When Republicans say "How will you pay for Medicare for All?" Democrats should answer: "Mexico will pay for it"

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/11/20/turnabout.html


I would not like Medicare for All compared with or connected to the border wall on any level. Our healthcare is actually important.


This is a great idea : having just gone to Mexico for dental care that was the same quality and 10-20% of the price I think the best way to pay for Medicare for all would just be importing their medical care.


Sadly no one from either major political party will address the basic problem that America has the most expensive healthcare in the world. Upsetting the system that profits insanely from these huge costs would involve messing with the group of people that comprise the “donor class”.
The majority of healthcare needs could be handled by nurses rather than doctors, relieving the manufactured doctor shortage. Insurance companies could do more to encourage medical tourism when US costs are out of control. Pharmaceutical patents could be nullified if excessive price gouging is proven. Information could be made available to consumers about the relative costs of different healthcare providers.
Our current system is like an airplane with only a first class cabin and an inaccessible coach section. If an uninsured person shows up at an emergency room, there is no control over what the hospital can charge.

Until costs can be addressed, no amount of worrying about who pays is going to be effective.


On the plus side I think we might have a lead on where we can find some contractors who can repair the thing on the cheap. They run a strictly cash-only business though.


Let’s not also forget when the tax cuts were being promoted, every single GOPper said, with a straight face, that the growth in gubmint revenues caused by GDP growth targets of 4%+, would pay for said cuts.

The GOP no longer has policy platform underpinnings: they are reduced to being Trumpers beholden to evangelicals. Yikes.


This might be the only way to shut up cognitive dissonant Republicans. I can just imagine the rage that would form on their faces, distorting them enough to require surgery, if this answer were given to them every time someone asked this.

At this point, I like the idea of massively pissing these people off whenever possible.

2 years ago, I would still have said there needs to be a responsible adult left in politics. But now, fuck it. FOX and Trump’s party have destroyed so much decency perhaps permanently in America, I see no more hope in remaining rational in responding to their idiocy.


Nonsense. Firstly, both Sanders and Warren address health care costs in their plans.
Second, a major driver, possibly THE major driver of high health care costs is the complicity of insurers wanting higher costs. They are limited to taking 15% of the actual healthcare payouts they make. How do you grow your profits when you can only take 15%? Grow your payouts. How do you grow payouts (without making your customers sicker)? Increase health care costs.

There is even a multi-billion dollar industry that has grown up around this concept: Group Purchasing Organizations. GPOs use a subscription model to aggregate the buying power of hospitals and health insurers to negotiate “better” prices from their suppliers - from pharma to medical devices to office chairs and garbage bags. In exchange, they get ~3% of the transaction. They kick back a percentage of the “savings” to the hospital’s purchasing department, depending on how well the hospital complies with the negotiated terms of the deal (for instance, in order to get the “savings,” hospitals need to commit to a pre-set mix of products, which can include full exclusivity to one manufacturer’s product).

Notice that, much like health insurers, the GPO gets to keep a percentage of the total spend, not the “savings.” So they are incentivized not to save money, but actually to spend more.

Here is the head office of the largest GPO:

Yes, it’s on a golf course.

Medicare, and every other federal and state-based payer pays much, much less for goods and services than any health insurer.



Right. Mexico for the wall, Iraqi oil for the Iraq war. It’s always some glib, idiotic answer. But those glib idiotic answers always lend themselves to 3-syllable chants. That’s what Democrats need! More 3-syllable chants!


I don’t much care what hard right conservatives say about any program Democrats put forward, cost or otherwise. They (at least the conservative strategists) know that universal health care is cheaper with better outcomes everywhere it’s been tried. That’s why they keep asking about cost; they can’t win on reality so they sow doubt and confusion about reality. The same goes for the climate crisis and countless other issues.

One might be tempted to turn it around and ask how how we’re going to keep from going bankrupt paying for the most expensive health system in the world. That feels good —it’s a gotcha— but, unfortunately it’s not productive and wastes precious time we could use to deliver a well framed message.

We’re not trying to convince hard righties; we don’t have infinite time or resources. We’re after the people who are persuadable.

Bottom line, we are under no obligation to answer conservative questions -they are often put forward as bait anyway, because they know we’ll waste time arguing from within their chosen frames and flinging boring facts. We are obligated, if we care about this country, to ignore their bullshit propaganda and concentrate on messages grounded in reality and expressing in clear, personal terms why we care at all about any of this.


Too many syllables.


It is funny.

But I think that I’m done staring into the fucking abyss.

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The golf course will probably be demolished soon.


Probably for more multi-million-dollar buildings for Premier, as they make bank.

To the mcmansion set, living near a golf course is an attainable “luxury”.
But to others, a golf course is a waste of land and resources. This particular course is public and charges 72 bucks a round, but the current owners of the land (not Premier) stand to make a lot more money by redeveloping it as an office building.

From the Intercept article:

Mexico, they should say, with the straightest of straight faces, will pay for it.

No. File this under “two wrongs don’t make a right.” I for one would much rather have a civil, intelligent, actual fucking answer from the mouth of someone that can at least appear to string together a sentence.

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Your welcome :grimacing:


When Republicans say “How will you pay for Medicare for All?” Democrats should answer: “Mexico will pay for it”



I love CD, and the “how are going to pay for that?” trope should certainly be beaten down, cut into microscopic pieces, and flushed down the toilet. But saying that Republicans pay for their priorities via “infinite amounts of deficit spending” and have “added $4t to the national debt” plays into the establishment narratives. The whole concept of “the deficit” at the federal level is bullshit. Federal spending happens when Congress allocates (aka creates) and directs the funds. Full stop. (See MMT.)

The corporate Democrats are not idiotic. They are bought. Bought by the same class of donors that have bought the other party. With the exception of a precious few, the Dems are paid to be weak, and they deliver for their owners.

When Republicans say “How will you pay for Medicare for All?” Progressives should answer: The same way we pay for war. And massive (ongoing) bank bailouts. And tax cuts for billionaires. And subsides for oil companies. America is a great country with incredible resources, and it has the ability to “pay for” almost anything. Which things we pay for comes down to political choices.