is no point in explaining, its JUST NOT FAIR!

The Koch Brothers don’t need to torpedo this idea; the middle class will do it for them.


The Young Turks is a left-wing vanguard organization? I thought it’s just an extremely boring youtube channel.


The current system is quite efficient at maximizing the rate of production of very wealthy pharmaceutical corporation owners and execs, private hospital owners and execs, insurance company owners and execs, and specialist M.D.s to human suffering through ill health per unit time.

Or did you think the system was designed for some purpose like providing the maximum quality of care to the maximum number of people?


The U.S. ‘health-care system’ has been of great service to Australia. Over the last 35 years, any time that a political stooge for those desiring to profit from the sick, has made noises about tampering with the universal single-payer system, mention of the U.S. has been enough for them crawl back down the hole they came out of.


Um, private health insurance rebates?

Fuck, I hate John Howard.

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I understand “we don’t want our country to turn into THAT kind of horror show, do we?” was also a key argument for getting gun control legislation passed in Australia during the late 1990s.

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…and that was from the Clinton era. Things are worse now.

Or, for a Scottish perspective from the Reagan era:

Unsurprisingly, American exceptionalism has much less credibility outside the USA.


Tell me about it. The Columbine massacre was almost unthinkable at the time, but now it doesn’t even crack the top 10 list for deadliest mass shootings in American history anymore.

We’ve had 11 school shootings in 2018 and we’re barely in late January.


I remember when this song counted as wacky absurdist comedy instead of a preview of horrors to come.


Before we derail too much, though: notice that neither of the first two songs I posted mention guns.

The violence is a symptom, not the cause. The root problems lie deeper.


They seem to have no problem appropriating our musical styles…

“Your” styles? The first was skip-hop, the second pseudo-rockabilly; both of those trace back to Africa.



Using a mix of progressive taxes and subsidies does create a weird perception of unfairness. I’m totally on board with paying $x more in income taxes, knowing it goes to fund [something slightly closer to] universal healthcare. But if it’s framed as I’m paying $x more than someone else for the same health care plan, somehow that feels unfair, even though I rationally know the two are equivalent.

I assume this happens as a sort of work-around to the political unpopularity of raising taxes.


Back on the healthcare topic, a demonstration of why the ACA was nowhere near enough:

(the following quote is from that Twitter thread)

(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


The same statistic might apply to lots of infomercials as well.

You’re welcome?